Google’s $99 laptops

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iol scitech may 13 google chrome pc REUTERS File photo: Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome at Google, announces a Samsung notebook running Google Chrome OS.

San Francisco - US teachers have flooded school-centric charity website DonorsChoose.org to snap up Chrome notebook computers Google made available to classrooms for just $99 (about R1 000) each.

DonorsChoose said on Tuesday that it was no longer taking Chromebook requests from instructors since the allotted supply was exhausted due to the “tremendous response” to the offer.

DonorsChoose is a website where people can donate money to back class projects or provide gear needed in cash-strapped schools based on needs or goals laid out by teachers.

Google on Monday said that Samsung Series 5 Chromebooks that teachers put on wish lists at DonorsChoose would be available for a price of $99 each in a hefty $330 discount from the starting price in shops.

“For many students and teachers, the hassles of traditional computing often prevent them from making the most of technology in the classroom,” Google group product manager Rajen Sheth said in a blog post.

“Schools that have adopted Chromebooks, however, have been able to bring the web's vast educational resources - whether it's conducting real-time research or collaborating on group projects - right into the classroom.”

More than a thousand US schools use Chromebooks in classrooms, according to Sheth.

Google built Chrome operating software into notebook computers in a challenge to machines powered by Microsoft Windows.

The Chrome computing model shifts operating software into the Internet “cloud,” where data centres store information and tend to tough tasks.

Chromebooks act essentially as doors to banks of Google servers on the Internet, with the California-based technology titan tending to matters such as updating programs and fending off hackers and malicious software.

Advantages include quick start-ups from disk drive-free machines, long battery life, and essentially being able to dive into one's desktop data from anywhere on the Internet. - Sapa-AFP

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