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Samsung and Acer first with Google Chromebooks

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May 11, 2011

Samsung and Acer will be the first to release web-centric Chromebooks running Google's Chr...

Samsung and Acer will be the first to release web-centric Chromebooks running Google's Chrome OS next month

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Almost two years after Google first announced plans to build an operating system based on its Chrome web browser, the search giant has announced that the first Chrome OS-based netbooks – dubbed "Chromebooks" – from Samsung and Acer are set to go on sale from next month. With no traditional HDD for local storage, the web-centric devices store all the user's apps, documents, and settings in the cloud resulting in some trimmed down devices with impressive boot up times and battery life.

Samsung Series 5 Chromebook

Samsung Chromebook

Samsung's Series 5 Chromebook sports a 12.1-inch, 1280 x 800, anti-reflective and anti-glare LED backlit display with 300 nit brightness that Samsung says can provide vibrant color even outdoors. Under the hood is a 1.66 GHz dual-core Intel Atom N570 processor, 2GB of RAM and a 16GB mSATA SSD. The Series 5 Chromebooks also feature a one-megapixel webcam, 4-in-1 card reader supporting SD, SDHC and MMC media cards and a li-ion battery with a lifespan of up to 1,000 cycles providing up to 8.5 hours of battery life – with Samsung also claiming five hours of video playback before recharging. There's also an optional VGA adaptor available for connecting the devices to a second monitor or TV.

Users frustrated by slow boot times will find little to complain about with the devices booting up in under 10 seconds and resuming instantly from standby. Meanwhile, for the security conscious, Google is calling Chrome OS the first consumer OS designed from the ground up to defend against malware and viruses through what is calls the principle of "defense in depth." Instead of traditional virus protection software, the OS provides multiple layers of protection, including sandboxing, data encryption, and verified boot.

Samsung will offer its Series 5 Chromebooks in Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi + 3G flavors and has teamed with Verizon in the U.S. who will provide up to 100MB of data per month for two years as part of the purchase price. With the web-centric nature of the devices that probably won't be enough for most users, but it's better than nothing and an additional gigabyte will also be available for US$20 a month.

The Series 5 Chromebooks from Samsung measure 11.6 x 8.6 x 0.8 inches (29.4 x 21.8 x 2 cm) and weigh 3.26 lbs (1.48 kg). The Wi-Fi only model retails for US$429, while the Wi-Fi + 3G model is priced at $499, with both available in white or silver.

Acer Chromebooks – similar, but different

Acer Chromebook

There are more similarities than differences between Samsung's and Acer's Chromebook offerings. Despite a smaller 11.6-inch, 1368 x 768 display, Acer's Chromebook features the same dimensions and weight as Samsung's Series 5 offerings. According to the listings on Amazon, the Wi-Fi only model will be powered by the same N570 Atom processor as Samsung's Chromebooks, while the 3G worldwide version will pack a NM10 Atom processor. Other differences include a 1.3-megapixel webcam, the addition of a HDMI port, and a cut in estimated battery life to six hours of continuous usage.

Acer's Chromebooks will also be a bit cheaper, starting at US$349 for the Wi-Fi model, while the 3G worldwide model will go for an undisclosed, but higher, sum.

Both Samsung's and Acer's Chromebooks will launch in the U.S. on June 15, 2011 through Amazon and Best Buy.

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About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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11 Comments

HDMI is kinda a plus. so I think the acer wins, but only 2 usb 2.0???? no usb 3??I don't really care about cloud data storage, but fast stable, simple operating systems seems like a good thing. ssd is great, but my 32 gb ssd isn't all that faster and doesn't really save much electricity. Id say put a 2tb sata drive in. put 2 more usb 3.0 ports in and charge me an extra a little more if needed.

Michael Mantion
12th May, 2011 @ 12:26 am PDT

Nobody wants to implement USB 3.0...Hence I think it will die a slow insignificant death.

Luan To
12th May, 2011 @ 07:09 am PDT

I agree with Michael Mantion, except that I wouldn't buy the Acer for the simple reason that they put the touchpad on the left directly under my left palm. It is my experience that this leads to frustrating movements of the cursur whilst typing.

Boo to Acer for having designed it that way, especially when I see the Aspire one has it directly in the center so they should know better.

Paul Anthony
12th May, 2011 @ 07:30 am PDT

Garbage. Who the hell would buy this shit when you could get a netbook with storage and OS oiptions? RIDICULOUS! Please explain to me what useless market niche they are trying to address?

Rocky Stefano
12th May, 2011 @ 07:50 am PDT

Have People become completely stupid in this day and age ?

No real HD So Every application every file you download or use every mouse click every webpage every wifi location is on google cloud for google to spy on lol

I cant understand people these days and there lack of privacy concerns , History has already shown that you cant trust Google

Smacks forehead in disbelief

nOv1c3
12th May, 2011 @ 08:42 am PDT

I really like the idea of cloud based computing. I'm going to buy a few of these laptops for my wife and family. I won't have to be concerned about losing their data, backups, virus destroying data, application upgrades...and hopefully not a computer loaded up with junk causing instability.

I'm ready to buy!

snakyjake
12th May, 2011 @ 10:32 am PDT

A new architecture for what we used to call a terminal, a dumb terminal, i.e., a communication interface with complete dependence on remote computers, yes, servers are computers, for all your information and processing abilities. Exactly the problem which led to the development of personal computers in the first place. I like Google and their great innovations, but this one is a miss, to be embraced mostly by those too young to have lived with such dependencies in the past.

The naive say it's different today due to new technologies, redundancies, etc. There is nothing out there that cannot be taken down, and with what's happening and its trend in our world one can bet on the worst happening. For essential processes one wants to limit networking dependencies, not foolishly maximize them

coolfire
12th May, 2011 @ 10:36 am PDT

argh, how can ANYBODY make a yet another computer keyboard without a pgup or pgdn key? (just like the first Mac and some unix keyboards) Anybody who leaves out the page keys needs to be slapped with a rubber chicken. Bad enough that they're usually badly placed on notebook keyboards, but to leave them out is an abomination.

Arthur Hu
12th May, 2011 @ 01:38 pm PDT

Yeah Right... TERMS OF SERVICE boys and girls... Put one photo of your girlfriend naked in the shower and they'll terminate your service and wipe all your files..

And don't tell me that *Nobody* will accidentally do this cuz that crap don't work here in the land of cameras on just about everything.

Sorry but I'm not kissing someone's butt to prevent my files from getting erased forever. Heaven forbid you post a naked photo of your baby in the tub and get accused of kiddie porn.

Rik Wallin
13th May, 2011 @ 08:58 am PDT

Coolfire is spot on, if you trust your data to servers in the cloud and the corporations that run them then you are a fool. But then, that describes the majority of the population I guess, so there will probably be popular!

Mr T
6th June, 2011 @ 07:58 pm PDT

The main thing to remember is Acer and Samsung are setting these prices not Google. So if people have issues with price take it up with Acer or Samsung.

Johnrocks
16th May, 2012 @ 04:08 am PDT
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