Exploring the Samsung ARM Chromebook 3G

Back in late 2010, Google announced a "Chromebook"—a low-cost, entry-level netbook that would run Google's own operating system, ChromeOS. Google's vision of ChromeOS, although based on Linux, basically would be a giant Web browser, with all the apps on the machine running in the browser. ChromeOS would be a nearly stateless computer, with all the user's apps based in Google's cloud, running the Google Apps suite.

Google's first stab at this was the CR-48: an Intel Atom-powered netbook with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of Flash. The CR-48 wasn't a powerhouse by any means, but it had a couple cool things going for it. First, it came with 100MB of free 3G service a month. Second, it had a "developer mode" that allowed users to break free of the strict Chrome-based browser jail and expose the chewy Linux center. A CR-48 in developer mode became a usable machine for a lot of people, because the machine pretty much became a small Linux laptop.

Today—the Samsung ARM Chromebook

Fast-forward a couple years, and the first real Chromebook products are hitting the market. Quite a few Chromebooks exist today, but all of them are Intel-based (either Atom or Celeron). In late 2012, however, Samsung released an ARM-based Chromebook. This little guy is different in lots of ways—primarily, it beats its bigger brothers in size and battery life, without compromising much on performance. Speaking of performance, let's go over the specifications of the XE303—the first non-Intel powered Chromebook:

  • Dual-Core, Samsung Exynos 5 ARM CPU (Cortex A15, 1.7GHz).

  • 2GB of RAM (not upgradable, soldered to the mainboard).

  • 16GB SSD/Flash-based disk (also not upgradable, soldered to the mainboard).

  • ARM Mali T-604 Quad-Core GPU.

  • Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n).

  • Bluetooth 3.0 (sadly, no Bluetooth 4.0 here).

  • 11" LCD screen at 1366x768 resolution.

  • One USB 2.0 port, one USB 3.0 port, one HDMI-out port and one SD card slot.

  • Optional 3G modem (CDMA, on the Verizon network in the US, equipped on this model).

  • 6.5 hours of (rated) battery life.

  • Dimensions: 2.4 lbs (1.10 kg), 11.4" x 8.2" x 0.68" (289.6 x 208.5 x 17.5mm).

  • Bonus: 100GB of Google Drive included for two years.

  • Bonus: 100MB/month of Verizon 3G service included for two years (3G model only).

Figure 1. The Samsung ARM Chromebook, atop an iPad for Scale

Looking at the specifications individually, they aren't mind-blowing. However, when you put them together in a $329 computer ($249 if you get the non-3G version), that's something different altogether. This is a functioning computer—with a keyboard—that is playing in the tablet price-point and space. The keyboard is actually quite good for a machine of this size. Compared to other netbook-class machines I've owned, this keyboard is far and away the best I've used amongst low-end hardware. The display isn't outstanding, but it's serviceable and does the job. The build quality is quite good, although the unit is built from plastic—there's no metal in it—keeping the price point down where it needs to be. The unit doesn't creak, pop or feel cheap, despite the fact that it's one of the least expensive computers I've owned.

Figure 2. The Chromebook in Use, iPad Provided for Scale

Surprisingly enough, the little dual-core ARM CPU does a great job of keeping things running—and running silently, as there's no hard disk or fans to make noise in this little guy. The Chromebook had no problems playing 720p video streams from Netflix (where the Google and Netflix wizards have HTML5 streaming running for the Chromebook without needing anything but the Chrome browser). The Chromebook also performed just fine while watching H264-encoded video streaming via Apache off a machine on my local network, and it did it while maintaining its advertised battery life of 6.5 hours. But, it's running something that's not a "real OS"—ChromeOS. Is ChromeOS usable?

______________________

Bill Childers is the Virtual Editor for Linux Journal. No one really knows what that means.

