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Google Officially Introduce ‘Faster’ Chromebook, Chromebox

Google have formally announced the release of Samsung’s new Chromebook and Chromebox devices, both of which are available to order from today.

The new computers are said by Google to be almost three times faster than the original Chromebooks released last year.

Both devices come with the latest iteration of ChromeOS, which sports a revamped interface and many new features.

Samsung Chromebook and Chromebox

Hardware Specifications

Of the devices themselves, Google’s Linus Upson says:

“[There is] support for hardware-accelerated graphics, a built-from-scratch multi-touch trackpad and an open-source firmware stack provide a much faster and more responsive computing experience.” 

The sleeker, silver looking Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook sports beefier specs than its predecessor: -

  • Intel Celeron 867 Processor @ 1.3Ghz
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 16GB SSD
  • 12.1″ display
  • Webcam
  • Wifi
  • USB 2.0 x2
  • Displayport++
  • 2 x 2w Speakers
  • Microphone/headphone jack

The Samsung Chromebox is super small and super light. It comes with: -

  • 4GB of RAM
  • Intel Celeron B840 processor @ 1.9Ghz
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • 16GB SSD
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • DisplayPort x2
  • DVI out
  • USB 2.0 x6
  • Microphone/headphone jack
  • Integrated mono speakers

ChromeOS + Aura

As great as the new hardware is it’s going to be ChromeOS that makes or breaks these devices.

The good news is that the revamped the UI, designed to resemble a traditional computer set up, makes for a marked improvement on workflow and multi-tasking.

Indeed, anyone using the ‘Aura shell’ on an older Chromebook will know that the improvements made to ChromeOS 20+ run far deeper than looks.

Attention has also been paid to ensuring that there are features within ChromeOS that don’t require you to hunt down a web app or, like many early ChromeOS users did, assumed there is no support for a specific function.

To this end there is an improved video player, enhanced image editor, and a file-manager that is logical in its layout.

They all sound trivial on their own but they all go a long way towards making ChromeOS ‘feel’ like a proper operating system replacement and not just a innovative gimmick.

Buy Chromebooks

Both the new Chromebook and Chromebox can be ordered today from a range of online retailers (location dependent).

The Chromebox retails for $329. The Samsung Series 5 550  Chromebook sells for $549.

Head over to the Chromebook web-page and click on the ‘buy now’ button to find a stockist near you.

  • koqelol

    gonna buy one and install Ubuntu on it :)

    • http://omgubuntu.co.uk/ Joey-Elijah Sneddon

      The default BIOS used by Google on Chrome devices is a bit.. finicky so installing Ubuntu isn’t as straightforward as on a ‘traditional’ laptop/pc.

      • Josh Corne

        There is a script which does most the work for you though.

      • AngusPearson

        Well the, we’d all appreciate an article on doing it…. Not that i’m asking you to break your Chromebook or anything :-)

      • arch_is_awesome

        Yes, I have a CR-48 and I had to use Luigi (http://hexxeh.net/?p=328117655) to get Ubuntu on it

        • http://techmansworld.blogspot.com/ncr MHazell

          His server to get the script is password protected now. That sucks.

    • john

      i love that this is the first comment haha id maybe install somthing lighter than Ubuntu !

    • https://twitter.com/#!/AWalkingEnmity TheMidnightWings

      Installing Ubuntu on a 16GB SSD? It would be fast, but I believe Ubuntu needs 10 gigs to even install fully. You’d be left with 6 gigs of space. Also, as Joey said installing wouldn’t even be simple as we’ve gotten used to. But hey, if you wanna…go for it.

      • PhantomTurtle

        The Ubuntu install only requires 2-3 GB. Still, I wouldn’t have enough either, even with a 2-3GB install. It would be super fast though.

      • https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ActionParsnip ActionParsnip

        My Ubuntu install is little over 3Gb, what you got installed??

      • ThePipetteNinja

        Ubuntu doesn’t take anything near 10 gb of storage… maybe after you install a bunch of apps…?

        • https://twitter.com/#!/AWalkingEnmity TheMidnightWings

          I don’t know guys, the minimum amount it says it would take in the documentation is 5 gigs.
          https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/SystemRequirements
          Maybe it’s because I usually install the language packs and all that good stuff. Dunno.

          • ThePipetteNinja

            AH Language packs probably do it. I think my current install is about 4 GB (ish) so the 5 Gigs gives you some extra space which makes sense.

          • http://techmansworld.blogspot.com/ncr MHazell

            Probably to give a little breathing room to install a few apps.

