Samsung Launches New ARM-Powered XE303C12 Chromebook

Subject: General Tech | October 20, 2012 - 09:40 PM |
Tagged: xe303c12, Samsung, laptop, google, Exynos 5250, Chromebook, chrome os, arm

While Android gets most of the attention, it is not the only operating system from Google. Chrome OS was released two years ago, and despite the rising popularity of smartphones and tablets, it is still very much alive and kicking on the cloud-connected “Chromebooks.”

In fact, earlier this week Samsung announced a brand new Chromebook powered by its own Exynos 5250 ARM System of a Chip (SoC). The new system is lighter than the company’s previous Chromebook offerings at 2.43 pounds and is less than an inch thick. The specifications are not impressive for a laptop, but in the context of a Chromebook where much of the processing is done on Internet-connected servers the internals should ensure that you get good battery life – up to 6.3 hours – out of the mobile machine.

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The 11.6” Chromebook has a display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, 1.5W stereo speakers, and a full physical keyboard with trackpad.

External I/O options include:

  • 1 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x Headphone/Mic combo jack
  • 1 x SD card slot

The USB 3.0 option is interesting, and should allow you to hook up fast external storage should you need more caching space for offline use.

On the outside, the Chromebook very much resembles a standard laptop, but on the inside it is closer to the specifications of a smartphone or tablet. Interestingly, Samsung has chosen its Exynos 5250 system on a chip to power the XE303C12 Chromebook. That processor is packing two Cortex A15-based ARM CPU cores and an ARM Mali T604 GPU. While the Exynos 15 is capable of clocking up to 2GHz, it is unclear whether or not the Chromebook will feature chips clocked at that speed or not. It is certainly a possibility though, since the laptop form factor would provide ample cooling versus a more constrained smartphone or tablet. Beyond the SoC, Samsung has packed in 2GB of RAM and a 16GB solid state drive (SSD). Additionally, the XE303C12 Chromebook includes a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip – useful for business uses – and 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi radio with a 2x2 antenna configuration.

The new Samsung Chromebook is available for pre-order now, and will be officially available for purchase at Best Buy, Amazon, Newegg, and other retailers beginning October 22, 2012. It has an MSRP of $249.99.

I’m interested to see how this compared to the Windows RT offerings, and whether the cheaper price will win people over versus those devices. On the other hand, it may be that Android tablets – like the Nexus 7, Nook Tablet, and new Kindle Fire tablets – are the favored devices for all but road warriors needing a decent keyboard. What do you think?

Source: Samsung

October 21, 2012 | 05:59 AM - Posted by Elvis (not verified)

I don't get it. It's a laptop form factor running a low adoptions rate OS with an App Store that no developer will waste their time creating apps for if they want to make any money. All ones documents are stored in the cloud but it dosnt have a cellular radio for people on the go which this device is clearly targeted for. Any what enterprise will adopt this. None.

October 21, 2012 | 07:04 AM - Posted by Gonox (not verified)

There is potential if the harware is not locked down both private and enterpise use. Open source OS can do the job.(Hack it!) on the cheap.

October 21, 2012 | 01:38 PM - Posted by stefan (not verified)

You don't get it because you did not read! There is no app store, its cloud based, server has the apps, no virui, low power, light, affordable, its meant for professionals, not just surfers or just gamers, for writers, coders, people who create not consume. Try to read a little about it. Then you will understand, or

October 21, 2012 | 02:09 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Actually, the OS has a huge adoption rate. Anyone that uses the Chrome browser has the Chrome OS. The future of computing is on the cloud. Cloud based operating systems are young now. But they are already quite powerful. These are great machines for $250.

October 22, 2012 | 03:17 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

Yeah, to an extent. Chrome OS does have a desktop now though :). I wasn't saying that there are not a lot of Chromebooks and/or Chrome users out there, but it does seem like Android gets the most attention as far as Google's OS offerings.

October 21, 2012 | 05:51 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Man! the marketing spin, Google profits are down. got to get something like Apple. Microsoft and Google both want an ecosystem to call their own! Google search is so full of crap results and links to Google's own content that it is no different than a closed app! It is no wonder why people are using apps for searches! I want an operating system that is an operating system, a browser that is a browser, and my apps on the desktop. The omly ecosystem I want, is the one in the woods.

October 21, 2012 | 07:56 PM - Posted by deowll (not verified)

How does this beat my old netbook?

October 22, 2012 | 03:18 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

It is probably lighter, will get better battery life and most of the processing is done server-side so performance should be better if you are using a fast enough internet connection.

October 22, 2012 | 03:01 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

*yawn* worse then a netbook.

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