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Samsung & Google release ARM based Chromebook

Google are attempting to answer some of the pricing criticisms of their Chromebook range of computers with partner Samsung. The two companies are planning to release an ultrabook style Chromebook laptop which will only cost around £160 in the United Kingdom. This is a huge drop in price from the £300+ current price of the Series 5 550 models.

The new laptop will obviously use Google Chrome OS, but in the efforts to reduce the price Samsung have adopted an ARM processor, ditching the Intel CPU. The screen is also smaller – at 11.6 inches. Storage is reduced, but as the system uses the Cloud for most of its storage we don’t think it will be that much of a problem.

Google’s Chromebook has received a mixed reception, proving popular with a small audience who like the almost instant boot up times and minimal interface. Others feel the current pricing is too high – especially as the flagship 3G model cost still retails for over £400.

Amazon have been dropping prices recently however, and the older wi-fi only Samsung model is now available for under £200.

The new Chromebook will receive 100Gb of storage on the servers, for each device. That said, it won’t have 3G capabilities, just Wi-Fi, which may alienate a portion of the potential userbase. The flagship 550 range does offer 3G, but at a price.

The new ARM version of the Chromebook will weigh around 1.1kg and Google rate the battery life at 6.5 hours.

Google’s senior vice president of Chrome and apps Sundar Pichai said “This is a big step in the journey for us.” adding “I think it’s generally an exciting time in the computing industry.”

Google are already facing negative comments from members of the press, with some even claiming that the new Chromebook looks very similar to the MacBook Air.

The Wall Street Journal blogging team said “Google’s new $249 Chromebook laptop reminds me of another prominent company’s thin silver machines, but I can’t quite put my finger on it… this is the product Samsung and Google are releasing, months after Samsung got dinged in a lawsuit for creating products that look too similar to things made by Apple.”

Kitguru says: Another lawsuit ahead for Samsung?

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