Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! ARM Powered Chromebook launched by Google with Samsung Exynos 5 ARM Cortex-A15 on board, $249!!!

Posted by Charbax – October 18, 2012

The day has come. The ARM Powered laptop revolution is here. Chrome OS on ARM, not just any ARM, the fastest ever ARM Cortex-A15 from Samsung, Exynos5250, 2GB RAM, 16GB Flash storage. This announcement is of course pure awesomeness. So, I guess, Google wanted to wait for ARM Cortex-A15 for what they may think to be satisfactory ARM Powered web browser OS performance. Consider this has to support all plugins, native code, OpenGL web, extensions, advanced AJAX-heavy Javascript web apps, caching of web apps for full offline sync and web acceleration on slow connections, tons of simultaneous opened tabs for everyone to feel fully comfortable! Videos coming:

Google Official:


Sundar Pichai at unveil event by ubergizmo (until Google posts the full official event video):

I'll add more videos of it here as bloggers post them!

  • Marc Guillot

    Finally, nice to see that Exynos 5 has arrived. Let’s see how good are Cortex-A15 and Mali 6XX, I expect a lot from them.

    By the way, I’m not so excited about Chrome OS (I don’t it is going anywhere).

  • can we put ubuntu on it ? with driver 3D graphics ?

  • My guess is yes. I think Google has previously confirmed they are open to people hacking chromebooks as they want to, users can always revert to safe boot (and secure updates) onto Chrome OS when they want. But of course, that’s to be confirmed.

  • I don’t see Windows/Mac going anywhere. The thin client model is due to become the default. This is how thin clients have to be implemented. Make all apps web apps, and enable web apps to do everything local apps could do, plus much more. For example, no need to install anything, just open a webpage. No need to invest in local hardware, just render all files remotely using upwards thousands of servers on the cloud. No need to waste time backing files up they all get backed up automatically on the cloud. No fuss getting everyone connected to the web, all people need to know is to type in URLs and perhaps just learn to manage bookmarks and few other stuff. This is very important because this means Laptops and Desktops can now run on 10x less power, thus run much longer on smaller batteries, with Pixel Qi LCD the ARM Powered laptops can run 20 hours and perhaps 50 hours on a battery. This is a complete shift in how people use computers. Also, the price can only go down towards free now. We’re talking a business model which Google and others easily can subsidize to give away computers at cost price or even below cost price. Once these are mass produced in the several tens of millions, expect 11.6″ to be $149 and 13.3″ to be $199. We’re talking ARM Powered Ultrabooks for $199 unsubsidized. $99 once subsidized by Google’s advertising machine, subsidized by cloud service and content subscriptions and more.

  • Joakim

    Hah, I knew you’d be going nuts about this announcement, so I popped over to see if you posted it. πŸ™‚ I’m a big believer in thin clients, but unfortunately the web is now a bloated rich client. Load up a HD video in Flash and then HTML5 from your favorite video site and then check your resource monitor to see which uses more CPU. I bet the HTML5 video will spike more: what does that say that HTML5 is a bigger hog than Flash, the king of bloat? Another big issue is internet access, which is not ubiquitous enough yet to make this work.

    And whether you believe in thin or rich clients, building a whole OS around one is just a dumb idea. You can use the cloud much more on your computer without forcing all apps to go through the software thin/rich client, as Chrome OS stupidly does. As for price, no doubt these ARM devices will be cheaper, but your suggested prices are too low. Ads on these devices make no money: Google has lost billions on Android, which the half a billion they’ve made on ads sent to Android devices is nowhere close to covering. Content subscriptions, who’s going to sell those? Certainly not Google, who moves nowhere near the content on Google Play that Amazon and Apple do.
    All that said, that is one good-looking ARM laptop. I was surprised to see it’s using Cortex A15, the first one as far as I know. Who would have thought the lowly Chromebook would be the first Cortex A15 device? πŸ™‚ What we really need is a good desktop OS to put on ARM laptops/desktops and unfortunately the only one that comes close, Mac OS X, is not licensed or used by Apple for ARM laptops. I suppose someone could whip some linux distro into shape, but nobody’s doing it and Ubuntu isn’t close.

  • 3d drivers will be hard to get running!

  • Doesn’t ARM say they wish to open source all Mali drivers? Haven’t they already done it?

  • dont think so…

  • Nikolay Nikolaev

    One of the guys behind it (Olof Johansson), posted in his G+ account very promising news.
    “And getting a regular u-boot on these to use as generic linux hacking platforms isn’t all that hard.”

    And then a very long post:
    ” … But, if you want to hack the machine more than that, you can open the machine, remove the write protection for the firmware on the system, and reflash it using a regular u-boot. This would allow you to boot anything you want, etc, but it would be harder to keep a regular Chrome OS dual-boot environment going….”

