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New Samsung Google Chromebook Unveiled, Priced at $249

By - Source: Computerworld | B 26 comments

Analysts aren't too keen on the Samsung-developed Chromebook.

Google has announced a new addition to its Chromebook lineup, a new Samsung-built 11.6-inch laptop.

The device, which has been priced at $249 and weighs in at 2.5 pounds, features a Samsung Exynos 5 dual-core processor (otherwise known as the ARM Cortex-A15 processor) and a full-sized Chrome keyboard.

The Chromebook's 11.6-inch display boasts a resolution of 1366 x 768, which is accompanied by 16GB of internal storage and 2GB of RAM. Battery life claims to be over six hours.

Google's first-gen models of the device were available online only, with no marketing involved. Second-gen models that launched during May were available in 100 Best Buy stores in the United States, as well as several Currys stores within the UK. For the newly-announced Samsung Chromebook, however, Google will release the device in 500 Best Buy stores and more than 30 Currys and PC World stores from next week.

Sundar Pichai, the senior vice president of Chrome, claimed it's "the best computer that's ever been designed at this price point. We are going to take more of an active presence in the market. We believe we have a device for the mainstream. You'll also see us run a marketing campaign like we've done with Chrome." Online pre-orders, meanwhile, commences today on Amazon.com and Google Play.

Analysts, however, aren't too keen on the device. "I don't see any benefit of getting a Chromebook," said Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates. It's "basically a netbook with a Web-based OS on it. Why not just buy an Android device and actually be able to use plenty of apps?"

Gold added that consumers looking for a good deal may find the $249 price attractive for the new Chromebook, as well as the integration of Google apps. "But for another $100 or so, you can get a full laptop running Windows. That's a much better deal," he added.

"Consumers do not want to choose between apps and Internet; they want both," Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi stated. "The $249 is certainly an interesting price point, but consumers have been burned with netbooks and will be cautious and look beyond the price tag."


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  • -6 Hide
    mynameis1 , October 18, 2012 9:42 PM
    dud. stick with tablets.
  • 0 Hide
    damianrobertjones , October 18, 2012 9:46 PM
    "The Chromebook's 11.6-inch display boasts a resolution of 1366 x 768, which is accompanied by 16GB of internal storage and 2GB of RAM. Battery life claims to be over six hours." + 6.5 hours of battery life?

    Sure it might be at a reasonable price but the spec REALLY does suck
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , October 18, 2012 10:34 PM
    This product is a huge step backwards. I wish Google and Samsung would focus on innovative Android tablets. Let Microsoft go its own way with Surface and Windows 8. The only future for Google/Motorola is tablets and HTML5 - they should focus there. Samsung has a bright future as the component provider for other companies' tablets, as well as making their own. They both must have too much money to be wasting it here.
  • -1 Hide
    jerm1027 , October 18, 2012 10:37 PM
    Exynous 5 A15? 11.6" and 2.5 lbs? 6+ hours of battery? This might be worth checking out now, especially at this lower price point.
  • 7 Hide
    guess who , October 18, 2012 10:39 PM
    The analyst idiots:

    "But for another $100 or so, you can get a full laptop running Windows. That's a much better deal"

    Maybe it is not a better deal. You cannot get a $350 "full laptop" that weighs 2.5 lbs and has a 6+ hr battery life. Similarly, you cannot get a full Windows laptop that is as simple and secure as a Chromebook. If you have ever had to ask/pay for help due to OS/SW/malware issues, Chromebooks may be superior.

    They are not for everyone, but for simple needs, they may be perfect.

    Like I said: Analyst idiots
  • 7 Hide
    abbadon_34 , October 18, 2012 10:56 PM
    that's still a lot of money just to surf the internet
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , October 18, 2012 11:09 PM
    It's a lot like a tablet (for its use cases), except it isn't one (no touch sensors on the screen, no GPS, no rear-facing camera...) I don't see the point, other than the cheaper price -- but you give up so much utility relative to tablets.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 18, 2012 11:49 PM
    yea i think it may be time to retire my lil ole laptop ''Bettsey" and upgrade... shes an acer i brought off hsn one night when i was buzzzzin....
  • 1 Hide
    assasin32 , October 19, 2012 12:24 AM
    I actually expected better battery life out of an ARM based CPU, I imagine they are using a small battery to get the 6.5h battery life and weight under 2.5pounds at that size, still respectable. Price wise though it's on par with netbooks but the big issue is last I checked Chromebooks OS still basically required internet access to be remotely usable.

