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Chrome Google Operating Systems Portables Wireless Networking

Hands On With the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook 154

Posted by timothy
from the don't-exit-the-covered-zone dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "Among some of the coolest things revealed at Google I/O, Samsung unveiled one of the first Chrome OS notebooks called the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook. Priced at $429 for the 3G version and $499 for the Wi-Fi/3G option, the 1280 x 800 display notebook is said to carry a dual-core Atom N570 and a battery that supports 8.5 hours of active use. Unlike the Cr-48, the 480p and even 720p video plays back decently on the 1280 x 800 display, thanks in part to improvements in Flash and the faster chip. Also unlike the Cr-48, the touchpad doesn't require jamming it down to make it work. While no official confirmations were made about what's inside the Series 5; there's clearly a GPU and a solid-state drive. The notebook also includes 802.11b/g/n, which is complemented by a two-year 3G subscription to Verizon with 100 MB/s per month for free."
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Hands On With the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook

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  • Chrome OS (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ickleberry (864871)
    Is it easily removed and replaced with ya know, a real OS? something that isn't all Cloudy 2.0 JavaScript based?
    • by MrEricSir (398214)

      Some of the Chrome netbooks have a not-so-secret "jailbreak" button hidden inside the battery compartment.

    • by Desler (1608317)

      If you want something with a real OS why are you bothering with some overpriced yet gimpy $400 netbook?

    • Chrome OS is Gentoo Linux. One of the things that Google's marketing team isn't wanting to admit.

  • by RobNich (85522)

    The 3G-only version is cheaper than the version that also supports WiFi?

    What's a Cr-48?

    "Jamming it down"?

    Improvements in Flash? Seriously?

    • And the WiFi is complemented by Verizon service with one hundred megabytes per second per month?

    • Re:What? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by RazzleFrog (537054) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @01:08PM (#36109770)

      The article has it right - $429 for WiFi and $499 for both 3G and WiFi. Still seems really steep for an incredibly stripped down barebones laptop with a beta OS on it.

      • by Art3x (973401)
        My mom already uses a Chromebook. Except:
        - it's a Compaq
        - it has about half the battery life
        - she has to wait an extra couple of minutes for Windows to boot before she can boot into Chrome (or Firefox)
        - it is more open to attack
        - it doesn't have 3G, and the WiFi is useless because she and my step-dad can't figure out to set up Wi-Fi. (I tried to help, but I live in another state)

        But all she uses a computer for is GMail and Facebook and pictures, so it's enough for her.
        • by Patch86 (1465427)

          Still doesn't explain the bizarre price.

          100MB a month isn't exactly stellar, the hardware is nothing to write home about, and the software is a less flexible package than the standard that's out there (Win/Lin/Mac). I can definitely see the appeal- but not at that price.

          When they release a Europe-side version for considerably less than £200, then I'll be interested.

    • by hawguy (1600213)

      It's a typo in the summary, the article says that the $429 model is Wifi only, $499 for Wifi + 3G. And it's 100MB/month, not 100MB/sec/month.

      I don't know why it comes with a paltry 100MB/month - i routinely hit 200 - 300 MB/month on my phone and use 3G almost entirely for email. They should have started at least 1000MB/month.

  • Instant on? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by frinkster (149158) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @01:08PM (#36109772)

    Chrome OS's coolest features are the quick boot—under ten seconds—and instant resume. There's no need not to simply close the notebook while walking from place to place. The only drawback is that the OS occasionally resumes faster than the Wi-Fi can connect.

    My wife has a new Thinkpad with Windows 7 and an SSD. It boots in about 20 seconds and shuts down in about 10. It also resumes from sleep faster than the Wi-Fi can connect.

    My 4-year old Macbook with an SSD boots to OS X in about 15 seconds and shuts down in 5-10. It has always resumed from sleep faster than the Wi-Fi can connect, even when it had a spinning-platter drive.

    • Re:Instant on? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by RazzleFrog (537054) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @01:12PM (#36109814)

      And the bigger question is how many are really stressing about an extra 10-20 seconds at startup?

      • by Nimey (114278)

        I've got a Cr-48. It's really nice to have it wake up and regain its wireless connexion in five seconds or less, if you're just wanting to quickly look something up. There's no lag from having to run crap like anti-virus either.

