Price Drop: Google's Chromebooks Now Start at $299

There were some rumors earlier this month that Google’s partners are having trouble selling their Chromebooks to consumers, but Google looks like it continues to stand behind its browser-only laptops for the time being. Just in time for the Christmas shopping season, the company just announced that some of Acer’s and Samsung’s Chromebooks are now available for $299. Until now, the cheapest Chromebooks were at least $50 more expensive. In addition to this, Samsung also just introduced a black version of its WiFi-only Series 5 Chromebook, which will retail for about $350.

Price Drop and new Black Samsung Chromebook

For holiday shoppers, Google is especially pushing its laptops as hassle-free alternatives to traditional laptops: “If you’re someone who’s often called upon to provide tech support when you’re home for the holidays like I am, you’ll be happy to know that the Chromebook gets your loved ones up and going on the web quickly, without the usual pains of computing like seemingly endless boot times and setup manuals.”

If your family members really need to use Microsoft Office or want to play games on their laptops, though, chances are you will get a few extra support calls after your gifts arrive in your family members’ hands.

Software Update: Easier Logins, More Useful New Tab Pages

imageGoogle, of course, continuously updates its ChromeOS interface and the newest update brings a more streamlined login experience, as well as a revamped New Tab page that separates out apps, bookmarks and your most visited sites. A shortcut to the File Manager now also graces the New Tab page, as well as links to Google’s own music store.

Will This Sell More Units?

According to some rumors earlier this month, Acer only sold about 5,000 Chromebooks between their launch and July. Samsung, according to the same rumors and anonymous sources, would have likely sold even fewer unites than that. Those numbers seem awfully low, but while a number of schools and businesses have adopted these devices, it’s clear that Chromebooks aren’t a runaway hit with millions of unites shipped each quarter.