    If they incorporated more offline functionality than I can see myself picking one up for school, nothing wrong with something cheap to just take notes, write papers, and web browse when you have internet access.
  • 1 Hide
    jhansonxi , October 19, 2012 12:46 AM
    Chromebooks aren't intended to compete with tablets. They are thin clients for schools and government offices where most of the content is on-line multimedia (tests or training videos) and web forms. Nobody in the target market will be playing Crysis on them.
  • 2 Hide
    gfair , October 19, 2012 12:59 AM
    Only an 11" screen and smartphone CPU in a laptop? I'd rather spend the money and get a proper laptop or smartphone.
  • 1 Hide
    gravewax , October 19, 2012 1:16 AM
    sub standard specs, ok price, horrible limited functionality. why would anyone get this over the myriad of other options available.
  • 1 Hide
    assasin32 , October 19, 2012 1:44 AM
    gravewaxsub standard specs, ok price, horrible limited functionality. why would anyone get this over the myriad of other options available.


    Because if you have internet access it follows the approach of "It just freaking works" and is built with simplicity and security in mind for those of us who are more tech minded.

    Quite a good product if a family member keeps doing stupid stuff on computers which results in them paying someone to fix it or a phone call to you. Tell them to buy this and from what I hear it's simple to setup and from there on everything is rock solid stable.

    In fact I took a closer look at this one after my last post and it seems they now do offline editing for google docs so I may pick one up as all I really needed was a cheap laptop to take notes and web browse, and it fulfills my other need of having private info encrypted by default. And their OS is usually quite responsive from what I hear despite basic hardware, where as windows usually needs a bit of work to run to my level of expectations on netbooks (plus it doesn't come with a SSD as default for this price point, and forget encryption unless I buy a HD with hardware base encryption). So yeah while minimal hardware, interface, programs, it has raw simplicity and security going for it and just works.

    So yeah there is a small market and use for it.
  • -2 Hide
    christarp , October 19, 2012 4:46 AM
    oh my god it's so obvious at this point. It's like a carbon copy of the macbook air
  • 0 Hide
    alextheblue , October 19, 2012 5:22 AM
    assasin32Because if you have internet access it follows the approach of "It just freaking works" and is built with simplicity and security in mind for those of us who are more tech minded.
    That doesn't make sense. You might as well be advocating for an iOS platform, only with Google badging. On top of that, if you're spending $250, you might as well spend an extra $50-100 and get a full-size x86 machine with a bit more horsepower. Yes you'll lose the NAND, but 16GB minus OS doesn't leave a lot of room. At that point I'd rather live with a mechanical HDD until I could scrounge up the cash for at least a 100GB SSD upgrade or one of the newer gen Hybrid drives. Did I mention it's easy to upgrade the storage on a laptop?

    As for tech minded individuals, I think we can handle our own security. If that's your target audience I can think of some other *nix based operating systems that would be better. You could take a cheap laptop and either use the preinstalled Win7/8 and run whatever desktop software you need, or slap a modern Linux distro on there. Either way there's great software like LibreOffice and tons of free browsers, media players, etc, to handle everything a Google-dominated Chromebook can do and a whole lot more.
  • 2 Hide
    ethaniel , October 19, 2012 6:50 AM
    Wouldn't this be the first A15 based product in the market? It's an Exynos 5, not even the Galaxy S3 uses one.
  • 1 Hide
    cold fire , October 19, 2012 7:57 AM
    guess whoThe analyst idiots:"But for another $100 or so, you can get a full laptop running Windows. That's a much better deal"Maybe it is not a better deal. You cannot get a $350 "full laptop" that weighs 2.5 lbs and has a 6+ hr battery life. Similarly, you cannot get a full Windows laptop that is as simple and secure as a Chromebook. If you have ever had to ask/pay for help due to OS/SW/malware issues, Chromebooks may be superior.They are not for everyone, but for simple needs, they may be perfect.Like I said: Analyst idiots


    Yes you can! The Acer Aspire One AO756 is a full laptop that comes with Windows 7 Home Premium and priced between $300-350 and boasts mostly better specs. And yes it weighs around 2.5 pounds (it's listed as 3lbs but I have one I can confirm it's actually weighs 2.5lbs).