        • by Desler (1608317)

          It's really nice to have it wake up and regain its wireless connexion in five seconds or less, if you're just wanting to quickly look something up. There's no lag from having to run crap like anti-virus either.

          And my real laptop will do all that in like 15 seconds. And mine will still log in to the OS even without an internet connection. Have fun when yours won't.

          • by dzfoo (772245)

            And my iPad 2 does that instantaneously. Oh, and the Wi-Fi wakes up with it.

                    -dZ.

        • I use my phone when I want to look something up that quick. And that is a lot lighter to carry around.

          • by Nimey (114278)

            I like having a proper keyboard.

            • I have a droid with a slide out keyboard AND I have the Dragon FlexT9 app which has amazing voice to text capabilities (better than the built in) and a swype like keyboard.

            • This [asus.com] will wake up just as fast, is more extensible (at least unless you root the Chromebook), has an IPS screen, is 20% lighter, and has battery life twice as long. And it's cheaper.

        • by dzfoo (772245)

          I use my iPad for that, and it wakes up instantaneously with it's Wi-Fi connection active. I can also use it for browsing the web and installing useful or entertaining apps.

          Oh, and if you aim for the previous model, it's cheaper lighter, and faster.

                  -dZ.

      • In the age of instant on devices, anything over 3 seconds until a device is up and running is far too much. My Thinkpad takes 2 seconds to wake to a system that's entirely usable - except Chrome locks up until it finds a WiFi connection, and that can take 20 seconds... bit annoying tbh.

    • by tapo (855172)

      I have a CR-48, and the really fast boot (8 seconds), instant sleep/resume, 6-8 hour battery and 3 second shutdown go a long way in making it incredibly useful. The machine has wifi and pay-as-you-go 3G access, and you get 100 MB free 3G a month should you need to check your email when there's no hotspot or something.

      Google will have trouble marketing these with all the hype around tablets, but to be honest, it's been a lot more useful than my iPad since I can actually use it as a computer without carrying

    • by oakgrove (845019)
      I think times and expectations have changed. I went from a netbook running Ubuntu to my Xoom and now, anything less than hitting the button and a device being instantly ready is excruciating. As a matter of fact, my netbook not being able to give me alerts when it is asleep just feels wrong after an always on device like my tablet. When i want to do real work, I sit down at my desktop with dual monitors, wired connection, the whole deal. Anything else, I just use my Xoom and relax with the very occasion
    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      TFA missed the point entirely about quick booting. Because the entire OS is basically just the browser everything is persistent across sessions, even if you shut down. Normally the OS does not remember its state after shutting down so you have to re-open all your apps, re-load files etc. For that reason I often sleep my PC rather than powering off, even though sleep mode wastes electricity/battery life (admittedly at a slow rate).

      With Chrome OS the browser remembers your tabs and all data is stored in the c

  • a real laptop is $299 to $500 for the cheap ones. $500 or $600 can buy a real Sandy Bridge CPU or a 2010 Core i CPU. bought a $299 celeron CPU laptop last year as a gift and it shocked be with how decent it was for my father in law in speed and usability.

    other than the fast start up time what is the advantage to buying one of these that will send everything you do back to google? and will have less features and usability than real laptops? my ipad 2 has more features and power than these crippled computers

    • by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @01:40PM (#36110084) Homepage

      So that real laptop comes with free cellular internet for 2 years? SCHWEET! give links....

      Or are you ignoring that?

      • by alen (225700)

        100MB per month?

        verizon is going to make a killing on overage charges

        • by bluemonq (812827)

          Prepaid data. $20 for 1GB, $35 for 3, and $50 for 5GB. Not a steal, but a little bit lower than it usually costs for prepaid.

    • other than the fast start up time what is the advantage to buying one of these that will send everything you do back to google?

      1. you can run it over with a truck, go buy a new one, and start right where you left off with no data loss or backup recovery
      2. near zero administration: no application install / management, no antivirus, OS updates through google (app updates automatically, it's the web)
      3. $28 (or $20 for smal biz) / month for software and hardware support, including hardware upgrades

      i can understand why consumers with this a strong "meh", but for businesses its huge.

      • by dzfoo (772245)

        Until the day when Google releases a hastily tested update that silently and automatically installs, and bricks your device.

