Google's Chrome OS is an interesting pet project that has been hobbled by an awkward combination of wimpy hardware and an unclear value proposition. Those issues look set to end today with the launch of a $249 Samsung Chromebook.
For those unacquainted with Chrome OS, peek at our overview to acquaint yourself.
Today's story is nearly all hardware, though. The Samsung Chrombook is notably made with an ARM-based (read: no fan) Samsung Exynos 5 Dual processor. That processor is flanked by 2GB of RAM and 16GB of flash storage. It doesn't sound like much (mostly because it isn't,) but Google has gifted each Chromebook 100GB of Google Drive storage, as well as use of the incredibly cool Google Now, which debuted on Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean.) The screen is 11.6 inches and runs in the standard laptop resolution of 1366x768. Ports include one USB 3.0, one USB 2.0 and an SD card slot. A second model appears to replicate the specs of the original, but adds a Verizon 3G radio to the mix. While three G's are better than none, it's a clear disappointment that the Chromebook will ship sans-LTE. The WWAN equipped model marks things up $80, coming to $329. Pre-orders for both models began Thursday.