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A visit to Google's first Chrome Zone

Google has opened its first retail store in London so we sent Eva Martin down to Tottenham Court Road to have a look around.

Google has opened its first ever Chrome Zone in London and IT Pro has already taken a look around.

Located within the Curry's and PC World Superstore on Tottenham Court Road, shoppers will get the chance to try out Google's shiny new Chromebooks.

This includes the Samsung Chromebook Series 5, the flagship Chromebook, featuring a comfortable full-sized keyboard, large screen, and clickable trackpad. The lightweight computer also has an all-day battery life and can connect to Wi-Fi and 3G, depending on the model.

What we think...

The Chrome Zone employee was very willing to answer questions and let me in on information regarding business as well as response from customers.

There are plenty of Chromebooks available to test out in the area, and it's welcoming and engaging with a display of bright hues. I would recommend going into the Chrome Zone to experience it for yourself!

Eva Martin, IT Pro Intern

"Chromebooks are the perfect notebook computers for people who live on the web, and offer a faster, safer and more secure online experience, without all the time-consuming and confusing maintenance required by typical computers," said Arvind Desikan, head of consumer marketing for Google in the UK and Ireland.

The Chrome Zone has specialised experts on-hand to assist in helping customers and show them how the web-focused notebooks work. The store is designed to be open, colourful and as user-friendly as possible. There are also seating areas for shoppers so they can be comfortable while trying out the Chromebooks.

Initial customer response to the launch has been excellent and a lot of customer interest and excitement is expected in-store, according to Mark Slater, category director at Dixons Retail.

"It's the most revolutionary laptop on the market and as the leading electrical retailer in the UK we are thrilled that our flagship store has UK exclusivity to showcase this new technology to our customers."

Our trip to the store

Chrome Zone 3Chrome Zone 2Chrome Zone 1

We also caught up with the staff. An employee in the Chrome Zone said there has been a positive reaction to the store so far and this past weekend was particularly busy. Most people went in having already researched the computer and so knew the right questions to ask, the sales rep said.

The Chromebooks seem to be most popular among IT enthusiasts and Google fans, she told IT Pro. Both the 3G and Wi-Fi versions seem to be evenly popular. Students seem to like the Wi-Fi, whilst others want the 3G version due to traveling habits, she added.

When quizzed about security, she said the Chromebooks have built-in security - therefore there is no need to invest in any anti-virus software. There is also a verified start-up optimised for the web, which immediately isolates potential problems from the last time you booted-up, the employee added.

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