      • FOSS advocate

        upgrade the SSD?
        im sure its SATA, you could always put in a standard HDD.

        • http://techmansworld.blogspot.com/ncr MHazell

          SSD’s are good, but they have a limited number of writes, then after that the drive is done. A hard drive dies also, but it dies when the motors stop spinning. In its lifespan there is no write limits.

          • http://twitter.com/jonathanmoerman Jonathan Moerman

            A hard drive too has a limited number of writes, though the limit still is higher than the SSD limit.

    • http://twitter.com/Jebril Pedo Bear

      You could use an external drive for more space…but really why even get this laptop specifically tailored for a web based OS when you can just get any other netbook? Thumbs up for fanboy stupidity.

    • http://techmansworld.blogspot.com/ncr MHazell

      Does the same method work as the CR-48? I wish they would have a fully unlocked bootloader so you can just install Ubuntu over ChromeOS fully, and be able to use the hardware as normal.

    • TylerHampton

      Why? You can probably get a better laptop for cheaper.

    • joe4ska

      Doable, my desktop is using roughly 5gb for Ubuntu + Applications, 3gb for the home folder. You can always use an external drive or ubuntu one for extra storage.

  • muleyyy

    eww celeron :/

    surely thats not much better than the atom that was there before, at least the atom is designed for small laptops, benchmarks?

    • https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ActionParsnip ActionParsnip

      Yeah I thought that, mind yu should be ok for a netbook I guess…

    • http://brendafernandez.com Brenda Fernández

      It’s still a dual core Sandy Bridge, with 2MB L3 cache. You should check some benchmarks, but it’s likely that Google isn’t lying marketing it as three time faster than the Atom. They call it Celeron, but it’s not like the Celerons we used to see a few years ago.

      • muleyyy

        even if that is true, it will still suffer image-wise with the celeron name, celerons, even on the sandybridge chipset are budget processors, this isnt a budget-price laptop, if they had gone with a pentium dual-core which is still not top-shelf it would have cost them a bit more but wouldnt carry the budget perception

        • muleyyy

          source; i work for a company that sells laptops for non-technical people, and we could not get away with selling on celerons even, google/samsung definitely wont

  • Josh Corne

    Why, oh why, did I buy the original with an Atom in it!? Only real plus side is power consumption!

    Would definitely like a beefier Chromebook especially for graphics. Otherwise still love it :D

  • Cris

    Celeron CPU’s in the 21st century. Gimme a break! Is it only me, or Google wants to become the new Apple?

    • http://brendafernandez.com Brenda Fernández

      This Celeron uses a pretty current architecture. It even has the HD Graphics 3000 seen on other Core-series processors. It’s not like the Celerons from the past.

      • AngusPearson

        I think the Celeron is their base architecture that all their iX processors are built on. They’re not bad, given their speed. I have one in an old Laptop, and it runs Ubuntu just fine.

    • ThePipetteNinja

      It’s a new Celeron, though… they are still refreshed. Just because it’s not an Ivy Bridge iX doesn’t mean it totally sucks… also think about the purpose of the processor. It’s just running the web. It has HD 3000. I’m sure it’ll suffice just fine. If you want something more, nothing’s stopping you from buying another computer :)

    • muleyyy

      no because apple would start with a high performance chipset, not a budget one. the celeron, regardless of what generation is a budget chip

      i’m sure there are faster atom chips available to this, the d525 dual core, or the e2600 (which can also take hd3000)

    • http://techmansworld.blogspot.com/ncr MHazell

      My Celeron M CPU on my laptop as in the 2006 era. It 1.6 GHz single core slow processor. When my current laptop with this CPU dies of old age, I’m getting a System76.

  • Paulius

    Could anybody tell me, what would be the cheapest way to get this one to Lithuania?

    • http://brendafernandez.com Brenda Fernández

      I don’t think either Newegg nor Amazon will ship electronics there. If the local stores listed for other “supported” countries don’t do that either, you’re out of luck. You could ask a friend who travels or look for one on eBay from someone who’s willing to ship it internationally. Bear in mind that you might have to pay import taxes, depending on your local legislation.

  • Besgers

    Is the O/S a linux? Can I install any linux software onto it?

    • http://brendafernandez.com Brenda Fernández

      It’s a Linux OS, but if you plan on installing traditional software you might be better off switching to another distribution.

  • liveoutloud91

    That price tag for the Chromebook made me inhale painfully. When is Google/Samsung gonna get it? Chrome OS is essentially a glorified web browser, the hardware specs are great but not astounding, especially if I wanted to dual boot another OS (i.e. Ubuntu).

