Cost of Building a Chromebook is Higher than a Netbook

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18 Jun, 2011 3:00 pm


Just a few days ago on June 15th Samsung started selling their Series 5 Chromebook. The idea of the Chromebook is that all your information lives online so you don’t have store any programs or data on the device itself. One would think that removing the need for a hard drive would drive down the cost to at least that of a netbook or lower. Its only the operating system that makes the Chromebook different then a netbook, since when you run Chrome you aren’t able to use any of Windows desktop applications and are pushed exclusively to programs that run online or in the cloud.

So why does the Chromebook cost so much more than a netbook? Its basic parts are the same so why is it costing Samsung $334 to build the 3G version of its Chromebook Series 5 when similar spec’ed netbooks with full hard drives retail for around the same price.

Looks at a budget netbook running a similarly priced processor the Intel Pentium SU4100, the Hannspree SN12 Notebook with the same 12.1-inch display will run you only $299. This is less then what Samsung paid to build the Chromebook. The Acer Aspire One AOD255E shares the same Atom A570 CPU as the Chromebook, but its a 10.1″ display is a little cheaper but it retails for $269!

If you want to know exactly why the Chromebook is so expensive, IHS iSuppli breaks it down pointing out that the motherboard is the most expensive component with a $86.37 price tag. This funds the Intel Atom N570 CPU that fails to outshine similar processors. Samsung pays an addition $42 for the 3G radio. Are these high price components worth it when you’re missing out on a full desktop experience? I don’t think so… this pricing game on the build could be the downfall of the Chromebook since price is a driving factor when looking at secondary devices like these.

Via LaptopMag


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  • sola

    I agree. I wouldn’t pay the same price for a web-limited laptop as a full-blown netbook.

    People may compromise if they see a good price tag (say $199) but not likely, if they see the same or even higher price.

  • Anonymous

    The Microsoft bulk discount showing its absence?

    And $42 for a freaking mobile radio? No wonder i feel that going from non-phone to phone seems to have a crazy price jump at times. Maybe even more so if the hardware company involved think they can get the carrier to subsidize the product anyways.

  • Nicole Scott

    Even the carriers dont seem to be stepping up since, the 3G version is actually more expensive!!!!!