Since the beginning of the millennium, there have been projects like the $99 computer, with the sole purpose of pushing developers into creating a device which can be purchased by any category of people, without worrying about the price. Although that exact limit has not been touched, Google has just taken a step forward with its Chromebook laptop, built in cooperation with Samsung, which costs no less than $249.

Selling for the price of a cheap smartphone, the Samsung Chromebook may prove to be a little more than what can be seen at a glance, and may even develop into a Kindle-like competitor of the laptop segment. Besides its attractive price, the Chromebook comes with a pleasant and simple design which integrates some very slim curves, decent components and a high degree of mobility – one that will surely appeal to thousands of people.

Samsung Chromebook


Google’s Chromebook built by Samsung– the short story

The Samsung Chromebook has just been introduced as a Google product that does not generate any hassle, does not require software updates, nor expensive software to buy and comes with great Google-made apps, downloadable right from the browser. The laptop is very portable, weighting slightly under 2.5 pounds (that’s around 1.1 kg) and being 0.8-inch thin. Also, the large battery can supply about 6.5 hours of continuous use, which surpasses most laptops and achieves even the marks of some ultra-books Here is the list of technical specifications:

  • Size: 11.4″ x 8.09″ x 0.69″, weights 2.43 lb
  • OS: Google Chrome OS
  • Processor: Dual-Core Samsung Exynos 5 clocked at 1.7 GHz and with a 1MB CPU cache
  • Display: 11.6-inch wide LED HD with a 1366 x 768 resolution
  • Storage: SSD with 16GB of memory
  • RAM: 2GB DDR3L
  • Graphics: Integrated GPU with shared memory
  • Battery: 2 cell Li-Po of 4080 mAh capable of 6.3 hours
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, 3G WWAN, HDMI, USB 2.0, SD slots, 0.3 MP camera ( the 3G model costs $330 )

Chromebook as the easy option

Chromebook on Virgin America

Chromebook has the same potential that the first Kindle Fire had against seasoned competitors like iPad, Samsung Tab and others, by basing on several advantages. Right from the start, the Chromebook will not aim for the same segment of the market that looks for specifications when purchasing a laptop, but for those who simply need a laptop to stay connected, watch a movie and why not, even do their work or study on the machine. Here’s what is hidden in plain sight:

  • Highly portable: although the size may not seem much as first, it’s worth more than nothing that this laptop weights half as a regular one and can be safely compared to a tablet. The latest iPad for example is just a few hundred grams lighter, and offers a bit more hours of use. A laptop that can stay lighten for 6 and a half hours is a jewel for me, and that slim design will surely turn some eyes.
  • The operating system: coming with Chrome OS, this may be seen as a serious downside for many customers. But someone who wishes to use this machine for simple tasks and doesn’t need the headache of installing software updates, nonetheless paying for them, may resort to Chrome. The beauty of any OS stands in compatibility, and more apps every day are added in the Chrome market.
  • Connectivity: Google signed a contract with Verizon which ensures two years of mobile internet for every Chromebook sold, limited to 100MB per month. Yes, the quantity may be low, but extend this data plan to a bit more and you’ve got yourself an embedded broadband modem, without the care of carrying one.
  • The Price: this factor alone will weight heavy in the balance  because $250 is more than affordable for an every-day student, parent or elder. Those long roads on a train will surely pass faster with something to watch a movie on, one that also transforms into a modest working station at home.

In our view, this can become a device suitable for those who lack a laptop at the moment, and simply want one to help them in easy work, or stray the boringness away. With such an affordable price and good looks, it becomes a serious threat even to tablets. Kudos, Google.

Update: apparently, Chromebooks have already sold-out (at least on Google Play)! When we are surrounded by such devices as the iPad Mini, Surface and many others, Google manages to get consumers interested with a product that’s apparently meant only for online use. We don’t know how many units have been ordered and will be sure to update you with fresh information.

First reviews are in

CHRIS ZIEGLER, THE VERGE

  • The new Chromebook capitalizes on ARM’s stratospheric ascent — both in popularity and horsepower — to extricate Intel from the machine, reducing cost, power consumption, and heat dissipation in the process.
  • The trackpad is light years ahead of the terrible component that Samsung specced on the original Series 5 — smoother, much larger, and far more able to capture gestures like two-finger scrolling.
  • From full charge to dead, I got 6 hours, 45 minutes of battery life, matching Samsung’s claim of “over 6.5 hours.”
  • Scrolling webpages quickly often resulted in the classic “checkerboard” pattern, the browser’s way of telling you “hang on while I render this.”
  • If there’s any part of that unabashedly bizarre philosophy that sounds appealing to you, skip all the other Chromebooks: ARM is the processor architecture that Chrome OS was waiting for, and the Series 3 executes it very well.

It’s $1,000 worth of design made with $100 worth of materials

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Author

Alex holds an engineering degree in Telecommunications and has been covering technology as a writer since 2009. Customization is his middle name and he doesn’t like to own stock model gadgets. When he’s away from the keyboard, simpler things like hiking, mountain climbing and having a cold drink make his day.