New Samsung Chromebook: ARM processor and $249

Samsung and Google have unveiled the next generation Chromebook. The new Samsung Chromebook sports an ARM processor, a MacBook Air form, for only $249.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor
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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.

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Hardware specs

  • Model Number: XE303C12
  • Display Size: 11.6-inches
  • Display: 1366x768 resolution; 200nit brightness
  • Weight: 2.43 lbs (1.1.kg)
  • 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.

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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.

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