        What, is there no chance of this ever happening with silent and unconditional installations on the aggressive schedule that Google typically follows?

        Choice. We've heard of it.

                    -dZ.

        • Until the day when Google releases a hastily tested update that silently and automatically installs, and bricks your device.
          What, is there no chance of this ever happening with silent and unconditional installations on the aggressive schedule that Google typically follows?

          i wonder what type of computer, phone, or tablet you use that doesn't get updates?

          i've gotten many updates on my android phone and google TV with no issues. i'm not saying it can't happen, but there's no reason to think that google is any more of a risk than a mac, a MSFT PC, a blackberry phone, and so on.

          moreover, the idea is that since this is a linux machine essentially only running a browser with no user installed software it has a greater chance of being stable than a mac, PC, or linux box where the e

          • by dzfoo (772245)

            It's not that I don't get updates, it's that I control them. I have a Mac, an iPad, and an iPod Touch. At the office, we use Windows computers. No updates are installed directly on any of these devices the moment they come out.

            The workstations at the office are vetted, tested, and controlled by the IT department. For my personal devices, I always read the change-logs first to find out what the updates are supposed to fix or add.

            There have been numerous patches that break functionality in some iOS apps;

            • It's not that I don't get updates, it's that I control them.

              there's two types of updates in this case i suppose: 1) browser / OS updates and 2) web app updates. it's a big assumption that IT won't have control over when the OS updates are pushed. i don't think we know that. as for the google services deployed to the web ... do you use the web now? does the fact that the web page you access could change at any time keep you from depending on the web?

              The workstations at the office are vetted, tested, and controlled by the IT department.

              that's another big assumption ... that your local IT with slashed budgets is more competent / capable than google.

              Remember when Google introduced some new-fangled "Buzz" features to GMail with an automatic and silent background update? How did that go among users?

              the f

  • "100MB/s per month" How many MB/s does that equate to per second?
    • "100MB/s per month" How many MB/s does that equate to per second?

      Well that depends on time 't'. It will accelerate by 100 MB/s each month. So by this time next year you should be getting over 1 GB/s.

      • "100MB/s per month" How many MB/s does that equate to per second?

        Well that depends on time 't'. It will accelerate by 100 MB/s each month. So by this time next year you should be getting over 1 GB/s.

        And I misread the question.. so yeah, the answer is 100 / 1 / 2592000 ~= 3.858 * 10^-5

  • by h4x0t (1245872)
    "...subscription to Verizon with 100 MB/s per month for free."
    100MB/s/month?
    What the heck is that?
    • by Lehk228 (705449)
      Starts at 100MB/s and gets 100MB/s faster each month, verizon must be using lasers or gamma rays
  • What's to say about a Chromebook like the Samsung Series 5, whose hardware is almost embarrassed to exist?

    His review is overall pretty positive w.r.t. the hardware, and he says it's better than the Cr-48.

    For now, there's something to like in the Series 5 hardware and software--but oh, that price.

    What's wrong with the price? Against a netbook, maybe, but I figure Google is positioning this against iPads.

    And why complain about getting 100MB/month free? It has WiFi too, it's not 3G-only. I'd love a device that had free 3G. I can't bring myself to spend money on it because I'd use it so rarely, but those few times I'd want it, it would be really, really useful so I'm always going back and forth on whether

    • by Desler (1608317)

      His review is overall pretty positive w.r.t. the hardware, and he says it's better than the Cr-48.

      Which doesn't say much when the Cr-48 had extremely gimpy hardware.

      What's wrong with the price?

      It's horribly overpriced for what you are paying?

      Against a netbook, maybe, but I figure Google is positioning this against iPads.

      Which makes no sense. People buy iPads for the tablet form factor and portability. If people want a netbook they will flock to the cheaper options that have more features and a real OS.

      • by Abreu (173023)

        Which makes no sense. People buy iPads for the tablet form factor and portability. If people want a netbook they will flock to the cheaper options that have more features and a real OS.

        Like Windows 7 starter? o_O

        I mean, I agree with all your points except for this one. A lot of folks don't know how to change the OS on a computer

    • it's not exactly free 3G, it costs $70 which is a lot more than a 3G chip would cost. if you don't use it much it's actually quite expensive. I don't know what is available in the US but in the UK a got a 3G dongle last january (2010) for £29 which included £15 of credit allowing me 1GB. This may sound quite expensive for 1GB but i don't use it much and as the credit has no expiry on it i still have £10 of the original credit, so for me the odd few times i've used it it's a bargain.
      • by bluemonq (812827)

        In the US, a dongle runs $80-100 minimum for prepaid services. The 3G version of iPad runs an extra $130. For the States this is well within normal.