    You can get it with a dual core sandy bridge processor, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD and 4-5hrs battery life.

    http://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-AO756-4854-11-6-Inch-Netbook/dp/B0083PR78M/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1350632935&sr=8-2&keywords=acer+ao756
  • 1 Hide
    JonathanR , October 19, 2012 9:15 AM
    cold fireYes you can! The Acer Aspire One AO756 is a full laptop that comes with Windows 7 Home Premium and priced between $300-350 and boasts mostly better specs. And yes it weighs around 2.5 pounds (it's listed as 3lbs but I have one I can confirm it's actually weighs 2.5lbs).You can get it with a dual core sandy bridge processor, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD and 4-5hrs battery life.http://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire- [...] acer+ao756


    Id pick the Chromebook over that, and here's why:
    -Not sure how that "Sandy Bridge" fairs, its a dual core pentium with 1.3 ghz. The clockspeed will be higher on the chromebook, but probably be a bit slower.
    -The chromebook has an SSD, which for its intended use Id prefer over the 500 Gb Hard drive.
    -6.5 hours vs 4 hours is a very nice edge on a device thats intended to be as mobile as possible.
    -Its 30% cheaper, which is great considering its not intended as your sole computing device.
    -Windows isn't much fun on weaker hardware imo, on netbooks Id generally run some lightweight linux distro.
    -16 Gb is enough to dualboot with a linux distro so if you really cant reach the internet or want to use some basic applications, you'll be good to go.
    -For less techie people the simplistic approach is perfect and very low maintenance. I just spent last weekend setting up my grandparents computer, which involved hiding everything except firefox, thunderbird and skype (which I renamed "Internet", "Mailbox" and "Telephone"), chances are your grandparents won't need much more.
    -Perfect for Schools, especially smaller ones with no dedicated IT team.

    Im not saying the chromebook is for everyone, but I honestly think the device is an excellent choice for people with limited needs or as a secondary device to take to starbucks and/or class. Previous models I didnt consider because they costed twice as much as this, but this seems like something I might recommend to a friend or two.
  • 1 Hide
    cold fire , October 19, 2012 9:37 AM
    JonathanRId pick the Chromebook over that, and here's why:-Not sure how that "Sandy Bridge" fairs, its a dual core pentium with 1.3 ghz. The clockspeed will be higher on the chromebook, but probably be a bit slower.-The chromebook has an SSD, which for its intended use Id prefer over the 500 Gb Hard drive.-6.5 hours vs 4 hours is a very nice edge on a device thats intended to be as mobile as possible.-Its 30% cheaper, which is great considering its not intended as your sole computing device.-Windows isn't much fun on weaker hardware imo, on netbooks Id generally run some lightweight linux distro.-16 Gb is enough to dualboot with a linux distro so if you really cant reach the internet or want to use some basic applications, you'll be good to go.-For less techie people the simplistic approach is perfect and very low maintenance. I just spent last weekend setting up my grandparents computer, which involved hiding everything except firefox, thunderbird and skype (which I renamed "Internet", "Mailbox" and "Telephone"), chances are your grandparents won't need much more.-Perfect for Schools, especially smaller ones with no dedicated IT team.Im not saying the chromebook is for everyone, but I honestly think the device is an excellent choice for people with limited needs or as a secondary device to take to starbucks and/or class. Previous models I didnt consider because they costed twice as much as this, but this seems like something I might recommend to a friend or two.


    The main reason I bought this laptop was to have a dedicated Linux machine (though it ran Win 7 Home Premium without a single hiccup). I have a powerful desktop and a 13 incher for gaming on the go. So, I've been looking for a smaller and very cheap machine as a backup and to tinker with. I considered many chromebook options for their cheap prices but ended up buying the Acer AO756 with a 1.4GHz Celeron 877 (Which is basically a stripped down i3) for a great price $245! The best part of all, it's upgradeable which isn't very common in this form factor. With a single screw you have access to everything, HDD, RAM, WiFi. I threw in 8GB of RAM I had laying around and the thing multitasks like a boss ( I can even run a Windows XP VM without much trouble).

    I understand what you're saying and agree to some extent, but I still think a chromebook should be cheaper, I'd say $200 for the one in this article would be a perfect buy since for the same price right now you could get a similarly spec'ed laptop with an AMD processor that could do much more.
  • 0 Hide
    tomaz99 , October 19, 2012 2:07 PM
    abbadon_34that's still a lot of money just to surf the internet



    What would be cheaper?

    Not something like a Raspberry Pi...but something you can give an older person so they can email & surf.
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