The new Samsung Chromebook features an 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display, a Samsung Exynos 5 ARM Cortex-A15 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage. It measures less than 0.7 inches thick and weighs about 2.4 pounds.
It runs Google Chrome OS, an operating system designed around the Chrome web browser. Instead of downloading and installing apps the way you would on a Windows PC or an Android tablet, Chrome OS users run web apps such as Gmail, Google Docs, or iPiccy (for editing photos).
Earlier Chromebooks had Intel x86 processors, but the new model is the first with an ARM-based chip. It’s also one of the first devices of any kind to ship with an ARM Cortex-A15 processor.
While even the latest ARM-based chips don’t have as much raw processing power as Intel’s Core Family processors, the Samsung Chromebook has been optimized to play well with the Exynos processor. It boots in 10 seconds, resumes from sleep almost instantly, gets about 6.5 hours of battery life, and feels pretty zippy when surfing the web — even with half a dozen or more browser tabs open.
In fact, I ran a few browser-based benchmarks on the Samsung Chromebook this morning, and found that it got a SunSpider score of 711 (lower is better) and a Peacekeeper score of 1095 (higher is better).
While most modern laptop and desktop computers score higher, those scores are better than I’ve seen from most phones or tablets. And they’re not that far from the scores I got with the Samsung Chromebook 550 this summer. That model has an Intel Celeron 867 processor and scored 606 on SunSpider and 1694 on Peacekeeper.
Anyway, I’ll have more results to share when the full review is ready to go, but right now I’m reasonably impressed with this $249 laptop — especially since customers get 100GB of Google Drive storage at no additional cost for 2 years. That’s a bonus worth about $120 at Google’s current rates.
Oh yeah, the new Chromebook can also run Ubuntu Linux.
A $330 model with 3G is also expected soon.