  • http://twitter.com/loicfaichaud loic faichaud

    Great news. The specs are not so bad, even if 16 GB SSD is not so big or not so thin. For a server 1 or 2 GB is sufficient. For a desktop where do you store your Excel sheets…

  • Xion

    Ordinary netbooks are way better than this crap

    • http://twitter.com/jrela2000 Kingpin JRela

      Me and my HP Mini disagree with you…. although you can’t hear the Mini from inside the junk box under my bed…..

      • http://techmansworld.blogspot.com/ncr MHazell

        My sister’s HP Mini 1000 runs Ubuntu flawlessly. It is also hardware certified by Canonical, so I have no reason to say that this isn’t a perfect netbook to run Ubuntu.

  • Larry Page

    poor hardware (please, ce-ce-celeron, intel i-i-integrated)
    poor OS (complete free linux is 100 better)
    high prrice 550 $

    Sergey is a joke? are you kidding us? google marketing guru for that?

    • AngusPearson

      But hey, it’s a netbook. We can’t expect magic from them, but it is definitely overpriced.

      • Larry Page

        Hi Angus,
        a question: why not to buy a dell or system76 with i5
        +everyfastlinux +chrome browser?
        …same prize

    • http://techmansworld.blogspot.com/ncr MHazell

      The new generation of Celeron’s are alot better than before. I have a 2006 made laptop that I am still using, and it has the old terrible Celeron. 1.6 GHz, but single core.

  • AngusPearson

    I’m assuming that Intel HD Graphics means that it will be fine with WebGL? Otherwise, that’s a bit of a bummer.

  • Keith Lee

    I feel like the more ChromeOS hardware that releases the less I understand it.
    I thought and could get behind them wanting to release cheap, low-spec devices that offer a super-light OS that does everything in the cloud to make it zippy on the most basic of modern netbook hardware; Cheap devices for when you want to do something mild away from home but need more usability then a smartphone yet don’t want to lug a proper laptop about or compete with a tiresome, slow, over-featured netbook with a traditional OS.
    Instead what I see here is a 12″ (that’s rather big for a netbook but too small for a laptop) device with an overly-robust amount of memory, processor and graphics, pricing it well above traditional netbooks and in cheap 15″ proper-laptop territory, alongside a device that’s unusable as a proper desktop or even a HTPC.
    You’re still and always have been far better off buying something like an Eee PC and shoving Jolicloud JoliOS on it.

  • hardaway

    I will not buy anything with Intel inside. I want a quad core Nvidia ARM.

    • http://techmansworld.blogspot.com/ncr MHazell

      This is the x86 space. Tablets/Phones is where ARM is.

  • Prosammer

    Can you guys maybe upload the new defaulted integrated wallpapers that came with Chromebook? thanks.

    - P.

  • http://www.kubuntu.org/ Lilian A. Moraru

    Yey for Firefox :)

  • Myles Fister

    Does anyone know where a guy can download a copy of chrome os?

    • http://www.the-ghost.com/ Ali AlNoaimi
      • http://techmansworld.blogspot.com/ncr MHazell

        Isn’t this ChromiumOS? Chrome OS is only made by Google, and the open source variant is open to everyone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vipery2v Tommy Lee

    The Chromebox’s price isn’t too bad, though an Atom-powered EeeBox with an actual HDD is cheaper. However, the Chromebooks are still way overpriced for what they are. You’re better off getting a low-end notebook with more HDD/SSD space than getting a computer that’s essentially a large Celeron-powered netbook.

    And as for those commenting on Celeron CPU’s… they are the bottom end of the Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge family, just under the Pentium, which is just under the i3, i5, and i7. Trust me, the Celeron is much more powerful than the Atom found on the last Chromebooks, and it comes with Intel HD graphics too unlike the Atoms.

  • http://twitter.com/dorkmo dorkmo

    im still waiting till they come out with a chromebook/box that is not made in china. i think its weird how google hates on china and how korean samsung is for all these products to be made in china.

  • Sean S

    Have one (new Chromebook). It’s pretty. Mostly like it. Awesome for casual use (web browsing, _some_ flash games) but almost useless for school…several professors doodle things on the board and really I need a real copy of OneNote for that or a good mindmapping app–haven’t found any that can work offline (wireless is sometimes flaky at school).

    That being said, so far every attempt at following previous guides to install anything else (i.e. Ubuntu or elementary OS) has failed. Attempted to install ChromeOS to a Mushkin 240GB mPCIe SSD and that failed too. It don’t think it will allow an SSD larger than 16GB (haven’t tried 32GB+)

  • Sean S