The Chrome team elves have been busy packing a few goodies into Chromebooks in time for the upcoming holiday season.

A simple, streamlined user interface

From the moment you hit the power button and watch your Chromebook boot up in eight seconds flat, you’ll notice that the operating system got a bit of a facelift. For example, the Chromebook now sports a fresh, clean login experience.

We’ve also revamped the New Tab page to make it easier to manage your apps, bookmarks and most visited sites. By popular demand, we’ve added a few handy new shortcuts to the New Tab page: a shortcut to the File Manager on your Chromebook, as well as to music apps and games in the Chrome Web Store.

You may have also noticed, we recently gave the Chrome Web Store a new look, so that you can easily scan the wall of images to discover fun and useful apps and extensions.

Hassle-free for the holidays

We’ve heard from many of you that one of the things you enjoy most about the Chromebook is its hassle-free simplicity. If you’re someone who’s often called upon to provide tech support when you’re home for the holidays like I am, you’ll be happy to know that the Chromebook gets your loved ones up and going on the web quickly, without the usual pains of computing like seemingly endless boot times and setup manuals. With that in mind, we wanted to share a few updates to the lineup of Chromebooks that make them more giftable to loved ones.

For folks in the United States, Samsung is introducing a sleek, black version of its Wi-Fi only Samsung Chromebook Series 5.

We’ve also been working closely with our partners to continually improve the overall Chromebook experience while making them even more affordable. So, we’re excited to share that beginning this week Acer and Samsung Chromebooks will be available starting at $299. The updated prices will be available through our online retail partners.

Lastly, if you’re in the U.S. and you’d like to take a Chromebook for a test drive, visit the Samsung Experience in New York City or check one out when flying with Virgin America. We’re excited to hear your feedback, as we continue to build a faster, simpler and more secure experience on a computer that always gets better. In the meantime, we’ll leave you with one in a series of new film shorts that highlight some of the reasons why we think Chromebooks make a great holiday gift.