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Chromebook Becomes A Christmas Bestseller

Max ‘Beast from the East’ Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope.

If you find him looking lost on the streets of London, feed him coffee and sugar.

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All I want for Christmas… is a Chromebook?

Google’s Chromebook topped the list of the best-selling laptops on Amazon store in the US, and was the second best selling laptop on the UK site over the holiday period.

According to the information available on the Amazon website, the latest model of the ultraportable device, made by Samsung and retailing for £229 ($325), was more popular in America than any Windows 8 or Mac OS alternatives.

In the UK, it came second after the mid-market Acer Aspire E1 (£330), which runs Windows 8 but doesn’t feature a touchscreen.

Good tidings for Google

Google advertised Chromebook as the perfect second or third computer for families and students. It is one of the lightest laptops on the market, a mere 0.8 inches thick and offers over 6 hours of battery life for the typical user. However, the machine’s reliance on a network connection and lack of local storage led to lukewarm reviews. amd low media expectations for the device.

The latest model has an 11.6-inch LED display (1366×768), comes with 2GB of DDR3 RAM and is powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 5250 processor. Besides Google’s Chrome OS, which allows it to boot up in less than 10 seconds and resume operation instantly, the devices are also capable of running Ubuntu and other Linux distributions.

Google has also taken steps to make Chromebooks appealing to the enterprise market, with simple management, cloud integration and advanced security features. In September 2012, the company launched a Chromebook rental programme in the US. For just $30 (£18.86) a month on a rolling contract, businesses can quickly supply workers with laptops and return them when they are not needed.

According to Thomas Davies, head of Google Enterprise in the UK and Ireland, the rental programme might eventually become available to British companies.

Shortly before Christmas, Google had started what could be the biggest advertising campaign in its history, competing for the attention of consumers alongside Microsoft and its Windows 8 on the TV screens, on the street and online. And it looks like the media blitz has paid off for one company, but not the other.

The latest version of MacBook Pro was the second best-selling laptop in the US, followed by a Dell device running Windows 7.

Some reports suggest that the next step in Google’s hardware strategy is to launch a bigger, 12.85-inch, touch-enabled Chromebook.

If you bought a new laptop now, what would it be?

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