Friday, June 17, 2011

Google Commits Cardinal Sin of Design with Chromebook

"...How well does Google’s newfangled concept hold up in the real world?

Unfortunately, not very well.

The first assumption is that you’re online everywhere you go. That’s rather critical, because when it’s not online, a Chromebook can’t do much of anything. You can’t peruse your e-mail, read documents or books or listen to music. With very few exceptions, when the Chromebook isn’t online, it’s a 3.3-pound paperweight." (NYTimes via DaringFireball)
The industrial design guru Dieter Rams has some brutal words for just such a product:
"Indifference towards people and the reality in which they live is actually the one and only cardinal sin in design." (The quote was seen in As Little Design as Possible via
The NYTimes review concludes their thrashing of the Chromebook with a compliment I'm sure Dieter would find utterly misplaced.
"Truth is, considering how stripped-down the Samsung is, you have to wonder why it’s as big, heavy and expensive as it is. You can find plenty of full-blown Windows laptops with the same price, weight and size.

Maybe the Chromebook concept would fly if it cost $180 instead of $500. Maybe it makes more sense if you rent it (students and corporations can lease Chromebooks for $20 to $30 a month). Maybe it will fly once this country gets free coast-to-coast 4G cellular Internet, which should be just after hell freezes over.

For now, though, you should praise Google for its noble experiment..."
Why praise Google for a half-baked product that is severely overpriced and wasn't designed for the reality in which people live? And don't forget Samsung shares culpability in this sin by choosing to manufacture the hardware.

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