10 Early Looks At Samsung's Series 5 Chromebook

Samsung's Series 5 Chromebook

Samsung unveiled its first Chromebook, the Series 5, at Google I/O this week. It looks and feels a lot like a netbook, a category in which Samsung has been a major player, but Google and Samsung are positioning Chromebooks as an entirely new category of computing device.

Following are 10 shots of the Samsung Series 5, which comes black or white and is, quite frankly, a pretty impressively designed PC. Whether or not businesses embrace the Series 5 remains to be seen, but on the surface, at least, Samsung has come to the table with a Chromebook that can at least give companies something to think about when planning their next PC refresh.

Gleaming With Chrome Fueled Promise

Samsung's Series 5 Chromebook is priced at $429 and includes a 12.1-inch display, solid state drive, 8-hour battery life, full-size keyboard, built-in Wi-Fi and 3G. Samsung decided to offer it in both black and white right out of the gate, perhaps aware of the feeding frenzy that has accompanied Apple's recent introduction of the white iPhone 4, which triggered a brawl in a Beijing store this week.

Under the hood is Chrome OS, and Google is putting the Chrome brand on all Chromebooks. Will this become a counterpart to "Intel Inside"?

Sleek And Business-like

Samsung Series 5 Chromebook packs a lot of computing punch into a small package. It's fast, secure and stylish, and is just as suitable for home users as it is for road warriors, according to Google and Samsung.

Users won't have to deal with the tiny chiclet keyboards found in many netbooks: The Series 5 includes a full-size keyboard as well as an oversized multi-touch trackpad for easy navigation. Samsung's inaugural Chromebook is powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo N570 1.66-Ghz processor

Designed For The Mobile Worker

With a 0.79-inch thin case, the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook is optimized for mobility, offering up to 8.5 hours of battery life on a single charge. Also included are two USB ports capable of charging mobile phones and accessories, connecting digital cameras and media storage devices. The Series 5 also supports removable media cards (SD, SDHC, MMC) for photos, videos, music and documents.

Power Under The Hood

Samsung's Series 5 Chromebook looks like a netbook, but there are many notable differences. First, it starts up in less than 10 seconds and resumes instantly from standby. It also comes with a built-in high definition Webcam, built-in digital microphone and stereo speakers. Not to mention this fetching ivory hue.

No More Chiclet Keyboard

Anyone who has endured the frustration on trying to type and navigate on netbooks' annoying chiclet keyboards and microscopic trackpads will be pleased with the Series 5: It includes a full size keyboard and an oversized trackpad. The Series 5's rounded edges somehow evoke a sense of calm, too.

Chrome OS Makes Its Official Debut

A Web operating system? Some called it a preposterous notion, an indulgent flight of fancy worthy of scorn and ridicule. Humbug, some said.

Yet Google has now brought Chrome OS to market in an actual commercial product. The Series 5 runs on Chrome and users will have to get used to using Web applications to conduct their day-to-day computing tasks. The good news is, the Chrome OS user interface is pretty darn simple.

Lightweight Yet Sturdy

At 3.3 pounds, Samsung's Series 5 Chromebook is easy to carry around. We haven't had a chance to test its durability yet, but Samsung says its plenty capable of withstanding the rigors that an ordinary laptop would endure.

Minimal Need For Ventilation

The Samsung Series 5 includes a solid state drive, but the Chromebook uses cloud-based apps and backs up data to the cloud. It does run on an Intel Core 2 Duo N570 1.66Ghz processor, but as you can see from this shot, the Series 5 doesn't include much ventilation.

Samsung Taps Into Its Display Experience

Samsung says its deep experience in display has helped it design a screen that fits well with the Chromebook form factor. The Series 5's 12.1-inch display includes 16:10 resolution and is ideal for outdoor use, according to Samsung.

Chrome Web Store

Google's Chrome Web Store is where the magic will happen, in terms of the applications users will need for the Series 5 Chromebook. Google wowed the crowd at I/O by announcing that Angry Birds, the insanely popular mobile game, is now available on the Web for free via the Chrome Web Store.