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19 October 2012, 15:24

Google announces new ARM-based Chromebooks

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Zoom Google's new Chromebook computers are powered by a dual-core ARM processor
Source: Google
Google has announced the launch of a new Chromebook laptop running Chrome OS, the company's minimalist Linux-based operating system built around the Chrome web browser. Unlike previous Chromebooks, which were all powered by x86 Intel Atom or Celeron CPUs, the new laptop uses an ARM-based processor, specifically the dual-core Samsung Exynos 5250 system-on-a-chip (SoC) running at 1.7GHz.

Built by Samsung, the new Chromebook has an 11.6 inch LED-backlit display (1366×768 pixels), weighs in at 1.1kg (2.5lbs) and is 0.8 inches thick. It features a built-in VGA webcam, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of solid-state storage. Connectivity options include 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, an HDMI connection, and combined microphone in and audio out port. A model with built-in 3G connectivity will also be made available. According to Google's Sundar Pichai, users can expect to get more than six hours of battery life, depending on usage.

Zoom The new Chromebook has USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, and an HDMI output
Source: Google
While the integrated storage is limited, Chrome OS – the proprietary version of the open source Chromium OS – is designed primarily for accessing the web and cloud applications such as the company's Google Apps web-based productivity suite. However, for the first two years, Google is also giving new Chromebook users 100GB of free online storage via its Drive file storage and synchronisation service. After that, at its current price, it will cost users $4.99 per month to keep their 100GB of Google Drive storage.

The new Samsung Chromebook will be available from Monday 22 October and will be priced at $249 for the Wi-Fi version; the 3G model will reportedly be priced at $329.99 when it becomes available. In the UK, the Wi-Fi and 3G versions of the Chromebook will be sold for £229 and £279 respectively. Google also said that the computer will be available to purchase directly through its online Play store, but did not say which countries this option will be available in.

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