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."