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Chrome OS on the cheap: Samsung Chromebook (pictures)

Here's a look at the third round of Chrome OS products. This ARM-based system is smaller, lighter, and cheaper than earlier Chromebooks.

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Stephen Shankland
Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and writes about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
Stephen Shankland
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Chromebook 11.6-inch screen

The Samsung Chromebook features an 11.6-inch matte screen.
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Samsung Chromebook search key

Chromebooks come with a Search key rather than a Caps Lock key. Clicking it lets people launch apps from a grid that pops up or initiate a regular Web search.
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Chromebook vs. MacBook Air

An 11-inch MacBook Air is wider than the Samsung Chromebook, but it's not as deep or as thick.
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4 of 23 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Samsung Chromebook: Ports on the back

The back of the Samsung Chromebook is where the ports are located: USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and HDMI 1.4. There's also a SIM card slot and power plug.
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Cloud computing options

Chrome OS gives you tips on how to swap out iTunes, Skype, and Microsoft Office with Web-based alternatives -- from Google, of course.
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Samsung Chromebook hinge bulge

When the Samsung Chromebook is closed, its hinge bulges up out of the top.
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B is for beetle

What computer is totally free of bugs? At least this beetle knew which key to land on.
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Samsung Chromebook underside

The bottom of the Samsung Chromebook has four rubber feet and two speaker grilles. The sound can be muted by whatever clothing is on a person's lap.
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Google Drive sync

Google has now integrated Chrome OS and Google Drive, so logging on to a Chromebook grants mostly seamless access to online files. The first synchronization can take a long time.
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Samsung Chromebook vs. Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook

The Samsung Chromebook, left, is smaller, thinner, lighter, and cheaper than the earlier Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook.
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Samsung Chromebook touch pad

A wide touch pad accommodates multitouch gestures. You can tap lightly or push down more firmly to click buttons.
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Samsung Chromebook top

The Samsung Chromebook has clean, uncluttered lines, except for a protruding hinge on the top.
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Samsung Chromebook left edge

On the left edge of the Samsung Chromebook is an SD Card slot and a headphone-microphone jack.
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The keyboard

The Samsung Chromebook has a non-backlit chiclet keyboard with controls for screen brightness, volume, window switching, and browser navigation along the top. A wide touch pad supports multitouch gestures.
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Samsung Chromebook

A welcome screen gives tips on Chromebook usage such as the touch pad and Google Drive.
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Samsung Chromebook

The Samsung Chromebook uses a Samsung Exynos 5 Dual processor, a dual-core system-on-a-chip based on the ARM Cortex A15 design.
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Samsung Chromebook welcome help

The Samsung Chromebook offers tips on using its touch pad when it's first run.
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Samsung Chromebook Webcam

Atop the Chromebook is a Webcam for Google+ hangouts or other video tasks.
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Chrome Web Store

Want to install a Web app? Google's Chrome Web Store has them for sale. Many are little more than pointers to a Web page, but some such as games can be quite sophisticated.
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Samsung Chromebook

When the Chromebook is first started up, it asks for language and network settings.
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Google branding

Samsung builds the new Chromebook, but Google makes the operating system and gets equal billing on the top cover.
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Chromebook vs. MacBook Air thickness

The MacBook Air is significantly thinner -- and more expensive -- than the Samsung Chromebook.
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Chromebook vs. MacBook Air thickness

The MacBook Air tapers to become very thin at the front edge. Not so the Samsung Chromebook.

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