Google has been making Chromebooks for a couple of years now and honestly they have been kind of disappointing. I like the idea of Chrome OS and the Chrome OS operating system, I just don’t like the idea of paying $500 for it. For that same price you could get a standard Windows laptop, or pretty much any tablet on the market. So for the past two years I haven’t been impressed with Chrome OS, but today Google announced the $250 ARM-powered Samsung Chromebook which changes my opinion on Chrome OS.
Google’s goal with the Samsung Chromebook is to have a Chrome OS machine as everyone’s second computer. To help convince you Google is selling the Samsung Chromebook for just $250 which is incredibly cheap. It’s $250 because instead of using a more expensive Intel processor the Chromebook uses an Samsung Exynos 5 Dual processor which is similar to what is inside of pretty much all smartphones and tablets today. The ARM chip is cheap, energy efficient, and pretty fast which is great. Google claims that the Samsung Chromebook can play back 1080p video at 30fps on the 11.6-inch 1366×768 display on the machine.
Along with the ARM processor the Samsung Chromebook features 16GB of solid state storage, 2GB of RAM, Bluetooth, WiFi, an option for 3G that costs a little bit more, an SD card slot, two USB ports, and an HDMI port. The whole package only weighs 2.5 pounds and is only 0.8-inches thick. So we are looking at a pretty standard Chromebook, but for half the price.
Google made the Samsung Chromebook available on the Google Play Store earlier today, but they have since marked it as coming soon. We can assume that Google sold out all of the available Chromebooks similar to what happened with the Nexus 7 earlier this year. The Chromebook is also marked as coming soon at other retailers like Amazon, however today is when the Chromebook was supposed to begin selling. If you manage to purchase and get a Samsung Chromebook for $250 you will get 100GB of cloud storage on Google Drive for two years allowing you to store all of your files in the cloud instead of the 16GB of solid state storage on the Chromebook.
Currently I have a desktop computer as my main computer, and my secondary computer is a netbook, and the Nexus 7. While the netbook works great the battery life isn’t quite the 6.5 hours that the Samsung Chromebook gets, and the lower resolution display doesn’t work well for web browsing. The Nexus 7 is great for browsing the web and consuming media, but there are still times when I need to type out documents on the go. So for $250 the Samsung Chromebook might just be the perfect upgrade for me. Although devices like the Microsoft Surface still are catching my eye.
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