Spot Cool Stuff recently reviewed Google’s Chromebook netbooks on our tech blog. The new computers runs the Chrome operating system is almost entirely integrated in with the cloud. The major disadvantage of the Chrome OS: It renders a computer mostly useless if it isn’t online. The major advantages: With a Chromebook there’s no need to worry about updating software, backing up files or running out of storage space.
If you’d like to try out a Chromebook for yourself on your next trip you now can. For a limited time, passengers on Virgin America and guests at New York’s Ace hotel will each be able to borrow one, for free.
The Chromebook streams movies from the cloud. And on Virgin America you can watch those movies while, literally, in a cloud. The airline is letting all their passengers borrow a Chromebook on flights between July 1st and September 30th, 2011. The promotion is available to all passengers regardless of class. (Regardless whether you are flying first class or economy, that is, though passengers also receive a Chromebook regardless of their personal sense of style).
The catch—and isn’t there always a catch?—is that your flight must depart from San Francisco, Dallas-Fort Worth, Boston or Chicago. Provided you leave from one of those airports, simply stop by the kiosk near your departure gate and grab your Chromebook at no cost. In-flight wifi is free too.
New York City
For a more grounded Chromebook trial experience stay at The Ace Hotel in New York City. As with the deal from Virgin America (above), the Ace’s promo extends from July 1st through September 30th. Guests needn’t do anything special to take part. Book a room, check in and your Chromebook will be waiting in your room. The Ace Hotel has free wifi, but if you’d like to take your newbook out into the city you can—the Chromebooks available to guests include a free 3G data plan.
What’s most amazing: You needn’t be a guest at the Ace Hotel to try out a Chromebook. Walk into the hotel, inquire at the front desk and they’ll happily lend you a Chromebook regardless of where you are staying.
The Ace Hotel, not incidentally, is a one cool boutique pad. Clearly someone had a sense of humor when designing it. Instead of a hotel directory you’ll get an “Ace survival guide.” Instead of exits marked in the usual fashion you’ll see a sign that philosophically declares Every EXIT is an entrance somewhere else. In addition to such personally-full touches you’ll also get a funky, comfortably room. Room rates run in the $175~$200 range, which for NYC is a good deal considering the Ace’s level of luxury and central location at 29th and Broadway.
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