New Chromebooks and now Chromebox, in Chrome OS reboot

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is proudly showing off the new Chrome OS hardware, including a Mac-Mini-style Chromebox, as well as the now-traditional Chromebooks. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wonder if third time's a charm for the cloud-computing platform.

Chromebook and Chromebox

By Richi Jennings: Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Two Nine Six Six on the Meters...    

Juan Carlos Perez reports:

Referred to generically as "Chromebooks,"...[they're] designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet and for online applications. ... [The] next step includes...making the machines more widely available. The new Samsung models will be available online today...and they will be for sale also at select Best Buy stores...in June.

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Samsung's Chromebook Series 5 550 laptop has a 12.1-inch display (1280x800)...and its battery lasts for six hours of continuous usage. ... It has an Intel Celeron 867 dual-core processor running at...1.3GHz, 4G bytes of RAM...built-in, dual-band Wi-Fi...and a Gigabit Ethernet port. ... [It] will cost US$449 for the Wi-Fi-only version and $549 for the 3G model.

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[The] desktop...Chromebox Series 3, has an Intel Celeron B840 dual-core...1.9GHz, 4G bytes of RAM...dual-band Wi-Fi...Gigabit Ethernet port...six USB 2.0 ports, a DVI single link output, a 2x DisplayPort++. ... It costs $329.   
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Iain Thomson adds:

Sales for ChromeOS have been less than stellar. ... At $449 the 550 isn’t cheap. ... The Series 3 Chromebox is...a cheaper option at $329, but you've got to factor in the cost of the peripherals.

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[H]aving a desktop option may help with the enterprise market...[but for] the same money as the 550 Chromebook Samsung will sell you a Pentium-powered 15.1 inch Windows 7 system.

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Google...[also] now offers Amazon and NewEggg as folks willing to flog you a 'box or 'book.   
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Nathan Olivarez-Giles looks ahead:

Series 5 550 might actually tempt you into moving your computing workload into Google’s cloud. ... Storage remains at 16GB. It’s...assumed that Chromebook users will be storing the majority of their files in the cloud.

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[The] new Chromebook has a much more responsive trackpad. There’s also a metallic palm rest surrounding [it that] speaks to a build quality you rarely find in inexpensive, commodity notebooks.

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Last month, Google updated the Chrome OS on every Chromebook...instantly [making] every Chromebook a better, more capable machine. ... [N]ext month, offline document editing and storage should roll out. ... A native viewer for Microsoft Office documents is on the way as well.

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[The] new desktop interface (which allows for true multitasking)...should continue to nudge Chrome OS toward greater relevance and utility.   
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Meanwhile, Lee Bell risks mentioning the A-word:

The Chromebox is an Apple Mini-style desktop box.

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Google said that both the Chromebox and the refreshed series 5 Chromebook...will be almost three times faster than its first generation of Chromebooks.

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Chrome OS has been popular with schools and businesses due to its automatic upgrades...and reduction in the need for IT departments to manage anti-virus. ... The Chromebox could integrate even better with businesses...due to its potential as a desktop PC replacement.   
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And Myriam Joire gives the 'box a spin, comparing it to the aforementioned pomaceous boxlet:

[It's] a Chromebook in a box. ... Is it a better choice than an entry-level Mac mini?

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Apple should be flattered...or it should be readying its army of lawyers. ... [It has] the exact same 7.6-inch-square footprint, rounded corners...and silver rim. ... Unlike the faceless Mac mini, the Chromebox provides a few ports and controls on the front panel...a grounded AC socket...and two DisplayPort connectors.

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The Chromebox handles 1080p video playback without hiccups or drama. ... Better yet, with 4GB of RAM it's now possible to open a few dozen tabs before noticing any performance hit.

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[The] entry-level Mac mini is a more versatile choice. ... [But] it's going to be hard for...tinkerers to resist the appeal of this extremely hackable little box.   
M0RE

   

And Finally...
Two Nine Six Six on the Meters

   
 
Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch, for which he has won ASBPE and Neal awards. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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