For those bitter many of us who didn’t receive Google’s free tester CR-48 in the mail yet, the debut of Samsung’s new Series 5 Chrome-running notebook may bring some relief.
The new notebook was seen during the Google I/O conference this week when the company announced the launch of the long awaited Chromebooks. In June, the first retail marketed “Chromebook” will be available from Samsung at just $429 (wi-fi only) or $499 with 3G coverage from Verizion including 100MB of bandwidth per month.
At 12.1” this is larger than a netbook and the same size as Google’s original tester model. It’s very thin (.79” thick) and fairly lightweight (3.3 pounds). Other specs include a 1.66 GHz dual-core Intel Atom N570 processor, full-size Chrome keyboard (no Windows/Apple keys here, guys) 2 GB of RAM, 16GB of flash storage, 8.5 hours of battery life and even an HD webcam with a noise canceling mic along with USB and media card inputs. The Samsung Chromebook comes in white and “Titan Silver”.
While the minimal flash storage seems like a concern, Chrome doesn’t even necessarily utilize all of that flash storage being the entire OS is based online. This is where the pros and cons are weighed. Chrome is a very simple OS and quite comparable to Apple’s Macbook Air with flash storage and instant boot out of standby. In fact, Chrome only takes 8 seconds to load up when off. The question remains, is $429 worth having your entire computing experience solely on the web? We’ll have to find out on June 15, when the world can finally order one on Amazon or Best Buy.