The next Chromebook to hit the streets will also be the cheapest to date. Pre-orders for the new Samsung Chromebook start this afternoon at 3:00PM Eastern, and you’ll be able to pick one up for $249. It should be available from major US and UK retailers Monday.

For that price you get a laptop with an 11.6 inch display, a Samsung Exynos 5 dual core ARM-based processor, and about 6.5 hours of battery life.

Samsung Chromebook

The new Chromebook is about $200 cheaper than the Samsung Chromebook 550 which launched this summer. It also gets slightly better battery life and weighs a little less. The new ARM-based model weighs 2.5 pounds while the Chromebook 550 weighs 3.3 pounds.

Samsung’s new Chromebook measures 0.8 inches thick and features 802.11n/ WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, a USB 3.0 port, a USB 2.0 port, HDMI output, and a VGA camera.

As expected, Google is also now offering 100GB of Google Drive storage when you buy a new Chromebook. It doesn’t matter if you go with the $249 model with a Samsung Exynos processor or the $449 model with an Intel Celeron CPU.

The Google Drive 100GB promotion also applies to the Chromebox Series 3 desktop computer. Google provides the free storage space for up to 2 years — after which all of your files remain online, but you won’t be able to upload additional files unless you buy more storage.

Chromebooks are basically laptops designed to run Google’s Chrome OS operating system. Chrome OS is based around the Chrome browser, and while you can store files, watch music or videos, or perform some other activities without an internet connection, a Chromebook is basically designed to let you get online and use the web.

In fact, the specifications page for the new Chromebook don’t even mention how much local storage the laptop has (The Verge reports it has 16GB and 2GB of RAM). There is an SD card slot though, so if you need extra space for local files, you can always throw a 16GB or 32GB card in there.

Google says the new Samsung Chromebook boots in just 10 seconds and resumes from sleep instantly. In other words, even though ARM-based chips are generally less powerful than Intel’s x86 processors in terms of raw processing power, Chrome OS has been tweaked to take advantage of some of the smartphone-like features we’ve come to expect from devices with low power ARM chips.

The Exynos 5 Dual chip, by the way, is one of the first ARM Cortex-A15 chips to hit the streets.

Chrome OS also supports hardware-accelerated graphics, which will help make scrolling and other activities look smooth.

Google is only offering a WiFi model of the Samsung Chromebook for now. There’s no 3G model yet, but GigaOm’s Kevin Tofel reports that there will be a 3G version eventually.

Amazon is already taking pre-orders for a 3G Chromebook for $329.99 — but the product listing shows a Samsung Exynos 4 CPU instead of an Exynos 5 chip. I suspect that’s an error.

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24 replies on “Google introduces $249 Samsung Chromebook with ARM-based CPU”

  1. I bought a 5 550 chromebook after reading many reviews, including a couple on liliputing. im in love with it. the build quality is fantastic, its easy to use, it lasts almost all day…i can’t wait for more people to use them! the “why not just get a windows machine and use google chrome” argument gets a bit irritating though, its just not the same. that’s like saying “why not just get a windows machine and run osx on it?”.

    1. This is intended to be an ultra-mobile device. For that role, even the 6.5 hours is not that much, 3 hours is a complete non-starter.

      Also, the Acer will not be quiet and not be cool. I just don’t want to hold a furnace on my lap when I am watching a video on the couch.

      They are not really comparable even if they have a similar price.

    2. if you want the lowest build quality in its class sure…and this uses chrome OS, not android…

  2. this is useless, it’s better android with chrome as application…

    1. Well, at least it will be easier to put desktop Linux on it (Chrome OS is almost a desktop Linux)

    2. Are you sure. I’m sick of the shitty browsers in Android, shitty keboard and mouse suppport and the complete lack of decent productivity apps (I use an ASUS Transformer with keyboard).

      With Chrome OS this would be better than Android because it all behaves like a normal desktop browser… With a normal Linux distro this would be completely optimal.

  3. This sounds really great if it comes with an unlocked bootloader.

    Exynos 5 will certainly have proper Linux support so Ubuntu (and others) will likely arrive for this machine quickly.

    1. So if it has the unlocked bootloader, then installing Linux would be a matter of flashing a custom ROM like on a phone or tablet?

