Google has introduced a new thin and light Chromebook model at a price point that may finally attract an audience outside of curious geeks with a bit of extra disposable income. The new Chromebook is priced at $249 (or $329 with 3G), and while you can argue that's what previous models should have been selling for all along (and we'd agree with that), it's not too late to make a splash, especially now that netbooks are nearly extinct and with Ultrabooks hovering at price points three and four times as high.
Of course, Chromebooks are different animals than netbooks, Ultrabooks, or even standard notebooks. These systems run Google's cloud-focused Chrome OS built around a lightweight Linux kernel. Because it's basically a browser masquerading as a full blown system, Chromebooks don't require cutting edge (and expensive) hardware.
To wit, the new $249 Chromebook, built by Samsung, boasts an 11.6-inch display with a 1366x768 resolution, Samsung Exynos 5 dual-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of solid state storage. These items are flanked by a single USB 3.0 port, a USB 2.0 port, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, 3W stereo speaker, built-in webcam, 3-in-1 memory card reader, and a 2-cell battery good for up to 6.5 hours of run time.
The system measures 11.4 inches by 8.09 inches by 0.69 inches and weighs 2.43 pounds. It boots in less than 10 seconds, resumes instantly, and comes with 100GB of free storage on Google Drive for two years, Google says.
You can pre-order the newest Chromebook now and it will ship next week.