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Google prices its new Web-based Samsung Chromebook at $249

October 18, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez | This post has been updated. See note below.
  • Google has announced the $249 Samsung Chromebook.
Google has announced the $249 Samsung Chromebook. (Google )

Google unveiled a Samsung Chromebook laptop Thursday, the company's first computer that may be priced right for many consumers.

The Chromebook, made by Samsung but running Google's Chrome operating software, features an 11.6-inch display with 1,366 by 768 pixel resolution. The machine is less than an inch thick and weighs 2.5 pounds. The Chromebook also features a USB 2.0 port and a USB 3.0 port as well. It also includes an HDMI out and is Bluetooth compatible.

Additionally, the new Google computer has a battery life of more than six hours and a front-facing camera. It runs on a Samsung Exynos 5 dual-core processor.

Google didn't say if there is any storage space on the laptop, but consumers who purchase it will get 100 GB of Google Drive cloud storage for two years. After that, you will have to pay a monthly fee for space.

The company, based in Mountain View, Calif., announced the news on its blog, saying pre-orders for the low-priced computer start today. The new Samsung Chromebook is also to be available from retailers next week, just in time for the holiday season.

Since last year, Google, through its Chromebooks, has been trying to change the way people use computers. The laptops have basically no storage, and instead save files to the Internet, where they are stored in servers at Google's massive data centers.

Chromebooks also only run Web apps, such as Pandora, Netflix or most of Google's services, including Gmail. You can't install software on to the computer itself.

The Chromebook concept isn't outlandish, but Google has never done a good job marketing or pricing the machines.

However, the $249 price is reasonable for a device that is capable but nearly useless when disconnected from the Internet. The marketing also finally shows how people can use Google's laptops.

You can check out Google's commercial for the new Chromebook below.

[Update, 2:22 p.m. Oct. 18: Google said the Samsung Chromebook has 16 GB of flash storage on the computer in addition to the 100 GB of storage in the cloud on Google Drive. That's more than enough for a handful of movies and some songs.]

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