Print 16 comment(s) - last by Motoman.. on May 31 at 11:28 AM

  (Source: Samsung)
New models will soon receive Google's dramatic Aura OS overhaul

Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (KSC:005930) today announced a trio of products sporting Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Chrome OS, a browser-centric Linux distribution.  Thus far the Chrome sales experiment has been less than great for Samsung and Taiwan's Acer Inc. (TPE:2353), the pair of early adopters.  Sales of Acer and Samsung models which launched in May 2011 are in the thousands of units.

But with a much improved Windows 8-like "Aura" update has polished some of Chrome OS's rough edges and Samsung is hoping that, coupled with new hardware will finally attract customers.

The South Korean computer-maker announced a trio of new Chrome products today,  following the company's CES 2012 teaser in January.  The new lineup features two ChromeBook variants (laptops) and the first mass-released ChromeBox:

Series 5 ChromeBook 550

Chromebook Refresh
[Image Source: Samsung]
  • Price:
    $449 (Wi-Fi only); $549 (Wi-Fi + 3G) (up from $429/$499)
  • Display: 12.1 inches (unchanged)
  • CPU: 
    1.3 GHz dual-core Intel Corp. (INTC) Sandy Bridge Celeron 867 (improved from a 1.66 GHz dual-core Atom)
  • RAM: 4 GB (up from 2 GB)
  • Storage: 16 GB SSD (unchanged)
  • Weight: 3.3 lb (unchanged)
  • Thickness: < 1 in. (25.4 mm)
  • I/O:
    USB x2; HDMI (upgraded from Mini-VGA); ethernet; 4-in-1 memory card slot, 1 MP webcam, headphones/microphone jack
  • Battery Life: 6 Hours (down from 8.5 hr)

Series ChromeBox
[Image Source: Samsung]
  • Price: $329
  • CPU:
    1.9 GHz dual-core Intel Celeron B840 (Sandy Bridge)
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Storage: 16 GB SSD
  • Weight: 2.45 lb
  • I/O:
    USB x6; HDMI (upgraded from Mini-VGA); ethernet; 2 x DP+++ (DVI+HDMI), 1 MP webcam, headphones/microphone jack
  • Size: 7.6 x 7.6 x 1.3-inches

Both laptops feature integrated graphics.  While the price point on the ChromeBox is pretty attractive, Samsung's approach with the ChromeBook laptop is a bit baffling.  The company took a poor-selling model, raised the price and offered a mixed bag of improvements and performance cuts.  While the display output, RAM, CPU were all improved, the battery capacity was cut.

Aura is currently in Google's developer channel.  The Samsung press release did not mention the OS version, but these models are expected to soon receive the upgrade.

The Chrome OS Samsung 'boxes and 'books are available from, Inc. (AMZN), Best Buy Inc. (BBY), Tiger Electronics, Newegg, and

Source: Samsung

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By retrospooty on 5/30/2012 11:24:33 AM , Rating: 2
LOL... In other words it has standard video ports. Marketing at its finest.

I suppose its decent for a cheap internet machine, but I wouldn't want one.

By Apone on 5/30/2012 12:02:55 PM , Rating: 5
I'm not defending Google or its Chromebook here but I feel compelled to comment on your quote "Marketing at its finest." in regards to your comment headline. I think Apple is the ultimate representation of "In other words it has standard video ports. Marketing at its finest." since Apple sells perceived value and hype. Don't get me wrong, I own both a Dell XPS 15 and a Macbook Pro but it baffles me as to how many Apple fans preach the Gospel according to Jobs because they don't perform their due diligence and often don't know the ridiculous price premium they pay for hardware is similar to competitors.

By retrospooty on 5/30/2012 11:59:06 AM , Rating: 2
"I feel compelled to comment on your quote "Marketing at its finest." in regards to your comment headline. I think Apple is the ultimate representation of "In other words it has standard video ports. "

I totally agree. I am not a fan of Apple's BS either... But to be fair, I call a turd a turd, if its Apple's, Google's, Samsungs or anyone else for that matter. Alot of people here at AT/DT could do with the same logic, rather than blindly defending thier platform of choice at all costs whether right or wrong. LOL... fanboys.

By tayb on 5/30/2012 12:06:31 PM , Rating: 2
Obsess much? This is an article about Samsung yet the drones always manage to find a way to talk about Apple.

By Apone on 5/30/2012 12:29:19 PM , Rating: 2
Nah I'm not obsessing, I just give credit where credit is due; retrospooty's comment "Marketing at its finest" immediately made me think of Apple upon initially reading his post. You cannot deny the fact that Apple does have a unique way of marketing its products....

