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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
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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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 monitors...in the 70s.


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