In this video you can learn more about the differences between the old and the new Google Chromebook. Below you can read the transcript of the video.
Hey it´s Kevin Tofel from GigaOM, I´ve got my hands here the Google´s Chromebook made by Samsung, I´ve been using one of these for the last two or four months or so but I haven´t been using this one, what? No, I´ve been using this one that runs on an Intel processor, costs 449 dollars for the Wi-Fi edition, 549 for the 4G edition.
Well then, what´s this one? It looks lighter, it looks thinner, that´s because it is. Even better, it´s cheaper, at 249 dollars, this new Samsung Chromebook runs on an ARM processor, the same types of chips that powers smartphones and tablets, it´s lighter, it´s thinner, the battery runtime is the same, the performance is I´ll say comparable, maybe not quite as good as that old one that I´ve been using for the last four or five months, but pretty darn close. Google says this is the Chromebook for everyone so let´s take a closer look, compare the two and I´ll share some impressions because I´ve been using this for the last couple of hours.
So here are the two Chromebooks side by side, on the left is the original edition that I bought four or five months ago running the Intel processor, on the right this is the brand new one, you can see there´s a hinge on the outside here, what´s done there it´s for design purposes in order to make this thing thinner, in fact let me put these two top and bottom so you can see. It´s not a huge difference but it´s definitely noticeable, the device is definitely thinner on the top, the brand new one, and as a result some of the ports that are on the old one had to get moved to the back on this new Chromebook.
You´ll notice there´s a vent for the fan on the old one, this one is fanless, the new one is with the ARM processor is fanless. No ports over here, and everything is the same there. Now the screen on the new one is slightly smaller, it´s 11.6 inches, so it´s about half an inch smaller than the old screen, it´s 1366 x 768 resolution, brightness is only 200 nits and I will say that I have a problem with the old one even with the brightness when I´m trying to use the device outside. Speakers are on the bottom same as the old version, I´ve already tested them and they`re quite loud, and, yeah it´s definitely lighter this is 2.43 pounds, the old one I believe is a little over 3 pounds, noticeable difference I can feel it, thinner, smaller, and here I´ll give you a little walk around the ports too since they´re all right here on the back.
This here is a sim card slot, now this is a Wi-Fi edition so I can´t put the sim, a sim card here and have anything happen, Google says there will be a 3G version, there are no details on that at this time. We also have 2 USB ports, just like we did on the old version, however one is USB 2.0 and one is USB 3.0, or superspeed, so that boosts your transfer speeds by quite a large margin. Instead of the old display port, the display port plus plus, it´s HDMI here now, it´s full size HDMI, here´s where you plug in your device to charge it, over here we´ve got the headphone jack and we´ve got a SD card slot here, the device comes with 16 gigabytes of onboard flash storage just like the old edition and then you can expand memory right through here. Also Google is throwing in 100 gigabytes of Google Drive storage with the new Chromebook so you get 100 gig online storage plus you have 16 onboard and then you can expand here. Nothing else there and nothing on the right side.
One noticeable difference is that the old version had an Ethernet port right here so you could actually plug in to a wired network. You can´t do that with the new one so it is Wi-Fi only. It is 802 ABGN, it´s a 2×2 antenna so you should have good through put, my little bit of testing so far has shown no issues on that. And let´s see, battery life, oh before I talk a little bit more about the device, it´s actually I would say not much if any better than the old Intel-powered one, it´s rated for about 6 and a half hours so you´re not saving tons of battery life by going with this one, you´re saving space and you are having a lighter device.
So, let´s open this up so I can show you how fast it will start up, you get the Chrome logo, notice I didn´t press the power button just like the old version, you literally just open it up. Let me sign in, which I´ve done, and boom, we´re pretty much online at this point, it´s a blank tab, that´s how I have it set, Wi-Fi is already connected. It´s the same Chrome OS that I´ve been using and that other people are using today, it´s the most current, there are a few actual tweaks on here though, the interface looks a little bit refined, there´s some nice things like up here at the top right here let me see if I can zoom in and show you a little bit more detail here, up at the top right the settings looks a little bit different, it looks a little bit nicer, and also if we go to the settings down below, just a little bit of a cleaner look, no I don´t have 596,000 hours of battery life left, I´ve noticed that already.
