Google announces new affordable ARM-based Chromebook
By Dave LeClair
October 18, 2012
Google has just introduced a new Chromebook, made in conjunction with Samsung. The Chromebook line of laptops has always been designed to be affordable, and to allow users to live completely in the cloud. Well, this time Google's blowing the doors off with an impressive laptop priced at a staggering US$249.
The most interesting part of this laptop, besides the price, is the inclusion of an ARM Cortex-A15 processor that Samsung calls the Exynos 5250. ARM processors are typically found in smartphones and tablets, but this particular model is aimed at competing with higher-end processors along the lines of Intel's x86.
ARM processors are well-known for low power consumption, which makes the Exynos 5250 perfect for a laptop such as this new Samsung Chromebook. This particular processor has two cores clocked at 1.7 gHz. It's not going to compete with some of the ultra-powerful quad-core processors on the market, but it can play video at 1080p, and support the Chromebook's USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports. It's also able to use the HDMI port to run an external monitor at 2,560 x 1,600 resolution.
The Samsung Chromebook is positively tiny. It weighs a minuscule 2.5 pounds (1.1 kg) and is only .8 inches (20 mm) thick. The battery is estimated to last around six hours per charge under average usage. This means the laptop can be used for most of the day and it's light enough to carry around all day comfortably.
The screen is 11.6 inches, which is clearly targeted at competing with Apple's MacBook Air. The glaring difference between the two is that the new Chromebook costs a quarter of the price of the Apple product. Clearly they are competitors in terms of size, but it would seem they are targeted towards a completely different kind of consumer.
The Chromebook doesn't have Windows installed, so it is not going to replace your normal computer for some tasks. Still, with Google's suit of apps such as Google Docs, Gmail and others, it can do most necessary functions in a compact, affordable package.
Users who purchase the Samsung Chromebook will receive 100GB of cloud storage for free for two years. This will help them live the cloud lifestyle, which is what the Chromebook is all about.
The Samsung Chromebook is available for preorder from websites such as Amazon, Best Buy and PC World right now. Next week, it will be available from those and many other retailers, for purchase.
The video below from Google introduces the Chromebook.