Google promotes its Chromebook as "a new type of computer with everything built-in. For everyone. Starting at $199." Microsoft begs to differ. The Redmonders have developed a Chromebooks vs. Windows laptops page that, not surprisingly, shows Google's Chromebooks in a not-so-flattering light. There's also Microsoft's "Scroogled" ad campaign, featuring a Pawn Stars star who describes a Chromebook as a worthless "brick" when it's without an Internet connection.
However, Chromebooks are a new breed of laptop that, while not for everyone, are definitely coming into their own. Announced in 2010, debuting in 2011, Chromebooks have evolved as a low-cost (in most cases), Web-centric alternative to traditional laptops. Here's what you need to know about Chromebooks, and a look at the current lineup.