SAN FRANCISCO, May 31 — Google is powering ahead with its cloud-based, web-centric computers and has taken the wraps off a next-generation Chromebook and a brand new compact desktop machine called the Chromebox.
The Chromebox and Chromebook were made by Korean manufacturer Samsung and run on Google’s Chrome OS — an app-centric user interface based on Google’s Chrome web browser.
The computers were designed for people who live on the web and use cloud-based applications to complete tasks — such as word processing, photo and movie editing and playing games — in the browser.
Google introduced its first Chromebooks (Samsung’s Series 5 Chrome OS and Acer’s AC700) back in 2011 but has since upgraded the hardware and revised the user interface.
“There’s no longer a question of sacrificing quality in hardware to live life on the cloud. This new introduction is very cool and exciting,” said Louis Gray, Google+ product marketing manager, in a post on the site.
Both the new Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook and Samsung Series 3 Chromebox have Intel Core processors and are close to three times as fast as their predecessors.
“The new Chromebook boots in less than seven seconds and resumes instantly. With the Chromebox, you can be on a video conference while continuing to play your favourite role-playing game on the side,” said Linus Upson, vice president, Engineering and Caesar Sengupta, director of Product Management at Google.
Spec-wise the Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook features a 12.1” screen, a 1.3GHz dual-core Intel processor, 4GB of RAM, optional integrated 3G connectivity, 16GB of storage, a 4-in-1 memory card reader, a 1MP webcam and up to 6 hours of battery life.
The Samsung Series 3 550 Chromebox has a 1.9GHz Intel dual-core processor, a 16GB SSD, 4GB of RAM, a built-in mono speaker, 6 USB ports and 2 display ports.
ReadWriteWeb compared the new Google Chromebook with “a typical HP Laptop” and found that “We’re now at a point where an everyday consumer can weigh up a typical HP laptop with a Google Chromebook and not see much difference on the software side.”
The new Samsung Chromebook and Chromebox are available from Wednesday. The Samsung Series 3 550 Chromebox is priced from US$329.99 (RM990). The Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook with WiFi only is priced at US$449.99 while the WiFi + 3G version costs US$549.99. — AFP/Relaxnews
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