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Terima Kasih

Sewa Tongkang's picture

this is very interesting. thanks for that. we need more sites like this. i commend you on your great content and excellent topic choices visit Sewa Tongkang | Susu Formula Terbaik

first stab at this was the

Anonymous's picture

first stab at this was the CR-48: an Intel Atom-powered netbook with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of Flash. The CR-48 wasn't a powerhouse by any means, but it had a couple cool things going for it.

great specs

queenara putri's picture

it really great chromebooks. but the price a think much expensive.

rilakkuma onesie

rilakkuma onesie's picture

adult men women onesies,funny onesies,baby onesies, kigurumi pjs,animal costumes

animal onesies for adults

animal onesie's picture

Buy Hot Animal Kigurumi Onesies Pajamas At Wholesale Price.
animal onesies
animal onesie

stitch onesie

miyazyn's picture

Buy Hot Animal Kigurumi Onesies Pajamas At Wholesale Price.
dinosaur onesie
stitch onesie

thanks for you post.

Animal Onesies's picture

thanks for you post.

flying squirrel onesie

rilakkuma onesie's picture

hello kitty onesie http://www.hotonesie.com/s001-hello-kitty-onesie-p-3.html
flying squirrel onesie http://www.hotonesie.com/s054-man-squirrel-onesie-p-120.html
adult men women onesies,funny onesies,baby onesies, kigurumi pjs,animal costumes

nice topic

Ziemassvētki 2014's picture

Nice post.

cheap computers

cheap computers's picture

check this site cheap , refurbished , used computers/laptop available .

Electrocomputerwarehouse.com

cheapcheapcomputers.com/

Samsung ARM is great!

rollies's picture

I like this product!.. thanks for best review..
http://danytrilaksono.com/alfaonline-com-toko-belanja-online-murah-promo...

Samsung Leading From The Front

Anonymous's picture

Samsung making a quick journey towards the success. With every passing day Samsung introducing new technologies and services to its appliances and gadgets.

http://french-door-refrigerator.net/

Minneapolis

kevinguru's picture

Thanks for informative share! It is a great item and a fair price for this netbook, but I still I'm not sure about ChromeOS.

Cheap Women, Men and Kids UGG

anne chen's picture

Cheap Women, Men and Kids UGG boots earmuffs, glove online, Paypal and Credit card accepted

http://www.cnuggmall.com

cheap computers

cheap computers's picture

Cheap , refurbished , used , discount Dell laptops available here in cheap prices with good specs

http://electrocomputerwarehouse.com

cheapcheapcomputers.com/

Check this site cheap ,

cheap computers's picture

Check this site cheap , refurbished , used computers/laptop available .

electrocomputerwarehouse.com

cheapcheapcomputers.com/

nice mobile gadget

rental mobil palembang's picture

Untuk mengatasi masalah sewa rental mobil murah di palembang yaitu dengan membina mitra dengan sesama pebisnis rental bukan menjadikannya sebagai kompetitor, karena pelanggan mobil sewaan sering minta jenis dan model mobil yang aneh-aneh..!! dan itu selalu disediakan oleh sewa rental mobil murah di palembang yang lain

I'm not a big fen of Samsung

Gabreil Stunning's picture

I'm not a big fen of Samsung but this looks interesting, and the most important thing is that it is rather affordable.

rental mobil

megahrental's picture

Very nice article! thanks for sharing and thanks for information

Reply to comment | Linux Journal

Alfaonline.com : Toko belanja online murah's picture

Amazing! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It's
on a totally different topic but it has pretty much the
same page layout and design. Outstanding choice
of colors!

Mobile Broadband

Adam Sand's picture

That's a nice chromebook features. Keep it up!

++++

cnbestmall's picture

++++ http://www.cnbestmall.com ++++

PAY PAL ACCEPT, FREE SHIPPING

Nike AIr max, Shox, Rift, dunk, blazer, air force 1 shoes: 48 USD

Nike free running shoes: 42 USD

D&G, LV, Gucci, parda DC, polo, puma, supra shoes: 42 USD.

Timberland boot: 50 USD

T-shirts (polo, ed hardy, lacoste,gucci, lv, etc) $28

Jeans (AF, armani, bape, BBC, CA, coogi, D&G, Diesel, Evisu, Levis, gucci, true religion, versace) 45 USD

Down Coat jacket parka vests (moncler, canada goose, barbour, parajumpers, woolrich) 168 USD-268 USD

++++ http://www.cnbestmall.com ++++

Thank you for another

Gadget World Store's picture

Thank you for another essential article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a complete way of writing? I have a presentation incoming week, and I am on the lookout for such information.

http://www.gadgetworldstore.com

How do I download music in my Google Chrome to play music?

