Google Chromebooks hitting 6,600 stores for $199 and up

Google has confirmed that various iterations of its stalwart Chromebook will soon be available in approximately 6,600 stores around the world.

“Walmart will be making the newest Acer Chromebook, which has a 16GB Solid State Drive (SSD), available in approximately 2,800 stores across the U.S., for just $199,” Google exec David Shapiro wrote in a blog post earlier this week.

“Beginning this weekend, Staples will bring a mix of Chromebooks from Acer, HP and Samsung to every store in the U.S.—more than 1,500 in total. You can also purchase via Staples online, while businesses can purchase through the Staples Advantage B2B program. In the coming months, select Office Depot, OfficeMax, and regional chains Fry’s and TigerDirect locations will begin selling Chromebooks.”

Chromebooks are powered by Google’s web-centric Chrome OS, shipping either with SSDs or more traditional hard drives. As Liliputing’s Brad Linder notes, the SSDs allow the Chromebook to boot and resume from sleep quickly.

“On the one hand, it’s easy to look at Chromebook as little more than cheap laptops that keep the price down by shipping with Google software instead of Windows. On the other hand, once you spend some time with a Chromebook, you start to think about the way you use a computer differently,” Linder explained.

“Since most Chromebooks resume from sleep just about as fast as you can open the lid, they feel almost like ‘always-on’ devices like a smarpthone or a tablet. And since Chrome OS stores your data, settings, and other files in the cloud, you can easily pick up where you left off on another device — even an Android, Windows, or OS X device if you have the Chrome web browser installed.”

Google’s web-centric Chrome operating system debuted on July 7, 2009, with the first Intel-based Chromebooks shipping on June 15, 2011.