New Samsung Chromebook: ARM processor and $249

New Samsung Chromebook: ARM processor and $249

Summary: Samsung and Google have unveiled the next generation Chromebook. The new Samsung Chromebook sports an ARM processor, a MacBook Air form, for only $249.

TOPICS: Laptops, Google, Samsung
Samsung_Chromebook_front_webres (600x407)

Google had previously stated it was working to get the Chrome OS running on the ARM platform, and the new Samsung Chromebook is the result. The 11.6-inch Chromebook weighs less than 2.43 pounds and is priced at a ground-breaking $249. 

I have been using the new Samsung Chromebook for a few hours and am already planning to buy one. The Chrome OS runs superbly on the ARM platform, yielding outstanding performance and good battery life.

The new Chromebook looks like the smaller MacBook Air, with a silver plastic casing that feels sturdy. The size is more portable than that of most Ultrabooks at a price far lower than any existing computer.

Samsung_Chromebook_frontview2_webres (300x201)

Hardware specs

  • Model Number: XE303C12
  • Display Size: 11.6-inches
  • Display: 1366x768 resolution; 200nit brightness
  • Weight: 2.43 lbs (
  • Less than 0.8 inches thick (17.5 mm)
  • Battery Life: over 6.5 hours
  • Processor: Samsung Exynos 5250
  • Memory: 2GB
  • Storage: 16GB SSD (Google is including 100GB free online storage)
  • Webcam
  • Ports: 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, combo headphone/mic jack, secure digital memory slot
  • HDMI Port
  • Bluetooth 3.0™ Compatible
  • Speaker: 1.5W speaker X 2
  • Keyboard: Full-size Chrome keyboard
  • Wireless: 802.11 abg/n 2x2
  • MSRP: $249 USD / 229 GBP

The new Chromebook is running Chrome OS version 23.0.1271.39 daisy, the latest stable build. Performance with the Samsung ARM processor is fluid and lag-free. I have tested playing full-screen HD video and webGL apps and Samsung's claims of 30 fps are founded.

Samsung_Chromebook_backview_webres (300x235)

What makes the new Samsung Chromebook so disruptive in this writer's view is the outstanding performance, maximum portability, and the low price. This new laptop works better than the previous model, the Samsung Series 5 550 for half the price. Those on the fence about Chrome OS should find the $249 price a good incentive to give it a try.

I will be putting the new Chromebook through its paces as I get more time with it, but my few hours already demonstrate it is well worth the money. The Chromebook is available to preorder now from Best Buy, Amazon, PC World and "other retailers", with sales beginning next week.

Topics: Laptops, Google, Samsung

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  • New Samsung Chromebook: ARM processor and $249

    So when Google creates an ARM product you buy it but when Microsoft does it you don't. Did I get that right? The problem with this chromebook is that its still a chromebook and its coming from Google who have built in spyware in their web services and got caught red handed spying on its users. That's not a risk I can take.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • so don't

      Nobody is telling you to get one. Get what you want.
      • I won't

        I thought I made that clear in my post.
        Loverock Davidson-
        • Loverock Davidson is all we need to know! ;-P

          But.... he would be right if he did say Google Chromebook would be a better option in this case. Mainly because I was hoping they'd use their new ARM A15 5250. Which is what they are using LD!!! lol....

          So why does that have me so giddy? Because this Chromebook will carry the ability to run HARDWARE VIRTUALIZATION...... that's why. MS doesn't even want to include that feature, because the first thing Samsung and Google will do is give the ability boot Multiple OS's and that's going to put your buddies at Microsoft up against the wall if they stick with only allowing Win 8 RT devices to only boot their system under Secure Boot! :DDD

          Why???? Because with Xvisor Hypervisor (para-virtualization) , they'll be able to boot Windows 8 itself or just App modules that developers can sell in Chrome Store and Play Store. Plus being able to boot full Ubuntu running simultaneously with fully accelerated Virtualized hardware! I'm going to bet that Microsoft is going to be be forced to compete or lose massive sales to Samsung Google Chromebook! ;-P

          USB 3.0 powered multiport capability will have this selling like HOTCAKES COMING OFF A KING SIZED GRIDDLE!!!
          • @KronJohn

            Nice information to know, Thanks.
          • Interesting

            Is there any projection on when xVisor will be stable and feature complete? It's at v0.1.0, looks like ...

            And is there any real-world sense of how it does with 2GB of memory?

            Could be interesting to watch. Flying off the shelves, though? Umm ... I wish that were true, that there were that many people homebrewing on such, but honestly, can't see that happening. A few thousand units for this use case, sure ...
          • Ubuntu Boots Now! Unlocked Bootloader unlike MS UEFI Intel machines!

            This all depends on Google integrating support to speak directly to the bare metal (native) hypervisor if that what ARM SAMSUNG used. There was some talk of using another bare metal hypervisor. But Xvisor really small (kbytes) and it would just need a front end integrated into Chrome OS!

            The Hardware virtualization on A15 is a bit different than on mainstream systems. You can run Windows Apps or Linux Apps in Modules w/o the need to boot the entire OS Client. So although you could theoretically boot two operating systems on 2GB of DDR3 memory, their work being done to implement a RAMdisc partition much like AMD is doing. On fast Solid State Drive, when they get Xvisor up to speed!

