Here come the Chromebooks

Here come the Chromebooks

Summary: In three weeks, we'll see the first Chromebooks, the Samsung Series 5 and the Acer Wi-Fi Chromebook. Here's what to expect.

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In about three weeks, we can stop talking about how Chromebooks-light-weight laptops running Google's Chrome OS-might, or might not, work in the real world because we'll get our hands on the first two models: the Samsung Series 5 and the Acer Wi-Fi Chromebook. Here's what we know now about them.

First things first. The Chromebooks you're going to see in mid-June are not going to be those dreadful beta CR-48 netbooks with some lipstick on. These are real netbook-sized laptops from Acer and Samsung: companies that know a thing or two about design.

Next, none of these laptops are powerhouses. For processors they use the 1.66GHz dual-core Intel Atom Processor N570 and they come with 2-gigabytes of RAM. On the other hand, they're not trying to run Windows 7 or even Ubuntu Unity. They're running Chrome OS, which is little more than the latest Chrome Web browser with a bare-bones Linux foundation. You don't need much to run that.

Each one also comes with a 16GB Solid State Drive (SSD). I've already heard people talking about how little that is. They're right. It's not much room at all. But, if you're focusing on that, you're missing the point. You're not installing software on these drives. Heck, if you use Google Docs for your documents and the still beta Google Music for your music library, you may not have much of anything to put on that SSD. The idea is to have just enough storage for anything you feel you must have in hand and for everything else to be on the cloud.

All that said, here's what coming down the road:

Acer Wi-Fi Chromebook

11.6" HD Widescreen LED-backlit LCD: (1366 x 768) resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio Intel Atom Dual-Core Processor(1.66GHz, 1MB L2 cache, 667MHz FSB) 2GB DDR3 Memory Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150 16GB Solid State Drive Two Built-in Speakers 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi Two USB 2.0 Ports, 4-in-1 memory card reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC) One HDMI Port Touchpad 6-cell Lithium-Ion Battery-Up to 8-hours battery life Webcam: 1.3-Megapixel

So far, Acer is the low-cost leader. The company will sell its Chromebook for $349. The unit will first be available from Amazon and Best Buy. It's also showing up on some sites, but it can't be pre-ordered and it's only available in the U.S.

Samsung Series 5 with 3G

12.1" (WXGA) LED (1280x800)Resolution Intel Atom Dual-Core Processor(1.66GHz, 1MB L2 cache, 667MHz FSB) 2 GB DDR Memory NM10 Graphics Chipset 16 GB solid-state drive (SSD) Two Built-in Speakers 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, integrated 3G (via optional Verizon Wireless subscription) Two USB 2.0 Ports, 4-in-1 memory card reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC) VGA (via optional dongle)Port Touchpad Audio: Built-in stereo speakers, combo headphone/microphone jack Battery: 6-cell battery for up to 8.5 hours of use Webcam: 1.3-Megapixel

The 3G model will sell for $499, while the Wi-Fi version will run for $429. The big difference, at this point, is the somewhat larger display. Like the Acer, these will be first available from Amazon and Best Buy.

Will they be worth it? Can you actually use them as a replacement for your laptop? Stay tuned and we'll see. I plan on putting one or the other of them to the test as soon as I can my hands on one.

Related Stories:

Five Reasons why Google's Linux Chromebook is a Windows killer

Google Chromebook pilots ahead: What we can learn from the CR-48?

Google Chromebooks: Aimed directly at Microsoft's PC upgrade cycle for $28 a month

Xi3 ChromiumPC: First desktop PC to run Google Chrome OS due in July

Who Google has in mind for its Chrome OS users

Topics: Google, Hardware, Mobility

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86 comments
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  • Thin clients beware

    The next generation-1 thin clients are coming out from Google.
    Your Non Advocate
    • RE: Here comes the Chromebooks

      @facebook@...

      Damn, it's like yoyos. Every few years the thin client scam rears its ugly head again. The difference this time is that it's an advertising company - good luck with that.

      Would someone like to explain the difference between malware and Chrome-OS?
      tonymcs@...
      • RE: Here comes the Chromebooks

        @tonymcs@...

