Samsung Chromebook Review

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weput

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vzmckw3fAQo

AFAIK, hardware acceleration hasn't been implemented yet...minor teaks on the "unfinished" video driver are showing some potential.

As you see; the platform is a work in progress.

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Baer

Chromebooks, Netbooks.....Meh!

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SMAH

The craptastic Windows netbooks are still very much with us, only now they are being sold with a price hike as Windows 8 tablets. That was the whole reason Microsoft killed off old style Windows netbooks - to give their new overpriced Windows netbooks a chance.

The Clovertrail dual core Intel Atom powered Windows 8 tablets and hybrids are yesterday's slowpoke Windows Atom powered netbooks with the keyboard taken away, touch added, price hiked to $600, and being peddled as the brave new world. Here's the thing though - nobody is buying Windows RT devices because they can't run Windows apps, and there are very few Metro (aka modern) apps. The rationale for Windows 8 Pro (Intel based) devices is supposed to be that you can run Windows apps on them, and that they are worth paying $600 for because of it. The problem is that running proper Windows apps on them is a painful exercise in frustration because of the slowness, the small screen, and lack of adequate hard drive space. Clover trail Windows 8 tablets make no sense whatsoever. They are adequate as a web browsing tablet and lightweight tablet in terms of speed, but why for that use, would you buy one over an Android or iPad which have far more tablet apps - given you have to pay more and sacrifice battery life and weight for the privilege of buying a Windows 8 equivalent of Windows RT in terms of the apps you would be using? Why on earth would you buy it instead of the discontinued traditional el-cheapo Windows Atom netbook which is about $300 cheaper?

$600 for an Atom netbook, when you can get the faster Samsung Chromebook for $250. Microsoft must be joking.

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power cord

Great article and it help much!

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remc86007

The atom would likely be a bit better off if the benchmarks used were multithreaded....

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vrmlbasic

The Atom processors were slaughtered in the benchmarks. Why am I not surprised?

That said, this new device doesn't seem far above a netbook when it comes to on-board processing power. I realize that's not the point of this device, sadly, but even still it should be ashamed that it pulls in a mere 7 fps in that HTML5 test while my rather aged PC is rocking 60 FPS, in FireFox no less.

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csark

I have this very ARM based Chromebook and after reading this article ran the same benchmark test on my machine. Let's just say that my home internet is sucky at best but I still posted 60 fps with 10 fish. I don't know how the author of this article got seven but I did it multiple times at different parts of the day and still got 60 fps.

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zoner

Your aged PC also sucks up a lot more power :).

You're quite correct though - processing power-wise it's not much different from a netbook, BUT, unlike a netbook it doesn't have to pull the enormous weight of a full-fledged (Windows) OS.

You're also correct about pure processing power not being the point. Who would worry about a benchmark if you can play 1080p video? Any *additional* processing power would just needlessly affect battery life.

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vrmlbasic

Power is largely irrelevant: if I'm at a place with solid internet access of speed to make the Chromebook function as intended then I have access to a power outlet.

The benchmarks are telling of the potentially inadequate-for-modern-web-browsing power of this Chromebook. The netbooks of yesteryear were waylaid by script-heavy interactive websites (which are nigh on ubiquitous), and if this thing can only eke out 7 FPS in a benchmark for the script which makes those sites then that doesn't bode well. Perhaps Google could intercede and do the script processing in lieu of the ChromeBook's onboard ARM hardware.

At least the netbooks are functional outside of Google's provision and cloud services: my netbook can fire up some RTS or other 2d games if I need it to, it can even eke out 60 FPS in Serious Sam coop, but the Chromebook cannot do such.

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jason2393

How does this compare to the $200 Acer C7?

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zoner

The C7 tends to outperform the ARM model by a small margin.

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Opm2

Why not port android to this thing and give it some productivity options.

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AFDozerman

Because I feel that eventually, Google feels that the infrastructure and the nature if the Internet is going to be to a point where local apps are at the same level as cloud based apps when it comes to productivity and even higher end stuff like 3D games and CADD. Although the infrastructure isn't completely in place yet, in five to ten years, Internet APIs such as silverlight, flash, WebGL, webcl, and things that don't even exist yet will be at the same level as contempoary APIs. This, coupled with ubiquitous access to high speed Internet will create an environment where the chromebook isn't nearly as useless today. The reason they are selling it at this point is that, for some people, you can do this already, albeit slowly and with few options.

In short, just wait. The chromebook may seem useless today compared to android, but just wait a few years until the Internet evolves to match this product. Things will change.

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MrHasselblad

Chromebooks are already being used in designing video games for computers and consoles; in the photography and publishing industries, and here is where it gets interesting...

Chromebooks are also being used with most CADD programs and even GIS.

Yet these internet based computers will not work in well over ten percent of all of america

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AFDozerman

"Chromebooks are already being used in designing video games for computers and consoles; in the photography and publishing industries, and here is where it gets interesting...

Chromebooks are also being used with most CADD programs and even GIS."

Really, now? I haven't heard of such happenings. Who is doing it, and what software are they using?

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vrmlbasic

A pencil and a piece of paper can be "used in designing video games for computers and consoles...". Without specifics, I am unimpressed.

If this all uses offloaded processing via a server, then why would we need Chromebooks for this when we could get fully functional laptops with superior standalone capabilities for only a few dollars more?

If I'm using some sort of server-based CADD program or GIS, why would I limit myself to a 250+ dollar chromebook when I could get a 350 laptop that would be able to do all that, as well as function extremely well without an internet connection?

The chromebook is a dumb terminal that you can carry. Not worth 250+ IMO.

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AFDozerman

Because I feel that eventually, Google feels that the infrastructure and the nature if the Internet is going to be to a point where local apps are at the same level as cloud based apps when it comes to productivity and even higher end stuff like 3D games and CADD. Although the infrastructure isn't completely in place yet, in five to ten years, Internet APIs such as silverlight, flash, WebGL, webcl, and things that don't even exist yet will be at the same level as contempoary APIs. This, coupled with ubiquitous access to high speed Internet will create an environment where the chromebook isn't nearly as useless today. The reason they are selling it at this point is that, for some people, you can do this already, albeit slowly and with few options.

In short, just wait. The chromebook may seem useless today compared to android, but just wait a few years until the Internet evolves to match this product. Things will change.

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wumpus

A quick glance didn't notice anything about a touchscreen and I wouldn't want to use one if the keyboard is in the way. The real question would be how long you would play with ChromeOS before tossing Mint (actually, I think only Ubuntu drops easily onto ARM based Chromebooks) onto it. At price points that include GPUs that make standard gaming futile, a healthy Linux system makes windows (especially 8) look pretty silly.

Not mentioned: DOES IT HAVE AN SSD? Most of the Chromebooks I've seen insist on rotating media even though storing >64G is rather pointless (and they should do fine even with ~32G). Where is the SSD?

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zoner

It does have an SSD (16G).
By "most of the Chromebooks" you must mean the Acer C7... that's the only Chromebook that relies on a traditional HD, so far.

No, it doesn't have a touch screen. You can get one on the new Chromebook Pixel though.

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DeltaFIVEengineer

That would make too much sense.