I know I know, this website right here is all about Ultrabooks however as a devoted consumer technology nut I love any product which – quite simply – is a bargain worth having. Today then when I got news that Google had released a new Chromebook with prices starting at £229 for the WiFi only model I simply had to cover it, even though this laptop is not an Ultrabook. So what’s so great?
Well the key thing with this product of course is its price. At £229, this 11.6-inch ARM processor based laptop is ideal for practically anybody who wishes to have a secondary thin and light for throwing in a bag which does not cost the earth.
Built by Samsung, Google’s latest Chromebook bucks the trend of Intel powered processing units by opting for the very latest version of the dual-core A15-based Samsung Exynos 5 Dual (5250) SoC. What this means, in the real-world, is that this laptop has the same processing power thereabouts as a Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphone but with better power efficiency. That processor will be more than enough to trug through tasks, too, because (has the name given it away yet?) this laptop runs Google’s very own Chrome OS, a light-weight operating system designed for quick boot up times and almost instant connection to the internet and all of your Google services.
Thin, light, matte: Google have done everything right
The £229 laptop is 0.8-inches (20mm) thin and weighs only 2.43 pounds (1.1kg), which makes it a perfect ultra-portable for anybody who has to lug around a heavy laptop all day. Google has also bestowed upon us a matte display (we are a big fan of matte displays) which is an 11.6-inch job set at a resolution of 1366 x 768. At this price point, and on an 11.6-inch display, this resolution will be perfectly acceptable in use.
The keyboard also looks particularly fantastic; it is full size, minus a numerical pad, and like most Samsung keyboards looks to have excellent travel to it. We have ordered one of these bad boys to see what’s what, so we’ll have a review of it on this very blog soon enough to cast our verdict on the keyboard.
Ports wise you get 1 USB 2.0 port, 1 USB 3.0 port, an SD card expansion slot, a HDMI port and Bluetooth to pair up an external mouse or pair of headphones. 16GB of internal storage comes as standard on this Chromebook, and unfortunately there is not the option to upgrade it upon purchase. With that said SD cards are very cheap nowadays, anyway.
Google is giving away 100GB of free ‘Google Drive’ storage for two years for customers who purchase this Chromebook, an incentive which only further sweetens the overall package.
Pre-orders are already under way at Amazon and PC World for this little ultra thin, and as noted for £229 you get the WiFi only model however for £299 you can grab the WiFi + 3G model, something which may be seen as essential for anybody who spends time away from an available WiFi hotspot.