Google Reboots The Chromebook: ARM Meets Notebook For $249by Jason Inofuentes on October 18, 2012 10:11 PM EST
- Posted in
- Chrome OS
- Exynos 5 Dual
Google's been known to throw the spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. And for every GMail and Android, there's a Wave and Buzz. At best, Google's Chromebook initiative is valiantly clinging to the wall, lost ground not withstanding. Today, they've unveiled their latest Chromebook collaboration with Samsung, and it's frankly quite exciting. The 11.6" notebook weighs in at just 2.5 lbs, and gets to be the first device sporting Samsung's Exynos 5 Dual (5250). Sound familiar? That would be the first ARM Cortex-A15 SoC to show up in a commercially available device, and the first potentially mainstream ARM based PC to hit the market.
The rest of the specs are relatively modest, the 11.6" panel has a respectable 1366x768 resolution, a VGA camera, SD card slot, one each USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, and an HDMI port. Bluetooth and WiFI are built-in, though this generation foregoes the 3G modem of the first Chromebook. Some noise has been made about the quoted 6.5 battery life; we've never taken too much stock in PR provided data. The Cortex-A15 can be a power hungry SoC when stressed, and there's no details on battery capacity, so we'll have to handle the hardware ourselves to size up the battery life.
The SSD is a zippy but small 16GB, but local storage isn't really the point of a cloud-centric Chromebook. And to help allay storage fears, Google's including 100GB of Google Drive capacity for 2 years, with the the purchase of the $249 laptop. That additional cloud storage sweetens the value of the device, too; paying for the service out of pocket would cost $120 over the two year span. So, is this the Chromebook that will finally win us over? We'll find out soon, preorders start today, and sales start Monday.
Update: Turns out a 3G option is available, though unannounced. Service is included in the cost of the device for 2-years, up to 100MB a month, and is provided by Verizon. The 3G SKU will cost you $329, and is available for pre-order now.
Also, I misspoke on the matter of this being the first ARM based PC, I hope the edit adds some clarity.
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kenour - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - linkBooks are so 20th century, we want boxes! :P
This would be my 'old family member's' computer of choice. Simple, easy, cheap.
coder543 - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - linkwhy chromebox instead of chromebook for the aforementioned family members? a laptop is all-in-one, so to them it is even simpler, in most cases.
kenour - Friday, October 19, 2012 - linkBecause 24" screens are cheap, and old peoples eyes are crap.
aryonoco - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - linkThis would be the perfect computer for my parents. They literally don't use anything other than the browser, and are already hooked into the Google ecosystem thanks to Android and Gmail, so this would suit them well.
Would be great if you could get your hands on it and do a proper review, especially as this is the first A15 device in the wild!
amdwilliam1985 - Monday, October 22, 2012 - linkgreat idea, I'm also interest in the capability of that A15.
Heard it's much more powerful but also more power hungry.
ken.c - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link" the first PC to feature neither Intel nor AMD."
Puh-leeze. This fails on all measures. If you mean first PC without x86 overall, well, it's patently NOT (see half the stuff at http://oldcomputers.net). If you mean first Windows PC, oops, it's not a Windows PC. If you mean first… oh hell, you get the idea.
Darn kids, get off my lawn.
Aenean144 - Friday, October 19, 2012 - linkYeah. Maybe the author just totally forgot? It's not even the first ARM laptop within the last 3 years, let alone 10 years ago.
Zoomer - Friday, October 19, 2012 - linkYou should have said Ultrabook form factor computing device.
Well, except it's not. See transformer.
JasonInofuentes - Friday, October 19, 2012 - linkYeah, my fault, I meant in quite some time.
Kevin G - Friday, October 19, 2012 - linkIndeed. Go back 15 years and you can find non-x86 hardware running Windows. I wouldn't classify them as PC's as they were more workstations or servers but they existed. In a similar vein, until recently MS supported a command line version of Windows on Itanium systems.
Also around that time Apple has moved to PowerPC from the Motorola 68k line, both radically different architectures than x86. Then again, one could go about calling them Macs instead of PC's.
There is also the Crusoe chip which was non-x86 but ran x86 software by merit of binary translation software and ran Windows.