Affordable Chromebooks for the Holidaysby Jarred Walton on November 21, 2011 4:50 PM EST
We received two press releases this morning relating to Chromebooks, one from Acer and one from Samsung. Starting with Acer, they have announced a $50 price drop on their AC700 Chromebook, bringing the price to $299 for the standard model or $399 for the Verizon 3G model (note that the latter is apparently out of stock right now). The Acer AC700 sports a standard Atom N570 CPU (dual-core, 1.66GHz, with Hyper-Threading), an 11.6" LCD, 2GB DDR3 RAM, and a 16GB SSD. It weighs in at just over three pounds and has a suggested battery life of six hours.
In a similar vein, Samsung has recently updated their Series 5 Chromebook with a new offering at a lower price point. The Series 5 XE500C21 comes with a 12.1" SuperBright display, with the remaining features echoing what Acer offers: 2GB RAM, 16GB SSD, and an N570 CPU. Samsung equips the Series 5 with a 6-cell battery and rates the battery life at up to 8.5 hours. Pricing on the WiFi-only model starts at $349, while the 3G-equipped models will go for $449. The Series 5 is available in white, silver, or black.
We looked at the initial Chromebook and Chrome OS reference platform late last year, but we haven't actually had any hands-on time with a shipping Chromebook (yet). The core idea behind Chromebook is that the proliferation of smartphones and tablets has opened people up to using new types of devices and changing operating systems, and it should be far more secure as the applications come through Google's app store.
We're trying to get some Chromebooks in for testing now that hardware is available at retail. We're basically looking at netbook-type hardware, except with a small 16GB SSD standard and with a different OS. We've complained about netbook performance in the past, but running a full copy of Windows (or Linux) is quite different from running an optimized-for-the-hardware version of Chrome OS. Pricing is similar to what you'd pay for netbooks as well, but the designs at least appear to be a bit more elegant than most Windows netbooks.
Source: Press Releases