If there are devices that have aroused a lot of interest in me then it is those that are borne out of partnerships between any two or three of the biggest tech companies. Such partnerships have always yielded great devices, those that not only wow the world but also go on to set some standards for the overall game and other players. Before you start speculating whether the partnership I am insinuating is that of Samsung and Google in the rumoured big brother of the Nexus 7 tablet (another result of partnerships), the 10 inch Nexus tablet, relax. I am talking of the 3G enabled Chromebook that appeared on the Samsung website and Amazon early on 20th October, hours after Google had showcased a similar device but one that is Wi-Fi only (like all other Chromebooks before it).
For those of you not in the know, Chromebooks are like ultrabooks but run exclusively on Google’s Chrome OS. They’ve been around for some time now and never fail to impress despite the fact that not many of the users are familiar with them and the Chrome OS they run on. Chrome OS offers a complete operating platform for all cloud-based Google services and instead of investing heavily on local storage, the user stores everything in the cloud. Actually, on Chrome OS there is nothing like a desktop like we are used to, everything rotates around the Chrome browser which users use to access their web services and content stored in the cloud. All apps are web based. This explains why getting 3G on such a device is that important. For those occasions when the Wi-Fi is unreliable (are there such moments?) or you are on transit and far away from any home, office or restaurant hotspot, it will come in handy.
The specs of the new 3G enabled Chromebook are:
- Samsung’s Exynos 5250 dual core processor (1.7 GHz)
- 2 GB RAM
- 11.6” LED HD display with a resolution of 1366 x 768
- 0.3 MP webcam
- 2 USB ports (one USB 2.0 and another USB 3.0)
- 16 GB internal memory (You get 100 GB of free Google Drive storage for two years too).
- 4080 mAh battery (battery life of 6.3 hours)
- Boots up in 10 seconds
Though this may not be your regular netbook or ultrabook (in fact it is far from being one), what fascinates me is the inclusion of 3G radios in it. If one day laptops come 3G ready out of the box then that could be the end of the 3G modem as we know it today.
For now the Chromebook will be sold with free 100 MB per month data to Verizon users. Though Samsung has indicated that this XE303C12-H01** model will be available to other markets as well, it will take time to see what the pricing outside the US will be.
Image Credit: Amazon