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Samsung unveils Chromebook Series 5 Google OS laptop

12.1in laptop available to consumers in June, from £349

Samsung has become the first PC manufacturer to make a laptop running Google's Chrome OS available to consumers.

The Samsung Chromebook Series 5 is a 12.1in-screen laptop that's just 20mm thick. It has a 1280x800 anti-reflective and anti-glare display and is powered by a 1.66GHz Intel N570 dual-core processor. Users will benefit from 3GB of memory and a 16GB solid-state-drive, which is smaller than those in other laptops as no files are actually stored on the Chromebook Series 5. Instead, they are stored in secure online space. This means users can still access their files even if they lose or break the laptop.

The Chromebook series 5, which weighs 1.45kg, also comes with two USB ports and a four-in-one card reader, as well as an HD webcam. An optional VGA adaptor means a second monitor or TV can be connected to the laptop.

Samsung claims the device offers a battery life of up to 8.5 hours, including five hours of video playback between charges.

At the end of last year, Google unveiled the CR-48, the first laptop to run the operating system that was initially announced in 2008. However, the laptops were only available in the US to a select number of users taking part in pilot schemes. They have not yet been made publicly available. At the time, Google said it hoped devices from Intel and Samsung running Google Chrome would hit the market in mid-2011, meaning Samsung, at least, has hit this deadline.

Google says one of the major benefits of the Chrome OS, is its boot-up speed. According to Samsung, the average out-of-the-box laptop boots up in 45 seconds, but the Chromebook Series 5 needs less than 10 seconds to start. Furthermore, when waking from sleep mode, it's ready to go within one second.

"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 Damian Cusick, general manager of computing at Samsung.

"This partnership has allowed us to combine Samsung's design and engineering expertise with Google's intuitive user interface to provide consumers with a revolutionary notebook to fit today's web-centric lifestyle. This product will also open up endless opportunities for businesses already embracing cloud computing."

Available in a Wi-Fi only or 3G and Wi-Fi version, the Samsung Chromebook Series 5 will be stocked at Amazon and PCWorld's online store. It is priced at £349 for the Wi-Fi only version and £399 for the 3G and Wi-Fi model.


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