By kmmatney on 5/30/2012 6:42:00 PM , Rating: 2
I'm in the Apple camp, but it has nothing to do with marketing. When I went to buy my first smartphone (company paid) I went to the AT&T store and tried out the phones. My requirements were simple - the phone needed Wifi capability, and needed to be able to browse the internet without sucking. This was in June 2009 - I tried every smartphone in the store, and only the iPhone could browse the web and not suck. There were android phones back then, but their hardware was terrible. The iPhone won on technical merit - nothing else.

By retrospooty on 5/30/2012 10:32:23 PM , Rating: 2
"My requirements were simple - the phone needed Wifi capability, and needed to be able to browse the internet without sucking"

LOL. Classic. Simple, yet elegant - but it says alot.

Back in 2009, it did suck, even browsing the web. Of course, now 3 years later Android has far surpassed iPhone in just about every way. Screen, speed, OS, UI, looks, brains, functionality, compatibility flexibility... pretty much a route in every category. The iPhone 5 cant come soon enough.

WAY too expensive
By Motoman on 5/30/2012 11:47:42 AM , Rating: 4
...with perfectly serviceable 15.6" Windows 7 laptops selling for ~$300, there is no compelling reason to buy a Chromebook at ~$500. Or anything above $300.

If you want to sell these products, you have to make them cheaper than the Windows competition...which means, at most, a Chromebook would have to sell for maybe $250.

No big mystery why it's been a flop so far. Why plop down money for a completely unknown OS that is compatible with normal software when you can get a fully capable Windows machine for less money?

RE: WAY too expensive
By retrospooty on 5/30/2012 11:53:18 AM , Rating: 2
Yup, I am not sure what they are thinking. The only hope for these to sell is to make it the "super cheap alternative". Less functionality, compatibility and flexibility for the same price just inst going to work.

RE: WAY too expensive
By sbtech on 5/30/2012 12:08:21 PM , Rating: 2

You cant beat the windows compatibility and software accessibility. Period.

The very reason I am holding off tablet till Win8 comes out. Hope Lenovo brings out a Thinkpad, sleek, thin, and built like a tank. And run win8 with the software. Now that will be sweet :)

RE: WAY too expensive
By Pirks on 5/30/12, Rating: 0
RE: WAY too expensive
By blue_urban_sky on 5/30/2012 1:08:40 PM , Rating: 2
No it isn't.

A bluetooth kb/mouse and your good to go. touch is not the end point for interaction.

RE: WAY too expensive
By EnzoFX on 5/30/2012 6:07:24 PM , Rating: 2
No it isn't. It's the next one. Whatever you want to do with an OS and a mouse/kb, you can do that now, why wait for Win8, I think his point still stands.

RE: WAY too expensive
By blue_urban_sky on 5/31/2012 4:09:07 AM , Rating: 2
To my knowledge there are no win7 tablets? And I believe its about device unification. I don't want a tablet AND a laptop if I can have a device that can perform both roles.

Touch screens have been in use from 1973 so I don't know if they qualify for 'the next one' unless you mean that literally as the mouse as we know it came out in 1970?. Arguably things like kinetics(xbox thing) would be 'the next one'

Don't get me wrong I think touch is great for a lot of interactions, although trying to use any serious software I believe will always be more productive using a mouse and kb.

I too am waiting to see what a win 8/Atom tablet can do, but I hope that touch will not be the only input. Either coming with a kb like the Transformer or easy connection to them.

RE: WAY too expensive
By Motoman on 5/31/2012 11:28:06 AM , Rating: 2
Good point about the touchscreen - it's amazing how many people think Apple invented it. Then again, not really, once you realize how stupid people tend to be...

When I was a kid my dad would take me sometimes to the community college he taught at, and sit me down in the computer lab. This is mid-70s by the way. The dumb terminals they had there were touch-screen...there were some learning games they had on their mainframe that utilized the touchscreen interface. This on monochrome CRT the 70s.

By sarfralogy on 5/30/2012 12:06:59 PM , Rating: 1
The news first turned up in an Intel press release -- the Chromebook and Chromebox will feature Intel processors. The Chromebook, now in its fifth generation, still promises simple, fast laptop computing with streamlined access to all Google's cloud services. The new Chromebox, starting at $329, promises the same in a compact home/office CPU box. Will these new releases help Google and the Chrome OS break out of its rather esoteric consumer base and into the spheres of Mac, Windows, and Linux influence?

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini

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