Chromebooks appear to have replaced netbooks as the small form laptop of choice for cost and weight-conscious computer shoppers.

According to a report in Computerworld U.S., Chromebooks – lightweight laptops that run Google’s Chrome operating system – have captured as much as 25 per cent of the low end of the PC market.

Many buyers are likely parents of youngsters who don’t want to spend a lot of money on a first computer. But with BYOD policies spreading, staff at organizations who have to shell out from their own pockets for devices, or those on the road a lot who don’t want to lug a heavy laptop, are likely part of the mix.

Today has three available online: An HP version with a 14-in. screen for $300, an Acer with an 11.6-in screen for $235 and a Samsung with the same size screen for $270.

What’s a Chromebook like? ITWC assistant editor Jeff Jedras recently reviewed one and you can read his report here. But briefly, he said that Chromebooks largely rely on having your documents available in the cloud. There are offline apps, but, he found, the experience isn’t the same.

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