Interestingly, the distribution of the CR-48 netbooks looks to be limited to about 60,000 units to the bleeding edge early adopters who don't mind things being a little wonky. Unsurprisingly, one of the devices is already on eBay, sporting a price tag of nearly $600.
One more exclamation point, and I'll bid $1,000.
You can't log into an RSS reader or view your Tweet stream without bumping into a tech blogger or influencer who was in Google's good graces and managed to get early access to the first deployment of Google's Web-centric OS with the Chrome Web browser at its core. Shortly after the announcement, many more said they had received e-mail notification they would be soon getting one, and other fans flooded the company's pilot program to fill out a form claiming why they would be worthy to act as a willing beta tester for the Mountain View giant.
The CR-48 Lacks Stickers and Branding. It's Stealthy.
Given the demand and intrigue in the CR-48, it's no surprise those on the outside looking in would want to find a surefire way to try out the netbook, without crossing their fingers and waiting for a blessing from Google proper. On the flip side, it is a little surprising that at least one of those who somehow qualified as a trusted tester is instead trying out the gray market to make a buck.
A few hours into the five day auction, the first two bids have pushed the price up to $560, with $50 shipping in the US. This compares to the price for a new 14-inch Dell Inspiron with 4 GB RAM, a 500 GB Hard Drive, and a 2.4 GHz Intel chip, running Windows 7 Home, on Amazon, retailing for just about $600. There's obviously a premium for getting something first, even if you are getting a netbook with no local storage and an unproven OS.
If you aren't worried about the price and just want to get yourself a new CR-48, take out your credit card and head to eBay. If you think it's a scam, maybe you'll be comforted by the seller's 88 previous sales, and 100% feedback rating. And no, I'm not bidding. I can wait.