Google Chromebooks From Samsung and Acer
Google's much-anticipated Chromebooks are finally here. At the Google I/O conference Wednesday, Google unveiled the first laptops to be sold running the Chrome OS--two models from Samsung and one from Acer. The concept is popular: Over a million people requested the Chrome CR-48 prototype netbook, which was not made available to the general public. [Watch a video of the Google Chromebooks announcement.]
Chromebooks are designed to be lean and quick and take advantage of the cloud as much as possible. That means they'll be thin on storage space but will boot up in seconds, according to Google. Both systems will contain dual-core Intel Atom processors. Let's take a closer look.
Also of Interest:
Samsung Series 5 Chrome OS Laptop
Samsung plans to offer a Chromebook in either white (shown here) or Titan silver. Both will have a 12.1-inch display, weigh 3.26 pounds, and have built-in Wi-Fi and optional world-mode 3G capability. Either laptop comes with 2 USB 2.0 ports, a 4-in-1 memory card slot, a mini-VGA port, an HD webcam, and a full-size Chrome keyboard with an oversized trackpad that is fully clickable. The Wi-Fi version will sell for $429 and the 3G for $499.
Acer Chromebook With 11.6-Inch LED-Backlit LCD Display
Acer's Chromebook will be slightly less expensive and a bit smaller than Samsung's. The Chromebook has an 11.6-inch display, and weighs 2.95 pounds. It comes with built-in dual-band Wi-Fi and optional world-mode 3G capability.
The Chromebook sports an HD webcam, HD audio support, 2 USB 2.0 ports, a 4-in-1 memory card slot, an HDMI port, the full-size Chrome keyboard and the oversized trackpad that is fully clickable. The Acer Wi-Fi version is expected to be priced at $349.
Samsung Chromebooks Have 12.1-Inch Display
Both of Samsung's models have a 12.1-inch, 1280 pixel-by-800-pixel display, which is at the upper range of current netbook sizes. However, you could call Chromebooks the first real netbooks as they are specifically designed to fully make use of the Internet.
A Closeup of the Samsung Series 5 Keyboard
Samsung's laptop uses a standard, compact Chrome keyboard with no frills and an oversized, clickable trackpad. A notable addition is the "search" button where the Caps lock is normally found. This is the Titan Silver model.
Chromebook Battery Life Claims
Acer says its Chromebook will have six hours of continuous usage on a single charge. Samsung says its models will have 8.5 hours of battery life with continuous usage.
Amazon Chromebooks Store
Both the Samsung and Acer Chromebooks are listed on Amazon right now. Ordering begins on June 15. They also will be available for preorder from Best Buy.
Chrome OS Log-In
Here is a screenshot of Chrome's log-in screen with multiple user support. Google says the new systems will boot up in 8 seconds and wake up from sleep instantly.
Chrome Web Store
Google hopes Chrome's web store, shown here, will play the same role for Chromebook users as the Android market place does for smartphone users--providing a central place in the cloud for acquiring media content and apps.
Google Video Chat on Chrome OS
Google says the Chromebooks will be optimized to take advantage of Mountain View's existing cloud-based communications services like Video Chat, shown here. The Samsung and Acer laptops all come with HD Webcams with noise-cancelling microphones.
Chromebooks Can Be Leased
Google also announced a special leasing terms--offering Chromebooks for $28 a month for businesses and $20 for educational use. The Chrome laptop shown here is the Samsung Series 5 in white.