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Google and Samsung announce new ARM-based Chromebook

Tom Morgan
19 Oct 2012
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11in ultra-portable to be cheapest Chromebook yet

Samsung and Google have unveiled their latest joint project - an ARM-powered Chromebook. The 11.6in mini laptop will cost just £229 when it goes on sale later this month, a price that Google hopes will make it available "for everyone".

Unlike previous Chromebooks which were based on Intel silicon, this new model uses and ARM Cortex-A15 processor designed by Samsung. The Exynos 5250 runs each of its two CPU cores at 1.7GHz, and should provide ample performance for Google's Linux-based Chrome OS yet still provide great battery life - Google is promising around six and a half hours on a single charge. It's also passively cooled, so you'll never hear the whir of a system fan inside.

Samsung Chromebook

As you might expect, specifications aren't particularly impressive - the 1,366x768 display, 2GB of RAM and 16GB SSD aren't likely to blow you away, but as the majority of Google's services are cloud-based there's little need for a large hard disk.

Samsung has been Google's preferred Chromebook partner for some time now, and this latest design is easily the company's best. The svelte chassis is more than reminiscent of the MacBook Air, but at 1.1kg weighs less. It's also well equipped, with one USB port, one USB3 port, HDMI video out, 3.5mm combination audio and an SD card reader.

Samsung Chromebook

Google is making a bigger marketing push with the latest Chromebook, putting it in more branches of Currys and PC world, as well as selling them through the Play Store online. "We are going to take more of an active presence in the market," Sundar Pichai, Google's senior vice president of Chrome and Google Apps, said. "We believe we have a device for the mainstream. You'll also see us run a marketing campaign like we've done with Chrome."

We'll be taking a closer look at the new Chromebook when it launches in the UK later this year.

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