            The memory architecture and controller is a Rambus design. I don't know if anyone realizes that Samsung owns part of Rambus now! I also think ARM is either in Partnership with RAMBUS or they too own a small portion of them now. Here's the ARM IP partnership link:

            Here's the video released quite a long time ago showing ARM A15 Hardware Virtualization:

            So basically what they're saying is that because it's hardware virtualization it'll be more secure than running it in Software Sandbox like Oracle's Virtual Box, etc. It will be faster as it's para-virtualization instead of straight up full virtualization. In other words, you're running the native OS Drivers for some hardware accelerated functions like GPU, etc right on the chip. Much more efficient by it's very nature. Then you'll only be running clients on top of the Host with a bare minimum of OS processes required to run the App!

            But yes..... theoretically you could run Ubuntu right now and boot an Android as Client or I would suppose you could run Chrome OS as a client now. This will push ARM Virtualization into competing directly with Enterprise, so they could make a sizable dent in Intel's market share. Mainly because ARM is doing this as an Open Source Project and really not tying themselves down by kowtowing to Apple and Microsoft like Intel has been doing.

            IBM is also in this race for Enterprise multi-boot and they've supported full para virtualization for years. Only they've been hampered by Proprietary Established OS's not willing to share their OS's. Apple never will.... but all it takes is one enterprising individual to thumb their nose at Apple's authoritarian control of their OS and Apple will have no say so as long as YOU are Virtualizing their OS and not doing a clone for sale! ....but if you can Windows 8 App modules as clients and run them on Linux (whether that be Ubuntu, Chrome or Android), who needs Apple anything? :D ......they're just screwing themselves with Enterprise Business!
          • run Windows apps on chromebook

            Wow I didn't know chromebook support virtualization. Does that mean that I would be able to run Windows 8 on it ( but ARM is not X86) ?

            Anyway for those intereste to use chromebook to "run" your windows apps, you can do so with software such as ThinServer. Provided you have a network connected to your Windows XP or Windows 7 machine. Info as below

        • gee

          you make a habit of going around commenting on things you have no intention of buying? you must be one busy busy boy.
      • Nobody overtly tells...

        But manipulation is not supposed to be done overtly, either...
      • My daughter wants to know how to print her homework?

        Any thoughts that don't require setting up a dedicated PC? Also, how does she get iTunes on it and load her iPod with her music? She plugs it into the USB port, but iTunes isn't coming up for her. She would also like to play minecraft. Is there a browser version of minecraft?
        • Get a cloud printer

          Most printers on sale now support Google cloud print.
    • I doubt it has anything to do with who made it

      One is 500$, 600 with a keyboard, and the other is 250$ with a keyboard.

      It doesn't take a genius.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • does it support touch?

        does it come with optional keyboard?
        can I take out keyboard use it as a slate?
        would it weigh less than surface or ipad with keyboard?
        do i have 3rd party apps?
        can it run good number of games?
        what are the options other GDoc there?
        I know about offline storage, but how much of the time I could be productive without networking?
        Can I still be productive without signing into Google Account? with surface or iPad I could. Privacy Vs. Connectivity comes down.

        Of course I could dual boot into Ubuntu and do withoug Googling around, but how many persons who are not you, James or I could do that? Would google or Samsung ship the chromebook with dual boot option preconfigured? I guess not, it would be suicidal if they do that.

        These are just few. Rest of the folks are not James who could bang anything other than Microsoft immediately to meet his needs, even if it is not, he has an issue of not accepting that, and you, D.T.Long and ABMers or ABAers.
        Ram U
        • We're talking about value, here

          The keyboard isn't optional, it just is.
          Nope, it isn't a tablet
          Nope, it isn't a tablet
          Nope, it is a netbook
          Browser games? Sure
          I think Office has an online solution
          I'm not sure about the offline options, but I know it has some
          Nope, you need your Google account.

          I'm hardly an ABAer, I've been a strong supporter of Windows (and Windows Phone) for quite a while now.

          I'm hardly an ABMer because I have an iPad and a Macbook Air.

          These are tools. If a 250$ tool does what I need it to, why should I buy a 600$ one (since I love keyboards)?
          Michael Alan Goff
          • Gah

            Switch those acronyms.


            My point is still valid!
            Michael Alan Goff
          • well i agree

            and most of the part I agree with you on many posts here and also these two posts, I just want to inform the readers that they are comparing two different beasts, one is for just mostly web surfing and the other is aimed at casual computer user to students.
            Ram U
          • I didn't intend to make it seem as though these are two of the same

            They aren't.

            I doubt Chromebooks are going to be good for everyone, but they do have an audience. I could see Chromebooks being really good for... say... primary and secondary schools.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • Also good for those Facebook fans

            All my wife does is use facebook her gmail account and search for recipes.
            Touch keyboards are no good, arthritis.
            This is perfect for her, looks sexy and is cheap.
            Give me a M$ surface at the same price and I would buy it as well.
          • Value?

            You are talking about value, and you don't want to overpay. Yet you have an ipad and the most overpriced computer/netbook of all time (macbook air)? Sorry, but that is quite a contradiction there.