NOTE: I am sure the total of ALL Windows laptops from ALL manufacturers still far exceeds the sale of Chromebooks. Still, it is interesting to note the growing popularity of these low-cost, stripped-down computers.Amazon sells Chromebooks and Google does the same, one of the few pieces of hardware sold by Google. See https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/devices/chromebooks.html for details. (The Chrome operating system is based on Linux but is so highly modified by Google that even Linux experts probably wouldn't recognize it.) Prices range from $199 for an Acer C7 Chromebook to $449 for a Samsung Chromebook 550. All of the laptops depend upon a wi-fi connection to the Internet for almost all applications to operate in the cloud. The one exception is the Samsung unit which has both wi-fi for short-range communications and a Verizon 3G wide area wireless network adapter for long-range communications. The Samsung unit with 3G wireless is also the only one that will require a monthly payment for Internet connectivity. All of these computers weigh about three pounds or a bit less.
Some people will pooh-pooh these low-powered devices as being too underpowered to accomplish real work. That hasn't been my experience and Tom's Hardware, a respected provider of hardware reviews, seems to agree at http://hothardware.com/Reviews/Samsung-Series-5-Chromebook-Review/. (That review is for the earlier Samsung model that I purchased. Later devices are actually more powerful and a bit lighter than the one described in this review.)
If you would like to try the Chrome operating system for a while without buying hardware, download the Chrome web browser for your Mac or PC and attempt to live exclusively within it. Use Google Docs for word processing and spreadsheets, and other cloud-based applications. You'll have a very good feel for how life is within the Chrome operating system. It's not a bad life, it's just very different than life within Macintosh or Windows.
Today, Hewlett-Packard introduced still one more Chromebook to the marketplace. The HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook provides a 14" screen, an HDMI port for displaying video on your high-def television and the usual assortment of USB and other ports. It is available today for $329.99 in the US at HPDirect.com and probably will be available at discounted prices within a week or two from other retailers. You can read more on Google's Chromebook blog at http://chrome.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-hp-pavilion-14-chromebook.html.
Slashdot has an interesting article about the impact of Chromebooks means for Windows and especially the impact on Microsoft's new Surface tablet computers that run Windows RT at http://goo.gl/XYGX5.
Are low-cost devices the future of computing? I am not sure but I suspect that may be true. The popularity of Chromebooks plus the huge surge in tablet computers and various "smartphones" seems to indicate that whatever you purchase in the future will be cheaper than your previous computer.
You can find many Chromebooks for sale on Amazon if you start at http://goo.gl/dBCsQ. There is even a Chromebox for use as a desktop computer available at http://goo.gl/7d5E3.