Today at the Google I/O Conference, Samsung and Acer formally announced actual Chrome OS-running laptops. We've already gotten full details on Samsung's model, called the Series 5, and it seems at first glance to offer a tempting combination of performance and price, provided that Chrome OS is everything it's promising to be.
Samsung Series 5 Chromebook (photos)See all photos
Right off the bat, the most appealing part of the 3G version is its two-year included 100MB/month data plan via Verizon. It's the only 3G laptop we can think of that comes with free data, albeit a pretty small amount. The Series 5 starts at $429 for a Wi-Fi-only model and $499 for Wi-Fi/3G. Available in two colors, "Titan Silver" or white, the Series 5 looks like a sleek Netbook, not unlike the prototype Chromebook sent by Google last year. While Samsung's press release provided a healthy dose of specs, certain details were left out, which we discovered via the Amazon preorder page.
Here are the stats:
- 11.6 inches by 8.6 inches, 0.79 inch thick
- 3.3 pounds
- A full-size keyboard
- Multitouch touch pad
- 1.66 GHz dual-core Intel Atom N570 processor
- A 12.1-inch SuperBright display at 300 nits, with a 16:10 aspect (no pixel resolution given)
- Instant-on from standby, and an 8-second boot time
- 16GB SSD drive
- 2GB RAM
- HD Webcam
- Two USB ports
- 8.5 hours of battery life
- SD/SDHC/MMC/SDXC card slot
- stereo speakers
Our updated take: While we initially found the Series 5 to be an intriguing option based on Samsung's initial erroneous report of a Core 2 Duo processor, we're a little less bullish on an Atom-based 12-incher with only 16GB of onboard storage. Chrome OS might be lighter than Windows XP, but we'd still prefer more media storage space. The package sounds a lot like the Lenovo 12-inch Ideapad we reviewed a while back. At this price, you could also get a 11.6-inch Wi-Fi AMD E-350-powered ultraportable running Windows 7.
The Series 5 will be available June 15 from Amazon and Best Buy.com, in the U.S. as well as the U.K., Germany, Spain, France, and Italy. It's currently available for preorder.
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Complete coverage: Google I/O