Samsung, which along with Acer was the first to market with Chrome OS-based Chromebooks in 2011, has announced the launch of its Chromebook 2 Series. With the two new models that will come in 11.6- and 13.3-inch configurations, Samsung is looking to retain its position as the leading selling Chromebook brand in the US.
Since their release, Chromebooks have gained a foothold in the education market, with Samsung quoting Futuresource in claiming that Chromebooks now account for one in every four devices now sold into K-12 schools in the US. Looking to grab a larger slice of this pie, Samsung says its new Chromebook 2 Series boasts faster startup times, longer battery life and an easy-to-grip lid featuring the faux leather stitched design found on the Galaxy Note 3.
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Both models cold boot in under 10 seconds, wake up in less than one, and are powered by a Samsung Exynos 5 Octa processor – the 11.6-inch model is clocked at 1.9 GHz, while the 13.3-inch unit runs at 2.1 GHz. Both pack 4 GB of DDR3L RAM and come with a 16 GB Flash drive, 720p webcam and LED display, with the 11.6-inch model featuring 1366 x 768 pixel resolution and the 13.3-inch model boasting 1920 x 1080 resolution.
Connectivity features for both Chromebooks include single HDMI, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, along with a MicroSD multi-media card reader and a combo headphone out/mic-in port. Samsung's energy-efficient, ARM-based Exynos 5 Octa processors give the devices an estimated battery life of up to 8 hours and 8.5 hours for the 11.6- and 13.3-inch models respectively.
Both will also ship with a package of "premium apps" Samsung values at over US$100. These include Air Droid Premium (a smartphone access and data management service), Wunderlist Pro (a task management and collaboration app), and LittleBridge.com (an English learning app).
The 11.6-inch unit comes in at 2.43 lb (1.1 kg) and measures 11.4 x 8.06 x 0.66 in (28.9 x 20.5 x 1.7 cm), while the 13.3-inch model tips the scales at 3.09 lb (1.4 kg) and measures 12.72 x 8.8 x 0.65 in (32.3 x 22.3 x 1.6 cm). The smaller of the two will come in a choice of "Jet Black" or "Classic White", while the 13.3-incher will only be available in "Luminous Titan Gray".
Both the 11.6- and 13.3-inch models will be available in April for $319.99 and $399.99, respectively.
Source: SamsungView gallery - 9 images