So I decided to give it a go. One free offer that comes with the Chromebook purchase is 100GB of extra Google Drive space for two years. Nice. That means I can downgrade my $99 per year Dropbox account to the free level of service and save... $198. Hmm... that would make this a $1 laptop.
The Acer C720 has an Intel haswell processor. Battery life is supposed to be 8+ hours. Not sure what to expect as far as performance goes. But pretty much all the OS has to do is run the Chrome browser.
That's really the Chrome OS in a nutshell. It's the Google Chrome browser with all it's various extensions and plugins. And of course there is whatever level of hardware support to make it all work. With the standard Google Chrome browser you go into "Settings" and you get the browser settings. In the Google Chrome OS... if you go into "Settings" in the browser you get the browser settings and various hardware and operating system settings. There seems to be very little else to it.
I've been arguing for several years that anymore all one really needs is a good browser with a few choice plugins. Obviously Google has been thinking the same thing. And in 2013 it seems that Chromebooks have captured a pretty significant chunk of the notebook market.