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  • Maventwo

    But $249 will of course drop when other developer of SoC will come on market.
    Both GlobalFoundries and TSMC have announced that they will start making FinFET SoC in end of 2013.

    Just think Rockchip and all other cheaper SoC developers than Samsung.

    But what will Google Drive cost after the 2 free years?

  • Google makes $20 Billion per year on Android users.

    Google makes more than $50 per year on Chrome OS users. Google makes upwards more than $100 per year on heavy/advanced/enthusiast/rich Android/Chrome users.

    All apps must be on the cloud for those apps to be able to take full advantage of the cloud. All apps can be much improved using the cloud. Video editing without the cloud can go nowhere. Photo editing without the cloud can go nowhere. Docs without the cloud can go nowhere. Add good cloud service to each of those, and you can get such apps that become many times better and that regularly get amazing new features added to them, all of those new features are much much more useful to everyone.

    Internet access is not even needed for a good Chrome OS experience. All good or emerging web apps run fully offline. Simply enter the URL and the web app runs off cache until the Internet connection automatically sychronizes your data and updates your web app if there is any update. No slowness, all your web apps load instantly even on a slow Internet connection. The built-in 16GB is ample enough to store thousands of web apps to work fully offline full of tons of content. The OLPC must use Chrome OS to bring cheap ARM Powered laptops to the most remote places in the world.

  • Guru

    Dear Charbax, I am a big fan of ARM smartbooks too. I predicted this 5 years back, however your predictions about 25% of market belong to ARM netbooks was unrealistic. ARM A15 is great, this Chromebook in useless.
    this is fascist strategy to want all your contacts, calendar events and docs in hand of Google. This is dangerous and unsafe. You must understand WHO are Khazars (book: 13th Tribe) and what are their agendas (Talmud)
    Google at top level is full of Khazars..

  • Joakim

    Lol, as usual, your Google zealotry has driven you nuts. πŸ˜€ My “half a billion” quote was based on the well-publicized figure that came out of the Apple lawsuit. That article also has Google claiming $2.5 billion from Android all last year, which I believe also includes content sold from their store, which isn’t really Android-specific. In any case, that’s far less than your $20 billion figure, which you pull out of your ass as always. πŸ™‚ As for $50 per Chrome OS user, highly unlikely but doesn’t matter, as they’ve sold almost nothing there. What Google makes on “enthusiast” users is irrelevant when the above link notes $10 per Android device, a much smaller figure that likely doesn’t cover the cost of development.

    Video editing using the cloud is a non-starter for anything but the simplest, low-res videos, because it will take you forever to upload anything bigger over most internet connections. You can do photo editing and docs in the cloud, but unfortunately web apps suck at giving a good usable interface, so many prefer native/mobile apps for that. And while you’re right that cloud apps can be updated quicker, most people just don’t need the portability of the cloud that much. They simply buy a laptop and keep all their documents with them locally, at home and at work. Most people aren’t traveling salesman who need their info available everywhere.

    “Internet access is not even needed for a good Chrome OS experience. All good or emerging web apps run fully offline.”
    You clearly have no clue about this market: almost no web apps run offline, which others have mentioned in their previews of this device. As for your non sequitur about OLPC, that project was always a stupid idea and now it’s thankfully basically dead.

  • Max Abramson

    I certainly see the advantage of thin clients and web apps but… Now Google is competing head to head with the used laptop market, and even new laptops start around $250 running Windows 7. Only Apple is missing the boat on low priced laptops because, “We don’t produce junk.” I do professional freelance work, and there’s very little that I can do on a thin client that people are willing to pay money for. Whether you need to write something in Python/Java/C or create an advertisement or logo that is really interetsting to look at–whether you’re generating some impressive 3D graphics, making music for a real CD, or doing mid- high-end video editing, Google Apps just doesn’t cut it. Most of the people who make a living off of high technology can’t use a thin client. If hacking the box is the only way to get a full version of Linux running, then that’s what people will use to compile, render, publish, print, and vectorize.

  • Robert Jakiel

    Samsung is looking to open up some stuff for the Exynos but so far the Mali isn’t one of them. Not to mention that because this is an Exynos 5250 that means there is a Mail 604 GPU in there which is the new kid on the block. I don’t see ARM or for that matter Samsung opening anything up soon on that which is a shame. This unit would be absolutely perfect will full driver support booting from internal storage running Ubuntu 12.10. I look forward to the day that happens but until then we are stuck with Chrome. Until Samsung, HTC, nVidia, TI, Imagination Technologies and other ARM SoC and GPU manufacturers open up their drivers we will always be stuck with whats on the system when purchased.

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