TMCnet Feature
October 19, 2012

Samsung Chromebook Runs on ARM, Costs $249

By Rory Lidstone, TMCnet Contributing Writer

Google (News - Alert), like any successful company, is known for its successes. As such, many may be unfamiliar with the company's Chrome OS. This isn't to say that Chrome is a failure; it's not. It just hasn't really taken off yet, but with yesterday's release of a new Samsung-manufactured, ARM (News - Alert)-based Chrome OS laptop — the new Samsung Chromebook — that may change.

This isn't the first Chrome device, nor is it the first Samsung-made Chrome laptop — the first being the Samsung (News - Alert) Series 5 550 — but this second-generation Chrome device has a two primary differentiators that set it apart not only from other Chrome devices, but from Windows and Mac laptops as well.

Image via

First of all, and most importantly, the Chromebook costs a mere $249, making it possibly the cheapest laptop on the market right now — and cheaper than most tablets — while still sporting rather impressive build quality and top-notch hardware. First generation Chrome laptops from Samsung and Acer (News - Alert) were priced more closely to netbooks at the time — the Series 5 550 cost about $500 — making them less appealing than Windows-based machines as Chrome is nowhere near as fleshed out as Windows 7.

The other differentiator is the fact that the Chromebook is an ARM-based device. ARM architecture has made significant improvements compared to even a year ago, allowing the Chrome OS to run about as smoothly on its Samsung Exynos 5250 1.7 Ghz Cortex A15 dual-core processor as on any low-powered x86 AMD (News - Alert) or Intel offering. Granted, it probably can't hold up in terms of raw processing and benchmark numbers, but for the HTML5-based Chrome OS, raw power hardly matters. Rather, an ARM processor means that the Chromebook will likely provide exceptional battery life.

However, despite its differences, the Chromebook falls into an odd category as most people already have a tablet or a laptop, but Google sees it as "the perfect addition computer" for users. A Google spokesperson also underscored its price point in a statement:

"We believe computers need to be easy to use and more affordable so everyone can have access to them," said Caesar Sengupta, Director of Product Management, Chrome OS. "So together with Samsung, we're excited to introduce the new Chromebook for $249, the computer for everyone."

Google recently saw a 20 percent drop in profit with revenue falling short of expectations.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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