For consumers outside of the U.S., finding and purchasing the latest Chrome OS devices can prove to be a near impossibility. Our friends down in Australia are no exception to this rule.
Many of our readers “down under” often times opt to purchase Chromebooks from retailers here in the states that offer international shipping. The drawback is that, more often than not, these devices weren’t meant for resale overseas and technically forfeit warranties and support.
For the few resellers that do offer up Chromebooks, the selection is sparse and they’re generally left with chosing from lower-end devices. We’ve seen this countless times with the release of devices such as the Samsung Chromebook Plus/Pro, ASUS C302 and the HP Chromebook 13 G1 line.
While I’m sure manufacturers have crunched the numbers and their decision to limit international sales is purely business, it’s frustrating to see Chrome OS being limited in its reach. Especially considering the overwhelming number of people wanting to get their hands on these devices.
A new online store has recently appeared that may be a small glimmer of hope that Chromebooks and Chrome OS devices may be beginning to see a more global market than ever before.
Simply named Chrome Store, the North Sydney-based retailer is offering up a fair selection of devices including sought after Chromebooks like the Acer Chromebook R13 and HP Chromebook 13 G1.
Equally as interesting is the companies listing for Google Home and Google Wifi. We have heard from many readers that U.S. stores such as BH Photo have been one of very few resources that will ship them to Australia.
Chrome Store also lists a healthy assortment of Chromeboxes from the basic up to the high-end “for meetings” models.
A few caveats do apply here before you pull the trigger on a new Chromebook.
Who are they?
First and foremost, it is relatively clear this site is neither owned nor run by Google. With that being said, they do list themselves as Google Cloud and Google for Education partners. They even over Chrome management licenses for educational and supervised devices.
This leads me to believe they have, at least, some relationship with Google. I have reached out to Chrome Store for some clarity and will update as soon as we receive word back. If you decide to purchase from the retailer please make sure you find out if the devices are slated for sale in your region to ensure all the proper warranties and support are in place.
These Chromebooks are not cheap. As we see in other countries around the globe, costs on these devices are greatly inflated. The reasons vary. Unfortunately, it is what it is. Whether the cost is comparable to have a unit shipped from the U.S. I am not sure. However, if it is relatively the same and you get a fully supported and warrantied Chromebook, it may be worth a little extra cash.
For a full list of available devices and contact information, head over to the Chrome Store and check it out.
If you do, let us know about your experience as we wait for more details from this new Chrome OS outlet.