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  (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
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 Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN), Best Buy Inc. (BBY), Tiger Electronics, Newegg, and BHPhoto.com.

Source: Samsung



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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.


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