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Google Announce $249/£229 ARM Chromebook

Google have today (October 18th) announced the availability of a new $249 Chromebook.

The device is powered by an ARM processor, one of the key enablers of the lower-than-usual price.

We weren’t alone in criticising the prices of the Samsung Series 550 Chromebook released earlier this year. They were priced above and beyond the ‘tipping’ point of casual consumers, and sat firmly in the enthusiast land.

As a result sales have been less than spectacular – making it the 2nd generation of Chrome devices to fall short of ‘taking off’ as Google hope. Acer’s 2nd Gen Chromebook has also gone quietly MIA.

But, not ready to give up yet, Google and Samsung are back with a newer, cheaper, ARM-powered Chromebook.

ARM Power

Powering – and lowering the price of – the device is a ARM A15-based Exynos Dual 15. Sounds complicated, right?

It’s made up of two ARM Cortex A15 cores clocked @ 1.7GHz a piece. This, paired up with the quad-core Mali-T604 for its GPU grunt, means that the Samsung ARM Chromebook will pack a powerful performance punch – on paper at least.

Google happily claim that it can decode 1080p video (albeit YouTube video) with ease.

Another beauty of ARM is longer battery life. Google say that this device can manage 6.5 hours of battery under ‘traditional usage’.

The Rest

The rest of the device is made up of  a 11.6″ screen (at the usual 1366 x 768 resolution), with a VGA webcam located atop it.

With 2GB of RAM, WiFi, Bluetooth, HDMI out, SD card reader, and 2 USB ports, the oddly un-named Samsung Chromebook sounds equally as capable as its Intel-toting siblings, if not more so.

There’s not a single moving part inside the 1.1kg, 0.8″ thick device – not even a fan! Aural bliss.

To sweeten the deal every device comes with 100GB of free Google Drive storage to complement the 16GB onboard SSD.


Want one? They’re on sale now for $249 in the US, and £229 in the UK.

No information on international availability have been given yet, but you’ll know as soon as we do.

  • Ofen

    Google has heard us… at last…

  • jjrudey

    The Google Drive offer is only for 2 years after you’ve redeemed it.

  • Mikko Kumara

    Now what we’ll be looking at next is some super-smooth scrolling and finger gestures similar to the web browser in the Macbook Air. Yes, really. That should already be possible even on a device priced this low.

    See this video for the kind of stuff I’m talking about:

  • muleyyy

    now THIS is what we have been waiting for, a laptop with ARM cpu!

  • fuzzylumpkins

    what about people who JUST bought a chromebook? do we get the 100gb drive storage?! if not, i feel burned…

  • Felix Watts

    It has two offline apps: paper weight and door stop

  • stewieX

    Can you easily replace or dual-boot with Ubuntu as you can on your average PC?

    • Hayden Bridges

      I don’t think so; they’re have been various discussions about it on this site and I think the major concern would be the SSD’s limited write cycles.

      • michel memeteau

        Wrong. it’s just the same as any netbook with eMMC, for example I use Ubuntu on my Toshiba AC100

        • Hayden Bridges

          Good for you

      • Craig

        Wow, it’s 2013 bro. That issue was solved years ago. The mean time to failure on SSDs is already beyond spinning media. Besides hardware write-levelling, TRIM has been supported in Linux since 2.6.

        It’s funny how people still dig up the news of yesteryear on the internet.

    • Hayden Bridges

      @stewieX:disqus I found this on the “Cr-48 wiki”

  • Ryan Hellyer

    This looks like the sort of device they should have had for a while. I’d been becoming very disillusioned with the quality and slow pace of development of Chromebooks. This has perked my interest somewhat. I’m tempted to upgrade if I can get my hands on one.

  • michel memeteau

    If we can dual Boot with a Full OS, it would just be the best ARM notebook ever !

    Anyone in the UK that could send me a unit to France ?

  • As a guy who was waiting for this announcement before deciding between this and the samsung 550, which one would you guys recommend?

    I don’t mind paying for the more expensive one, but obviously if it provides no difference then I’d be better off with this one.

    • fuzzylumpkins

      i was considering sending my 550 back so i could get the new one, but it has less ram, will run hotter (no fan!) and has a slightly smaller screen. the 550 is high quality stuff, ide at least wait for reviews of the ARM version.

    • I would wager this would be the better bet if you’re looking at it from a price -> performance ratio. It’ll also be much kinder on the battery.

  • My friend just sent me his 1st generation chromebook (the series 5)..and it figures that they’d announce this. lol! I’m not typing this on the chromebook but I do love the device.

  • Sabun

    Too bad Samsung is only willing to bet on Google (Android, Chromebook).
    It would be cool if they joined the modest lineup of Ubuntu sellers (Dell, Asus and Acer [are there anymore?]).

  • No fan? We all know how that worked out with the Apple 3…

  • Israel Lai

    Looks ugly to me, sorry.

  • Emilio Fahr

    Never looked at getting a Chromebook myself but now I really want one!

  • Taco Slinger

    any good guides on installing Ubuntu?

  • Craig

    “It’s made up of two ARM Cortex A15 cores clocked @ 1.7GHz a piece”.

    There’s only 1 clock you dumbass. It’s not “1.7GHz a piece”, it’s 2 cores operating at 1.7 GHz.

    • Paul

      Someone does not know how computers work. It is in fact 1.7GHz per core. That is how CPUs are rated now. If you have a dual i5 at 2.3ghz that is what both cores run at each. 2.3GHz.