Samsung have recently announced the arrival of the Series 5 Chromebook making it, along with Acer, one of the first to adopt this new technology.
The netbook will run Google’s very own Chrome OS and is completely cloud-based, meaning that everything you do will be stored in the cloud, including all the apps you use.
The device boasts an 8-second boot time, has no need for any security software, runs updates in the background and gives access to numerous apps.
As with most Samsung devices, the Chromebook is very well designed. Its clean lines and simplistic look are sure to grab people’s attention. The device is available in both white and silver.
Don’t be expecting your standard keyboard on this netbook. Google have tweaked the original qwerty keyboard to include the most used keys on Chrome. The keys, which are positioned across the top include, new window, refresh, switch to next tab, back and full-screen mode, with a search key also replacing the caps lock key.
Breaking the market
Does the Samsung Chromebook have a place on the market when there are already so many tablets and netbooks already available? One thing that may put consumers off is the price. Retailing at around £349 the Chromebook comes in much higher than most other netbooks on the market; although this can be contributed to the higher specifications.
Shoppers may also be discouraged over the lack of support for apps such as Microsoft Office, iTunes, Photoshop and Skype. These types of apps cannot be directly accessed using the Chrome OS, and must be accessed instead through virtual desktops or remote servers. This could prove to be hard-sell to a lot of users with these constrictions.
Intel’s Atom N570 1.66Ghz Dual Core processor
2GB DDR3 memory
16 GB SSD
8.5 hour battery life (inc 5 hours of video play)
The Samsung Chromebook is expected to arrive in the UK on 24th June, and will retail at £349 for the Wi-Fi version and £399 for the 3G model.
As with all tablets, you need to get yourself a data plan. The 3G-capable model will come with a SIM card that includes 3GB of free data; this must be used within three months.
Mobile operators Three are offering both daily pass and 30-day options. The daily pass will cost you £2.99 for 500MB of data, which will be reset at the end of each day. The 30-day passes are more flexible and cost 1GB (£10), 3GB (£15) or 7GB (£25).
Should you buy?
Even though this is one of the first Chromebooks to hit the market, the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook is a good alternative to the more expensive iPad and MacBook Air devices.
The netbook is the ultimate ‘web-only’ device that brings together a total browser experience; the question is, are we ready? The lack of software support for the more mainstream applications may prove a problem for some, with the idea of having to connect to remote services possibly proving too much for novice users to understand.
Verdict? A fast and practical netbook that may be for the more ‘tech-savvy’.