        Can someone explain the difference between some comments and stupidity?
        Watchman247
      • RE: Here comes the Chromebooks

        @tonymcs@...
        their is non chrome-os is a malware.
        saneblane
      • RE: Here comes the Chromebooks

        @tonymcs@...

        [i]Would someone like to explain the difference between malware and Chrome-OS? [/i]

        You can get malware for free, without having to buy a netbook?
        Hallowed are the Ori
      • RE: Here comes the Chromebooks

        @Watchman247

        "Can someone explain the difference between some comments and stupidity?"

        I cannot, but I can demonstrate it -----

        "Can someone explain the difference between some comments and stupidity?"
        Your Non Advocate
      • RE: Here comes the Chromebooks

        @tonymcs@...
        Don't use big words like thin+client+scam if you need to ask the malware question in the same post. You're a silly troll.
        freetulisten
      • RE: Here comes the Chromebooks

        @tonymcs@...
        Advertising company?? R u out of ur mind ?? You know nothing of computer science or related technology.
        pinkfloydhighhopes
    • RE: Here comes the Chromebooks

      @facebook@...

      Hope they also don't have [i]1.66GHz duel-core Intel Atom Processor N570 [/i] in them also - didn't know cpu's dueled in this day and age :D
      rhonin
      • RE: Here comes the Chromebooks

        @rhonin Truth be told, I take no offense to the occassional typos in blog posts or comments. Many people are rushed to get their product to market.

        I am more offended by the cheer cheer rah rah attitude of SJVN than anything else. He downplays the significant shortcomings of the hardware whilst still promoting how this uninspired device will somehow transform the world in ways that the nettop, netbook, thin client, Phoenix hyperspace, Oracle Sun Ray clients, and the host of all the other appliances that came before it failed. Quite frankly, he has yet to lay out a single cogent argument of why anyone would want or need one.
        Your Non Advocate
    • RE: Here comes the Chromebooks

      @facebook@...

      Your picture and your nick dont fit! Facebook sells your data, not google!
      Watchman247
      • RE: Here comes the Chromebooks

        @Watchman247

        my nickname is my email address that i use for forums. the picture is simply one that helps me identify my posts more quickly in long discussion threads.
        Your Non Advocate
      • When the collector of the data, and the client for the data,

        are one and the same, there is no need to sell the data.

        Google is the client for the data they collect, and they use that data to enrich themselves. No need to sell to a third party. Third parties count on Google's data collection for targeted advertising through Google themselves.
        adornoe
      • RE: Here comes the Chromebooks

        @Watchman247
        What if chromebooks are another test ( after cr48 ) ,
        and the final products will be the CHROME-PHONES ?

        http://pantestmb.blogspot.com/2011/06/chromebooks-first-chromephones-next.html
        auntaru
  • Can I install a full OS also?

    I can't wait for these to be rooted so I can do whatever I want with one.

    BTW, Chromebooks is plural, hence "Here come...."
    Economister
    • You can pull out the battery, remove black tape on hidden switch

      @Economister
      Then run a script to put into developer mode.
      Hack your brains out.

      This is going to be beaucoup fun.
      Brought to you by Google and Linux.

      Choice IS gooood.
      Dietrich T. Schmitz, -*- Your Linux Advocate
      • Message has been deleted.

        Tim Cook
      • RE: Here comes the Chromebooks

        @Dietrich T. Schmitz, -*- Your Linux Advocate

        I agree, choice is good. And I choose a computer with an operating system that runs the software I want, and offers me the extensibility and hardware support that I also want. My choice is not to waste my money on a do-nothing-other-then-surf-the-Internet netbook.
        Raid6
      • RE: Here comes the Chromebooks

        @Dietrich T. Schmitz, -*- Your Linux Advocate
        You are so right
        pinkfloydhighhopes
    • Why?

      @Economister I'm confused why you would care to root these. This whole concept of "rooting" your PC is idiotic, as why purchase a PC you have to root when there are plenty alternatives you won't have to mess with to achieve the same effect?

      What benefits are you planning on getting by "rooting" this device? In the end, they are all netbooks locked to a single OS. Just get a cheaper netbook with the same specs, and mess around with it. Problem solved.
      vel0city