ItsAkshaySingh's picture

How do I download music in my Google Chrome to play music? It seems to be, there's no way, you must use Windows or Mac and install the Downloader Manager !

Devon ke dev mahadev, Qubool Hai, Big Boss Season 7

--Akshay

listen to the music

Cr48 owner's picture

You can buy from, or upload your music to "Music on Google Play". Your music will be available to you using your Chromebook with wifi. You do not need Windows, Mac, or Download Manager. Don't forget your listening device.

Cheers!

Best devices

Anna Maria's picture

As long as chrome 3G has a competitive price.

@ http://griyamobilkita.webs.com

I'm not talking here about

Akshay Singh's picture

I'm not talking here about prices. I just had a question here that how do i download music in my chrome? Bigg Boss Episodes, Qubool hai, Devon ke dev mahadev

--Akshay

The Best Devices

Anna Maria's picture

Chromebook #G is the best. It's the "must have device" . Thanks for the information.

rental mobil jakarta

This article gives me a great

linda99's picture

This article gives me a great help , I want to share more of this good article, the article that I find very good information in the article , I learned a lot
voyance par mail

Query

Nabeela's picture

does anyone have any idea how to increase the size,colour, & trails of the mouse cursor on samsung chromebook?

It is a great item and a fair

Tripp's picture

It is a great item and a fair price for this netbook, but I still I'm not sure about ChromeOS. Thanks to you that we are able to be updated about all this. It is so interesting, thank you.

Beautiful ... I love your

distribution prospectus paris's picture

Beautiful ... I love your blog full of great ideas , in fact I just signed up to your news if you want to do the same, it is with pleasure , good luck !

netbook-class

anikfaaz's picture

Compared to other netbook-class machines I've owned, this keyboard is far and away the best I've used amongst low-end hardware
------------
citra indah at http://sooboos.com/property/citra-indah-dan-citra-gran-perumahan-idaman-...

I agree, this keyboard

RichardThomm's picture

I agree, this keyboard ergonomics is equal to
zero !

Great to know about

Johnny Vaughn's picture

Great to know about Chromebook 3G Please ensure proper bandwith of 3g then I think we should talk about 4G. 3G is not available let alone 4G. thank you.

Fantastic beat ! I wish to

AC Servicing's picture

Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice even as you amend your web site, how could i subscribe for a blog site? The account aided me a applicable deal. I were a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright transparent concept

blogging with john chow

Anonymous's picture

Interesting and well written,

erikkkkkkkkkkkk's picture

Interesting and well written, as usual.
Thanks.

Reply to comment | Linux Journal

Samsung Chromebook Deals's picture

Right here is the perfect site for everyone who hopes to understand this topic.
You understand so much its almost tough to argue with
you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa).
You certainly put a new spin on a subject which has been discussed for many years.
Excellent stuff, just excellent!

White Paper
Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI

Linux has become a key foundation for supporting today's rapidly growing IT environments. Linux is being used to deploy business applications and databases, trading on its reputation as a low-cost operating environment. For many IT organizations, Linux is a mainstay for deploying Web servers and has evolved from handling basic file, print, and utility workloads to running mission-critical applications and databases, physically, virtually, and in the cloud. As Linux grows in importance in terms of value to the business, managing Linux environments to high standards of service quality — availability, security, and performance — becomes an essential requirement for business success.

Learn More

Sponsored by Red Hat

White Paper
Private PaaS for the Agile Enterprise

If you already use virtualized infrastructure, you are well on your way to leveraging the power of the cloud. Virtualization offers the promise of limitless resources, but how do you manage that scalability when your DevOps team doesn’t scale? In today’s hypercompetitive markets, fast results can make a difference between leading the pack vs. obsolescence. Organizations need more benefits from cloud computing than just raw resources. They need agility, flexibility, convenience, ROI, and control.

Stackato private Platform-as-a-Service technology from ActiveState extends your private cloud infrastructure by creating a private PaaS to provide on-demand availability, flexibility, control, and ultimately, faster time-to-market for your enterprise.

Learn More

Sponsored by ActiveState