Google Offering Chrome Laptops to Students for $20 a Month

For years, students complained about the cost of textbooks. Textbooks are notoriously expensive and make a major dent in many students’ wallet each year. Recently, textbook stores and websites began renting their books to students at a cheaper price. The result: students rejoiced and used that extra money for fun things like shopping or going out to eat (or was that just me?). Anyway, in addition to textbooks, now students can rent something else that is expensive and practically essential for success on a college campus these days: laptops.
Google announced its plan today to rent its Chrome laptops to students for $20 a month. In addition to the computers, Google will also rent its Google Apps, a product that is similar to Microsoft Office, to students. Unfortunately, you must be connected to the Internet to use Google Apps, so this might cause problems for students who are using their computers on campus. At my school, the Internet goes offline for a few minutes on a somewhat regular basis. I can only imagine the terror I would experience if I was using Google Apps to write a paper and the Internet went down before I had saved my work. Luckily, you could remedy this situation by saving your work on a regular basis. And for only $20 a month for the hardware and software, I’d be more than willing to back-up my work more often.

So why is Google doing this? Evidently, this is a test-run for Google, who hopes to eventually market the computers and software programs to businesses. By integrating itself into the everyday lives of today’s students, Google is building brand-loyalty with tomorrow’s employers and employees. Fortunately for Google, a product like this is already in high demand:
“Small and medium-sized businesses are banging on our doors to get something like this,” a senior Google executive said.
For now though, only students will be able to reap the benefits of Google’s $20 per month computer and software package.
Will you take advantage of a product like this? Or would you rather buy and own your own laptop and software programs. Honestly, it makes more sense to me to rent a computer. My Apple laptop set me back about $1,200. If I were to rent Google’s Chrome computer and software package, it would take five years for me to spend the same amount of money. Five years from now, you can bet that my Apple computer will be an antique due to the newer versions of computers that will be released by then. However, it I were renting a computer, ideally I would want the newest and best versions on a much more regular basis. But hey, that’s just my opinion. What’s yours?
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