      1. Practically, yes.

        A custom Linux kernel needs to be built for this Chromebook and packaged with a desktop Linux filesystem (packages built for ARM).

        The process of creating a customized Android ROM is similar to that of a Linux desktop distro.

  4. I’d love to get a real Linux distro on this thing!. I’ve always wanted a nice, efficient, ARM based Linux laptop. This may be what I’ve been looking for and at an awesome price point.

    1. 16GB of storage has gotta be a limitation though, I mean if you network everything or split storage of the OS over internal storage and an SD card it might be ok, I’d much rather just have a 32GB chip though 😛

      1. The point of a Chromebook is cloud computing and that includes storage… Google will give you some capacity for free and more for a fee.

        The benefit being nothing is tied to the system itself, it can get destroyed and you can get back to what you were doing as soon as you log into a replacement.

        Problem is off-line usage, and people are generally not ready to rely on the Cloud.

        Some caveats compared to the Intel Celeron Chromebook though, the Celeron is more powerful, that version comes with Ethernet port but the ARM version only has WiFi, you could possibly upgrade the SSD in the Celeron model but its embedded with the ARM version, and the $249 is for the WiFi only model… $329 if you want 3G version…

        6.5+ hours max run time isn’t exactly breaking any records either and will likely be less for the 3G model unless they increase the battery capacity. Or the Amazon listing may be correct and they put a less power hungry SoC, Exynos 4, to compensate but that also means less performance.

        Mind, one of the reasons they even made a Celeron Model of the Chromebook was because the original ATOM based model wasn’t providing enough performance for all applications.

        1. Good points. I think these are for non-computer, non-technology people who just want an appliance with eMail and a web browser and don’t want or understand access to file systems.

          These people don’t want ethernet and they don’t understand (or want to be bothered with) data storage and backup.

          If this $250 internet terminal can run cool and silent with no fan or spinning hard disk, it may be exactly what some folks want.

          For myself, if this could run Linux, I’d be interested.

          Does anyone know… do these Chromebooks subject the user to the same amount of ads in GMail, etc as on a PC?

          1. Exynos generally has good Linux support, as far as ARM systems go… Though this is a brand new SoC, so may take a bit of time for proper drivers, etc.

            Provided Google doesn’t make it hard to run custom ROMs, etc.

            In terms of Performance, it’s a 1.7GHz dual core Cortex A15 based SoC with 2GB of RAM, basically top of the line for what ARM can offer.

            So it should be more than good enough to run GNU/Linux, youtube 1080P, etc.

            Quad core of course would have been better but this at least exceeds a older gen dual core ATOM for performance.

          2. This is good even for technical people but not for the role of the main computer.

            I am a sw developer and I prefer developing on a very powerful desktop in order to have everything run as fast as possible.

            However, for everything non-work, I prefer a completely silent, cool, ultra-mobile device with keyboard and at least a trackpad. I own a HP Touchpad (wit Cyanogen 9) but I find it pretty much sub-standard in a lot of ways. It has the silent feature OK, it is not really cool but mostly acceptable. It has no keyboard so I feel myself very limited when I am using it (usually I write a lot in form of comments and other text-productive activities).

            This ChromeBook with a decent desktop Linux would perfectly fulfil the secondary-computer role for me.

          3. “I am a sw developer and I prefer developing on a very powerful desktop in order to have everything run as fast as possible.”

            If you test your applications on a slow computer, you can more easily tell if they are well-written for optimum efficiency though, right?

          4. Absolutely, but this cannot be done all the time because it reduces developer efficiency.

            The best way to do it is to develop on a powerful machine but use your own product regularly on a slower machine.

        2. I meant that if you wanted to install a full linux distro you might struggle with 16GB, I’d feel more comfortable with 32 though split storage would probably work well enough (keep /home on an SD card)

      2. Yes, I would definitely use the full 16Gb internal storage for the OS and programs and buy a fast 32Gb SD card for the data.

        Although, if this is used as a secondary computer, it may not need that much storage and the 16GB internal may be enough for the OS and data as well.

  5. It’s certainly interesting. I might have to take a look once my trusty Thinkpad x100e bites the dust (now that Lenovo has decided to raise the specs and prices of x1nn range).

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