    • but I figure Google is positioning this against iPads

      why do you figure that? google is positioning this primarily as a business solution. the ipad couldn't be further from that.

      And why complain about getting 100MB/month free?

      when the low-end model *only* has 3g (no wifi), and you can burn through 100MB / month in a half hour netflixs, it sort of forces you into a contract with a carrier.

      • by sootman (158191)

        Article appears to have been wrong and corrected: it now says "$429 for the Wi-Fi version and $499 for the Wi-Fi/3G option." I don't think there's a 3G-only model.

    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      Why would you be comparing it to the iPad? Sure, it suffers from all the same drawbacks as the iPad (locked down environment, over-reliance on connectivity, etc.), but completely lacks the iPad's redeeming features (touch screen, tiny form-factor, and, er, an Apple logo).

      You're better off comparing it to a cheap Win7 Starter / Linux / Android netbook. In the UK, Samsung is quoting £350 or £400 for the two versions of this- easily £100 more than the standard Samsung netbook with similar har

  • 100 MB/s ? that's some mighty fast 3G you have there.

  • The last two laptops I bought came with 802.11 b/g/n mini-PCI cards. They were the first thing I replaced, putting in 802.11 A/b/g/n cards.

    The spacious, speedy 5 GHz spectrum smokes the pathetic 2.4 GHz for things like streaming video playback. Those 3 non-overlapping channels in 802.11 b/g/n are SO useful...out on the farm. Get into a suburb or city and you get stomped on.

    Get with the program Samsung.

    • by Desler (1608317)

      Well doing so would have probably made this thing even more overpriced than it already is. Seriously, $500 dollars for a less capable netbook than a Dell Mini yet twice the cost? Hell you could get a 14" laptop with 2 gigs of RAM, a 2.5 ghz Core i3, higher resolution monitor, a 10 hour battery life, etc from dell for only $450. And if you really need the 3G you can get a USB dongle for it and you're paying just as much as the $499 model but it's actually fucking useful beyond web surfing and it'll work w

    • by Hadlock (143607)

      how many non-overlapping channels do you get with 5GHz?

      • by chill (34294)

        21 or so, each 20 MHz wide, depending on your country. The 2.4 GHz channels are only 5 MHz wide, so already without overlap or using multiple channels we're talking 4x the bandwidth.

        802.11a/n has the option of 40 MHz channels, if your bandwidth is clear. REAL nice for streaming video.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels [wikipedia.org]

  • With linux installed instead. Any guesses if they use some whacked out modem so the WWAN will not work if you change the OS?

    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      You can already buy Win7 Starter netbooks with the same or better hardware for less money than the article is quoting. If you just want to wipe it and put Linux on it, you'd be crazy to overpay for one of these.

      The only reason you'd have for buying one of these is if the OS appeals to you, as that's what you're mostly paying for.

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        No you cant. Please show me a win7 starter notebook for that price that also has 2 years of wireless internet that comes with it that has no additional monthly cost.

        Forgot that tiny detail did you?

        So for a Win7 starter netbook to equal this... Subtract $360.00 from it's price. (assuming a discounted rate of $15.00 a month for the 24 months for the value of the "free" wireless internet service that comes on this thing. so who's got $100.00 Win 7 starter netbooks with the same or better hardware that com

        • by Patch86 (1465427)

          Fair enough.

          I should point out that (at least for the UK) 100MB is incredibly poor- I don't know a single mobile broadband provider that will sell you that. Three (a provider; I'm not just naming random numbers) will sell you 1GB for £7 a month (roughly $11) with a free dongle, and Vodafone will do you 250MB (the lowest I could find) for £3 a month, £19 for the dongle ($4.80 and $30).

          So you can only really subtract about £90 ($145). I suspect you can find some $350 laptops out there

  • hard to understand why someone will pay $500 for a web browser appliance when they can spend $500 and get a real computer/netbook.

