Targeting the back-to-school shopping rush, Google announced today that its Chromebook computers will soon come to even more major retail stores — including the most coveted retailer of all, Walmart.
The retail giant will begin offering the cheapest Chromebook, Acer’s $199 model, starting tomorrow. That computer should be particularly appealing to Walmart’s cost-conscious customers as parents will soon be looking for cheap computers for kids to take to school.
Additionally, Staples will soon offer Chromebooks from Samsung, HP, and Acer later this summer. Those models range from Acer’s $199 model to HP’s gigantic $330 Pavilion Chromebook.
Best Buy already carries some Chromebook models in its stores, but the addition of even more physical retailers could be a big win for Google. With netbooks on their way out, Chromebooks could fill an important gap for inexpensive (and somewhat disposable) computers. It also makes much more sense for Google to spotlight its cheap Chromebooks rather than the insanely expensive $1,299 Chromebook Pixel.
Chromebooks run Chrome OS, Google’s stripped-down operating system built on its Chrome web browser. They’re meant to be cheap, light, and singularly focused on web apps, which makes them well suited to classrooms. Most Chromebooks don’t have much storage for media, and they also can’t play games offline. (That’s great for parents who want less distractions for their kids but bad for kids who want to waste time.)