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Samsung and Google jointly unveiled this week a second-generation Chromebook laptop and the market’s first Chromebox desktop, both of which are cloud-based and run on Google’s homegrown Chrome OS.
Like the software giant’s debut line of Chromebooks that are sold today from PC makers including Acer and Samsung, the new Series 5 Chromebook and Series 3 Chromebox -- also designed by Samsung -- come with built-in cloud storage capabilities, allowing users to access files, bookmarks or apps through a Google Chrome browser on any other device.
This cloud-based model also yields an overall faster user experience, Samsung and Google said. The new Chromebook and Chromebox, both of which run Intel Celeron Core processors and Google’s homegrown Chrome OS, perform nearly three times as quickly compared to first-generation Chromebooks. A multi-touch trackpad, along with an open-source firmware stack, are also said to contribute to the new devices’ amped-up speed.
"This is the next step in our journey toward an always-new computing experience focused on speed, simplicity and security," said Caesar Sengupta, director of product management at Google, in a statement.
Apart from its integration with the cloud, Google differentiates its Chromebook line-up by its automatic software updates. Through Chrome, these updates are intended -- at least in Google’s words -- to keep things "always new," meaning users don’t have to manually install anti-virus protection or other security software because they will be pushed out automatically.
Both the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook and Series 3 Chromebox come with 16 GB SSD and 4 GB of RAM. The latter requires users to provide their own keyboard and monitor, 30 inches or below.
Google first introduced Chromebooks last spring, which were initially met with skepticism by security experts who feared a cloud-based OS could leave user data vulnerable to attacks. They also, however, appeared to be a natural choice for enterprises already enrooted in the cloud.
Neither Google nor Samsung immediately responded when asked how many Chromebooks they have sold to date. Acer declined to comment, saying it doesn’t break out sales by product category.