Samsung will launch the world’s first official Chromebook in the UK this Friday, 24 June costing from £349.
The European launch of the Series 5 took place in London last night with Dinesh Chand, Head of Mobile Computing Europe, saying: “The idea of the Chromebook is revolutionary – it’s about expanding people’s perception of computing. Many people today are living web-centric lifestyles – they’re online at home, on the move and at work. Rather than start with an existing notebook model and adapt it for the web, we’ve designed this from scratch to meet the needs of those people specifically.” Chromebooks are laptops running Google’s Chrome OS, the first of which was the non-consumer Cr-48 which was shipped as a test model by Google last year. Samsung is the first to bring a Chromebook to market though Acer has also got a Chromebook ready for launch and should be available here soon.
While the Series 5 is not quite as sleek as the high-end Series 9 we recently reviewed, at 20mm thick and weighing just 1.48kg, the Samsung Series 5 is certainly portable, which really is the point of these machines. It comes with a 12.1in 300 nit display with a resolution of 1280 x 800, will run on a 1.66MHz dual-core Atom N570 processor and has a 16GB mSATA SSD and an SDXC card reader. There will be a 1 megapixel HD webcam, dual band 802.11 Wi-Fi, optional global 3G, mini VGA port plus two USB 2.0 ports. Google are claiming a battery life of 8.5 hours so it will last you all day and an instant-on feature, which promises a boot time of under ten seconds. Security is deeply integrated within Chrome OS including features such as sandboxing, data encryption, and verified boot.
The Samsung Series 5 Chromebook will be available in the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and Italy from this Friday, 24 June, priced at £349 for the Wi-Fi model and £399 for the 3G-enabled model. They will also be available in other countries over the next few months.
It's great to finally see a Chromebook being launched here in the UK but we still have reservations about whether the general public will embrace the idea of working completely online. With no local storage, Chromebooks effectively become useless if you can't get a network or Wi-Fi connection and this could lead to a lot of frustration. It may finally show us exactly how "connected" we really are.