December 11, 2010

Not On Google's Chrome Netbook List? There's Always eBay.

Even for Google, this week was a big one in terms of announcements. In the first two days, the company unveiled its new Nexus S smartphone, running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), powered by Samsung, and also introduced the new Chrome OS, running on custom Google hardware, along with the much awaited Chrome Web app store.

Interestingly, the distribution of the CR-48 netbooks looks to be limited to about 60,000 units to the bleeding edge early adopters who don't mind things being a little wonky. Unsurprisingly, one of the devices is already on eBay, sporting a price tag of nearly $600.

One more exclamation point, and I'll bid $1,000.

You can't log into an RSS reader or view your Tweet stream without bumping into a tech blogger or influencer who was in Google's good graces and managed to get early access to the first deployment of Google's Web-centric OS with the Chrome Web browser at its core. Shortly after the announcement, many more said they had received e-mail notification they would be soon getting one, and other fans flooded the company's pilot program to fill out a form claiming why they would be worthy to act as a willing beta tester for the Mountain View giant.

The CR-48 Lacks Stickers and Branding. It's Stealthy.

Given the demand and intrigue in the CR-48, it's no surprise those on the outside looking in would want to find a surefire way to try out the netbook, without crossing their fingers and waiting for a blessing from Google proper. On the flip side, it is a little surprising that at least one of those who somehow qualified as a trusted tester is instead trying out the gray market to make a buck.

A few hours into the five day auction, the first two bids have pushed the price up to $560, with $50 shipping in the US. This compares to the price for a new 14-inch Dell Inspiron with 4 GB RAM, a 500 GB Hard Drive, and a 2.4 GHz Intel chip, running Windows 7 Home, on Amazon, retailing for just about $600. There's obviously a premium for getting something first, even if you are getting a netbook with no local storage and an unproven OS.

If you aren't worried about the price and just want to get yourself a new CR-48, take out your credit card and head to eBay. If you think it's a scam, maybe you'll be comforted by the seller's 88 previous sales, and 100% feedback rating. And no, I'm not bidding. I can wait.

No comments:

Post a Comment