In Pictures: Google Chromebook Buyer's Guide

Chromebooks are Web-centric alternatives to laptops that, while not for everyone, are coming into their own. To help you decide if one is right for you, CIO.com answers common Chromebooks questions and takes a look at the current lineup.

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.

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