Samsung has launched its first Chromebook in a partnership with Google designed to popularise the Chrome OS browser-based computing system.
The Series 5 Chromebook weighs 3.3lb, and comes with a dual-core N570 Intel Atom processor, a 16GB solid state drive and 2GB of RAM. The 12.1in LCD matte screen is capable of 1,280x800 resolution and 300 cd/m² brightness, the company claims.
Connectivity comes in the form of 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and the laptop has two USB ports, a port for removable storage, and a webcam built into the lid for videoconferencing.
"With the creation of the Series 5 we are again pushing the boundaries of innovation by introducing an entirely new product category to the notebook market," said Scott Ledterman, director of mobile PC marketing at Samsung Enterprise business division.
"This partnership has allowed us to combine Samsung's design and engineering expertise with Google's simple, secure software to provide a revolutionary notebook to fit today's web-centric lifestyle."
The Series 5 is sold in two versions on Amazon.com and Best Buy, a Wi-Fi-enabled model for $429, or a Wi-Fi and 3G model for $499 with 100MB of free data from Verizon Wireless for two years.
Like the Google CR-48 Chrome laptop, the function buttons on the Series 5 Chromebook have been replaced with web site navigation tools, as well as volume and brightness controls. The Caps Lock key has also been removed and replaced with a search button.
"Samsung's reputation for innovative design and hardware development makes it a great partner to introduce one of the first Chromebooks," said Caesar Sengupta, director of product management at Google.
"We look forward to bringing a much better computing experience built around the speed, simplicity and security of Chrome."
Samsung is not the first vendor to offer hardware with the Chrome OS. Xi3 had expected to be the first to market, but was pipped at the post by Australian manufacturer Kogan.
Google is hoping that the consumer market for Chromebooks takes off, but is focusing most of its energy on the enterprise space. The company unveiled Chromebooks from Acer and Samsung at the Google I/O conference this year that are available for leasing.
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