You do have Bluetooth on this, that´s a huge upgrade in my opinion because it supports maybe Bluetooth mice, external keyboards, possibly even game controllers, so that is a plus because I did not have Bluetooth on my old version, so let´s see what else, everything else is pretty much the same here, I will also note that you get the integrated camera again, just as you did before, microphone port is up here now, and there´s also an ambient light sensor up in here and that I´ve noticed is doing a better job with adjusting the screen display brightness than the old one so that is good.
As far as the keyboard, it´s the same keyboard as near as I can tell, and that´s a good thing because I actually really like the keyboard on the Chromebooks today. Now the mouse pad, trackpad, let me move this up, is, is it a little smaller, it is a little smaller, let me put this one here so you can see, just not as deep, same width, and I´ve noticed, and maybe this is just me, that the tab 2, the tapping buttons are more geared towards the top half, I´ve occasionally been hitting new tabs and such on the bottom half and they´re not opening, so that means it amounts for a second, let me see if I can show you that. I´m going to try and open up a new tab by tapping kinda on the top of it, this button here, or on the bottom rather, and nothing happened, I get about half way up the mouse pad and then it does so, and my hand is right here and that´s where it starts working, so it seems like these are more of select buttons than anything else. I noticed the same thing on the older one but it doesn´t seem to be half and half, it seems to be like three quarters and a quarter in terms of tapping and response, so.
As far as performance, this is running what I believe is the first Cortex A15 chip and that is Samsung´s Exynos 52 50 and we knew that this was being tested, Chromebook has been tested on that chip oh several months ago, so it looks like the testing is complete at this point because that´s the chip that´s in here. I believe it´s 1.7 GHz, I haven´t gotten confirmation on that but that´s what I´m getting out of Samsung´s site, that it is 1.7 GHz.
Now, what does that mean in terms of performance? Well let´s see, most people would be using this say for Facebook, and other things, so let me just go log into Facebook, no problems there, I would read Techmeme a lot and various other sites, it´s fine, it´s all loaded. If I wanted to load our own site which isn´t totally graphics-heavy but we have a graphic for every post, let´s take a look at that, that´s loading. I´ve noticed that the performance seems to be, at least to me, I´ll say a half stat behind that of the old version, the old Intel version, and I suspect that´s possibly due to software optimization and yet for this chip, it´s a new chip, but I wouldn´t say it´s the same, and I wouldn´t say it´s better, I´d say it´s comparable.
I will say that this supports 1080p videos even the screen is not 1080p capable, the chip itself is, so let me go to movies, let´s get a Youtube movie trailer, and I´ll turn the sound up, I´ll say three quarters and I´ll turn the brightness, it´s all the way up right now. And the Avengers is pretty dark so I don´t want to do that, it´s hard to see at maybe the same…, I just said I wasn´t going to do that and then I did, use my back button, Promethous is also…, Madagascar should be bright and cheery, ooh, let´s check the preview, I´ll full screen it, there it is, looks perfectly fine, let´s change it from 360p to we´ll start at 720p, now that´s even better to me, looks fine, let´s turn the sound down, and let´s go all the way up to 1080p. Visually you may not be able to tell a difference, it looks pretty darn good to me, there was a little stutter there but now she´s all caught up, and it looks pretty good. So in terms of graphics performance at least for videos, I don´t see any difference whatsoever between this and the old version.
So, so let´s talk real quick about the pricing on this because 249 dollars is a very big difference from the 449 dollars of the last model that I purchased, and that makes this more accessible to people which I think is a great thing. A lot of people question the value proposition of 449 dollar Chromebook, I understand that, it works for me that´s why I bought it. 249 dollars, now you´ve got, netbook type pricing or lower, you´ve got a dedicated browser that works perfectly fine for most everyday tasks for people. Are businesses going to rush out and get this? No. Are everyday consumers going to get this? I think yes.
I think there´s a much more compelling argument for this type of device when it looks this sleek, lasts for a good 6 hours on a charge, and shuts down instantly, wakes up instantly, boots very quickly, let´s wake it back up, and you´re only paying 249 dollars for it.
I think it´s a good compelling deal, I don´t know if I will switch away from my Intel-powered one, only because I do use this as an everyday machine and on performance, it´s still something that´s important to me. But I may give this a longer try and see, because I like the fact that it´s lighter, sleeker, thinner, and I would take this everywhere, there´s no question about it, just like I do with the other one, but it would be easier to take this one, so I´ll have more thoughts as I use this longer but for now, that is an overview of Google´s new Chromebook running on the ARM processor made by Samsung, and that´s 249 dollars. I think it´s a good deal.