Affordable Chromebooks for the Holidaysby Jarred Walton on November 21, 2011 4:50 PM EST
- Posted in
- Chrome OS
We received two press releases this morning relating to Chromebooks, one from Acer and one from Samsung. Starting with Acer, they have announced a $50 price drop on their AC700 Chromebook, bringing the price to $299 for the standard model or $399 for the Verizon 3G model (note that the latter is apparently out of stock right now). The Acer AC700 sports a standard Atom N570 CPU (dual-core, 1.66GHz, with Hyper-Threading), an 11.6" LCD, 2GB DDR3 RAM, and a 16GB SSD. It weighs in at just over three pounds and has a suggested battery life of six hours.
In a similar vein, Samsung has recently updated their Series 5 Chromebook with a new offering at a lower price point. The Series 5 XE500C21 comes with a 12.1" SuperBright display, with the remaining features echoing what Acer offers: 2GB RAM, 16GB SSD, and an N570 CPU. Samsung equips the Series 5 with a 6-cell battery and rates the battery life at up to 8.5 hours. Pricing on the WiFi-only model starts at $349, while the 3G-equipped models will go for $449. The Series 5 is available in white, silver, or black.
We looked at the initial Chromebook and Chrome OS reference platform late last year, but we haven't actually had any hands-on time with a shipping Chromebook (yet). The core idea behind Chromebook is that the proliferation of smartphones and tablets has opened people up to using new types of devices and changing operating systems, and it should be far more secure as the applications come through Google's app store.
We're trying to get some Chromebooks in for testing now that hardware is available at retail. We're basically looking at netbook-type hardware, except with a small 16GB SSD standard and with a different OS. We've complained about netbook performance in the past, but running a full copy of Windows (or Linux) is quite different from running an optimized-for-the-hardware version of Chrome OS. Pricing is similar to what you'd pay for netbooks as well, but the designs at least appear to be a bit more elegant than most Windows netbooks.
Source: Press Releases
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trochevs - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link"In a similar vein, ... and an N270 CPU."
Did you mean N570 processor? N270 is single core Atom.
JarredWalton - Monday, November 21, 2011 - linkYup, sorry. I linked the N570 above and then put the wrong number in on the Samsung. :-)
sprockkets - Monday, November 21, 2011 - link"and it should be far more secure as the applications come through Google's app store."
Well, if they don't vet apps on Android, why then Chrome? And if they do on Chrome, why not Android?
inighthawki - Monday, November 21, 2011 - linkI'm just curios, just for more of a statistical purpose,
How many people here are interested in buying a chromebook?
B3an - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - linkNo one? Absolute fail. Makes Google TV look like a massive hit.
aryonoco - Monday, November 21, 2011 - linkI am, I'm very interested in both having one, and evaluating it for my parents' use.
Last time I checked ChromeOS still had no easy GUI way of configuring a VPN, which is a deal breaker, but they were working on it. If that's fixed, this could be a perfect replacement for my Dad's Eee PC 701 (yeah, the original one, still going strong).
Thing is though... why Atom? Isn't Zacate comprehensively better than Atom?
Also, waiting for the day where ChromeOS fully runs on ARM. I think running Chromebooks with a Cortex-A9 is going to be very interesting, especially considering the potential battery savings and lower costs.
Penti - Monday, November 21, 2011 - linkDrivers, there is proper open source drivers for the GMA3150. However it's lacking in features instead. They are basically useless. A computing platform which doesn't do video acceleration, or has the power to run heavier flash stuff or anything. Chromium on ARM runs fine already however. But it's not the cpu that makes them cost 500 dollars.
Beenthere - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - linkYou sure get a lot more from Llano for the price than from Atom.
Pessimism - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link$300 is too high for a netbook. $450 for one is insane. Affordable would be $99, which is probably what the hardware in these is worth. Being a chromebook the manufacturers can't even use the tired old "the windows license drives up the cost and by the way we also have to install 500 malware applications to subsidize it" excuse. Time and time again we have been promised devices at the $100 price point and all we ever get are excuses, excuses, greed and lies when they never reach market.
There is absolutely no reason why any person should buy one of these over a used enterprise class laptop such as a Lenovo T60 or Dell Latitude D630 which would blow it out of the water in every way possible except for size/weight. Just remember to get the intel graphics versions and not the nvidia bumpgate timebombs. If your back can't handle an extra 1-2 pounds, you need to see a chiropractor, hit the gym, or barring that, hold off on your morning coffee and donut for a week.
MrSpadge - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - link"which would blow it out of the water in every way possible except for size/weight, battery life and noise"