chromebook 1 Samsungs new Chromebook and Chromebox launched

Although we've already seen Samsung's new Chromebox, it's now official alongside a new Chromebook, both featuring upgraded hardware compared to the first generation of Chromebooks. To go with the new products, Google has also upgraded its Chrome OS to version 19 which adds support for a fair new features, least not Google Drive and remote desktop support, in beta.

Although we've already seen Samsung's new Chromebox, it's now official alongside a new Chromebook, both featuring upgraded hardware compared to the first generation of Chromebooks. To go with the new products, Google has also upgraded its Chrome OS to version 19 which adds support for a fair new features, least not Google Drive and remote desktop support, in beta.

chromebook 1 Samsungs new Chromebook and Chromebox launched

Common features between the new Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook and the Chromebox is an Intel Celeron processor and 4GB of RAM, as well as a 16GB SanDisk mSATA SSD. Not exactly mind-blowing hardware specifications, but considering the previous generation of Chromebooks only sported a dual core Atom processor and 2GB of RAM, it's a pretty big step up.

chromebox 1 Samsungs new Chromebook and Chromebox launched

The two systems are far from identical though, as due to the more expensive nature of the Chromebook, the Series 5 550 only comes with a 1.3GHz dual core Celeron 867 processor whereas the Chromebox gets a faster 1.9GHz dual core Celeron B840. Admittedly, the Celeron 867 in a much cooler running chip with a TDP of a mere 17W, compared to 35W for the Celeron B840, but as neither model sports turbo boost support, we'd rather have seen the faster chip in the Chromebook as well.

chromebook 2 Samsungs new Chromebook and Chromebox launched

The Series 5 550 also comes with 802.11a/b/g/n W-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, a pair of USB 2.0 ports, a memory card reader, a DisplayPort (DP++ compatible), combined headset jack, a 720p webcam and optional 3G connectivity. It also sports a 12.1-inch display with 1280×800 resolution, an island-style keyboard and a large button-less track pad. It weighs in at 1.48kg and the battery is said to be good for six hours of usage.

chromebox 2 Samsungs new Chromebook and Chromebox launched

The Chromebox on the other hand is something of an odd mix, as despite fairly low-end hardware, it sports a pair of DisplayPort connectors (both DP++ compatible), a DVI port, six USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, a combined headset jack, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0. According to some of the early reviews it also has a spare mini PCI Express slot internally. That said, there seems to be a higher-end SKU with a 2.5GHz Core i5-2540M CPU which could for an interesting compact build if you upgrade the SSD.

chromebook 3 Samsungs new Chromebook and Chromebox launched

Price wise the Series 5 550 will set you back US$449 for the Wi-Fi only version, whereas the 3G model in the US adds another US$100 to the total cost, not taking into account the data costs beyond the included 100MB of free data. The standard Chromebox retail for an affordable US$329, but the Core i5 model isn't nearly as cheap at US$499.99. We're not sure Google's Chrome OS is the way to, mostly due to the connected nature of the OS and as soon as you don't have internet connectivity, your device becomes mostly useless, unless you're only relying on what Google calls "offline-capable web apps". Samsung has managed to come up with some attractive looking hardware though, which might be enough to win some customers over.

Source: Google Chrome blog