Google’s popular Chrome OS platform has been around a while. Google along with its partners also launched their Chromebooks quite some time back. Today, Google and Samsung unveiled new devices and also some software updates. The newly launched Chromebox is a desktop PC, without of course, a keyboard and mouse. If you want those accessories, you can buy them as an optional accessories. The Chromebox is available on Google’s web site through a couple of retailers. Amazon and Newegg are the big names on the list and the product is only available in the US and the UK as of now for a starting price of $329 (roughly Rs. 18,000).
Specifications (Samsung Series 3 Chromebox)
- Processor Intel Core series
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Wirelesss connectivity: Dual-band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0
- Ethernet: 1000Mbps
- USB: 6 USB 2.0 ports
- Video out: 2x DisplayPort++, DVI output
Google and Samsung also unveiled a new Chromebook, called the Samsung Series 5 550, which is an upgrade to the older Samsung Series 5 Chromebook. The new Chromebook features a more powerful processor – an Intel Core series instead of the low-power dual-core N570 processor used on the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook. The switch means that the Chromebook uses more battery in the long run and it’s evident from the specifications. However, you’re going to get more performance and the Samsung Series 5 550 also comes with 4GB of memory as compared to 2GB on the older model. The Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook is also a bit more expensive at a price of $449 (approximately Rs. 25,000).
Specifications (Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook)
- Screen size: 12.1-inch (1280×800) display
- Weight: 1.48 kg
- Claimed battery life: 6 hours of usage
- Processor: Intel Core series
- Memory 4 GB RAM
- Network connectivity: Dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Gigabit ethernet, and 3G modem (opt) 1
- Webcam: Built-in HD camera
- USB: 2 USB 2.0 ports
- Memory card reader: 4-in-1 memory slot
- Video output: DisplayPort++ Output (compatible with HDMI, DVI, VGA)
The launch of the new hardware coincided with the launch of some updated software as well. Google Chromebooks and Chromebox run on Google’s ChromeOS operating system system which is basically, a slimmed down OS with most of its features based on Google’s App line of services. Google's official blog for Chrome OS was updated, announcing news of the stable channel being updated to 19.0.1084.52 (Platform version: 2046.107.0) for Chromebooks (Acer AC700, Samsung Series 5, Samsung Chromebook Series 5 550, and Samsung Chromebox Series 3). All these devices are expected to receive updates to this version over the next several days.
Back in April, we talked about Google deciding to change things a bit with their Chrome OS 19 update. The OS which looked like a web browser, was updated with a clear taskbar and windows in the OS can be resized. Google called its new window manager, Aura. The user interface is now more like Windows or any other major OS. Users can now move their windows around and of course, they will be able to use this update on their Samsung Series 5 and Acer AC700 Chromebooks. There were also some disgruntled CR-48 Chromebook users who knew they weren't going to be getting this latest version. Orit Mazor from Google clarified that they were only skipping the major Chrome 19 update for the CR-48 Chromebooks. The CR-48s would receive security and other critical updates for Chrome. Future large Chrome updates would arrive on the CR-48.
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