    • by bluemonq (812827)

      A lot of people barely scratch the surface of what they can do with their computers. This would be sufficient for the folks that use their computers to write term paper, use Facebook, watch funny cat videos on YouTube, and stream music from Pandora. No idea how well Aviary would work on this, but there's your photo editor if you don't like Picasa.

      • by Mia'cova (691309)

        Presumably you can sync an android phone to one of these. But going with this instead of windows/osx is a significant lock-in for one's primary computer.

        • by bluemonq (812827)

          How so? It seems like every service you would use with a Chromebook would be accessible from a browser on a regular desktop.

  • For about the same money $468.00 get an Asus 1215n it's a better device in pretty much every way. It can do just about anything you might want and can even run some decent real games like Starcraft II, WOW, and portal.

    Intel Dual Core Atom D525 (1.8GHz); Nvidia ION 2 graphics with 512mb dedicated video memory
    12.1" WXGA (1366x768) LED screen; 2GB DDR3 RAM (2x1GB), 4GB Max
    250GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM); No Optical Drive
    Windows 7 Home Premium Operating System (32 Bit)
    HDMI out; Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n; 10/100 LAN; 0.

    • think like a business, which is what they are targeting.

      1. zero employee downtime for broken hardware: go get another chromebook out of the closet and they are up again in 30s.
      2. no local data means they are interchangeable, one is as good as another. any employee can log in to any chromebook.
      3. near zero admin: autoupdates through google, no app install / management, no anti virus management (and no viruses (yet))
      4. $28 for hardware and software support, including hardware replacement and upgrades, and in

      • There are even a few problems with this model.

        1. Internet goes down or is slow your productivity drops to nil or nearly so. Same problem as before with Mainframes and minis. That single point of failure existed because it was simply too expensive to give everyone there own system and even the minis where the size of a small refrigerator. Once micros came along and software was written for them to take on functions like word processing and spreadsheets we moved on and for good reason. I guess no one at Googl

        • by ctid (449118)

          I'm not so certain:

          1. Google are going to release local versions of their apps. The problem of the network not being available would be a problem no matter what sort of computer you have.

          2. This is interesting but I would expect Google to be better at this sort of thing than Sony. It will be interesting to see how Google "sells" backups. Is your stuff going to be backed up automatically at Google's end? Or are they going to want you to pay extra for that service?

          3. I'm not sure about that. The wholesale ret

  • .. . which comes with HDMI-out (http://t.co/ivtOtUR) so you can at least do stuff on a big-screen and enjoy movies properly
  • by caywen (942955) on Thursday May 12, 2011 @03:39PM (#36111860)

    I'm not paying $400 for a browser.

  • Pricewise, these probably aren't being made in huge quantities (which will push the price up) - plus they contain pretty much the same components as a netbook anyway, so why should they be cheaper?

    This is the old story with "Network Computers [wikipedia.org]", "Thin Clients", "Dickless Workstations" etc. through the ages: the concept is sound, but they end up costing as much as a full-blooded desktop, and you can't play [video game of the day] on them. They ought to be attractive in business, where the money saved in no

  • What's needed to a local OS for beginner users. It would reduce clutter but saving things in virtual folder, etc (with out being asked to).
    Perhaps by type/time/tags/etc. Also mix in some automatic dropbox-like backup.
    (There was talk about WinFS being SQL for Vista but I guess that never happened.)

  • Will always make me think of this: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Cyberpunk_2020 [wikimedia.org]

  • These things are aimed at the friends and relatives whose PCs we are asked to fix, "because the internet is running slow". A significant proportion of these are used for browsing, writing simple letters, email, uploading photos or Facebook. If my mother was still alive, I'd have bought one of these for her in a moment. Once Google release the "local" versions of Google Docs, these will be perfect for that market.

  • I asked the Chrome team (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQZu6azNlA0&feature=player_detailpage#t=514s [youtube.com] ) and yes, it runs Gentoo Linux just like the Cr48. The marketing team at Google apparently has a Linux allergy.

  • I can't believe no one has picked up on this yet:

    "It will be available in black and white"

    I for one, would not by a b/w device in this age anymore. I know the Kindle has it as well, but I think you really need colour for web browsing. Just for this reason alone, I think that this will not sell a lot. (Although I have to admit that I did not look at any videos demonstrating the UI, maybe they found a way of making it look good anyway.)

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