According to market researcher NPD, Samsung is by far essentially the most profitable vendor of computer systems primarily based on Google’s Chromebook platform within the U.S., with 60 % of the market in 2013. Nevertheless it has increasingly firm: Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Toshiba and Google itself all make Chrome machines in a wide range of sizes and with various approaches.
Immediately, Samsung is saying a line of Chromebooks it calls Chromebook 2 — and because it consists of two fashions for the primary time, it does certainly rely as a line. The adjustments concerned are incremental, however they proceed the overall latest pattern of Chromebooks more and more encroaching on the low finish of the marketplace for Home windows-based notebooks.
For the primary time, Samsung is providing a 13.3-inch Chromebook with a 1920-by-1080 HD display screen — a measurement which makes for a extra believable major laptop for extra individuals than Samsung’s present 11.6″ mannequin. It weighs 3.09 kilos and comes with a 2.1-GHz Exynos processor, 4GB of RAM and 16GB of solid-state storage.
Samsung says it will probably run for as much as 8.5 hours on a cost. And relatively than wanting like a knockoff of Apple’s MacBook Air completed in plastic, as the present Chromebook does, it’s acquired a grey case completed up in a stitched, leather-like materials, a glance additionally seen in different Samsung units such because the Galaxy Observe 3. (I’ll reserve judgement on whether or not that’s a contact of sophistication or cheesy till I’ve seen the system in particular person.)
The Chromebook 2 line additionally features a revised 11.6-inch mannequin, nonetheless with a 1366-by-768 display screen. It, too, is at the very least a bit much less MacBook-like than its predecessor, because it is available in black and white variants, additionally with the leather-ish look, relatively than the silver of the present model. Its specs are just like the 13.3-inch mannequin and somewhat nicer than the present mannequin, with a 1.9-GHz Exynos chip, 4GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. It weighs 2.43 kilos and is rated for as much as eight hours of battery life.
I’m struck by the listing costs for these new Chromebooks, that are resulting from arrive subsequent month: The 13.3-incher is $399, and the 11.6-inch one is $320. By Chromebook requirements, that’s excessive: The present 11.6-inch Samsung lists for $250, and Toshiba has a 13.3-inch mannequin (albeit with a lower-res display screen than Samsung’s) for $280.
If Google-powered laptops have been promoting fairly properly currently, it’s absolutely partially as a result of they’re usually priced beneath the price of even typical low-end Home windows machines. Samsung’s new fashions cross over into Home windows territory, worth clever; in the event that they promote properly, it’ll be as a result of prospects — shoppers, in addition to the faculties Samsung says are a significant marketplace for Chromebooks — opted for them over Home windows fashions primarily based on their deserves relatively than as a result of they couldn’t afford the rest.
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