Samsung has announced two new 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch Chromebooks, with the larger model sporting a faster processor and a full HD display. Both entries in the Chromebook 2 Series feature Exynos 5 Octa processors, and are covered with textured soft touch material, the same seen on the back of Samsung GALAXY Note 3.
Samsung says the devices offer faster performance and longer battery life in comparison to their predecessors, and are aimed primarily at the education sector, although they could also find plenty of enterprise uses.
“Since we introduced our first Chromebook in 2011, Samsung has been committed to continually developing our designs and features to meet our users’ ever-changing needs, while staying true to the core Chromebook attributes of simplicity, speed and security,” said Mike Abary, senior vice president of consumer IT product marketing at Samsung Electronics America.
“Samsung has been the top selling consumer Chromebook brand for the past three years and we’ll continue to grow our leadership position in this space with the launch of the Chromebook 2 Series.”
Samsung’s new devices are typical Chromebooks: they run Google’s cloud-enabled Chrome OS, take ten seconds to boot up and feature automatic updates and backup. By using LED screens and what is essentially a mobile device processor in a laptop chassis, Samsung has given these ultraportables up to 8.5 hours of battery life on a single charge.
The smaller Chromebook weighs less than 2.5 pounds, comes with a display capable of 1366×768 resolution, and is powered by a 1.9 GHz Exynos 5 Octa System-on-a-Chip. Its bigger brother increases the resolution to 1920×1080, and the processor clocks to 2.1 GHz. Both feature 4GB of DDR3 RAM, a 16GB SSD, a 720p webcam, two low-power speakers and a noise reducing microphone. They also include a card reader, USB 3.0 and HDMI ports.
Interestingly, the smaller model will be available in either black or white, while the only choice for the bigger device is “Luminous Titan Grey”.
“Chromebooks are particularly important in the education space – according to Futuresource, one in four devices now sold into K-12 schools in the US are Chromebooks – so we’ve designed our latest models with students and teachers in mind, including features like rapid start times, longer battery life and an easy-to-grip design,” said Tod Pike, senior vice president at Samsung’s Enterprise Business Division.
Like all Chromebooks, Samsung’s new devices include centralised management tools that make them equally useful in a business environment or at a school, enabling administrators to configure hundreds of machines at once.
The new devices will launch in the US in April, with the 11.6-inch model priced at $319.99 (£192), and the 13.3-inch at $399.99 (£240). Even though there’s no information on the European launch, Samsung’s previous experiments with Chrome OS – Series 5 and Series 3 – reached the UK soon after appearing in the US.
Last week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Samsung announced the long-anticipated Galaxy S5 smartphone, the successor to the most popular Android handset in history.
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