Google has been working on its Chromebook with the release 60,000 CR-48 in December of 2010 and released final products last week at Google I/O last week. The Chromebook hardware is lacking a hard drive which forces the user into the cloud for all of their computing needs. The up side is that since users do not have to install anti-viruses, instead relying on web services and Google “multi-layers” security including sandboxing, data encryption, and verified boot. This is appealing to those who really don’t know how to take care of a computer or businesses looking to cut costs.
Samsung and Acer are coming out with Chromebooks and Ubergizmo got to spend some time with the Samsung with its 12.1 inch ”SuperBright” display with 16:10 ratio, an Intel dual-core N570 Processor, a HD built-in webcam. It is meant to last for 8,5 hours and Acer who is coming out with an 11.6 inch model has a unit with similar specs but will only be able to provide 6.5 hours of battery life. Google was big on the 8 seconds booting time but to be honest don’t you just wake up your computer most of the time?
The highly requested feature from the CR-48 trial program was the ability to transfer photos to the laptop, so Google added SD card and USB mass storage support, but despite the 16 GB of internal storage, people will not be able to store any files locally. The push is to get people into the cloud The 16 GB SSD is only used to cache movies and realistically 16GB isn’t really enough space to store much so you’d really have to use the cloud anyways.
Google added SD card support so people can upload their pictures directly to the cloud using the Chromebook. Its not very sexy, but it will get the job done! It is possible to plug a camera via USB but Chrome OS will only support the devices that cannot mount as USB mass storage.
For something like this to work we are going to need the guarantee of being constantly connected to the internet. Which is why the slightly more expensive worldwide 3G option comes with free, 100 MB per month of mobile broadband from Verizon for two years.
The Wi-Fi-only Acer starts at $349, with the price for the 3G worldwide model yet to be announced. The Samsung with Wi-Fi will cost $429, while the worldwide 3G version will set you back $499. If you ask me $is on par with full notebooks, they aren’t portable but they sure give you more bang for your buck! If you ask me the Chromebook is going to have to drop into the $250-$300 range if they want to take on the and Microsoft!!
Samsung Series 5 Specifications
0.79-inch thin case
Full-size Chrome keyboard
Oversized multi-touch trackpad
Intel Dual-core N570 1.66Ghz Processor
12.1-inch SuperBright Display – 36% brighter than standard display
Boots in less than 10-seconds
When asleep, resumes in 1 second
Up to 8.5 hours battery life – varies with type of usage
HD Webcam, built-in digital microphone and stereo speakers
Two USB ports – can charge mobile phones and accessories
Almost useless 16 GB internal storage (SSD)
USB mass storage support
SD, SDHC, MMC support
If you wanted to check out an official video of the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook here it is below: