Google have announced the unveiling of their new Chromebook – the same week Apple and Microsoft are set to release their own new products.
Google have announced the release of their new Chromebook – the same week as Microsoft’s Surface tablet, Windows 8 operating system, and the rumored unveiling of Apple’s iPad Mini.
In what is expected to be a huge week for technology news, three of the biggest companies in the industry are now vying for a slice of the Christmas market with new products.
Manufactured by Samsung and weighing in at just 2.5 pounds, the new Chromebooks are also going head to head with Microsoft and Apple as a competitor to the tablet market too. The screen size of the new model is now 11.6 inches, reduced from 12.1 seen on previous Chromebooks, however the resolution is slightly higher (1366×768) and now matches that used on most laptops.
So far, so similar to the iPad and Surface. Where the Chromebook could deal a real blow to these two products, however, is its pricing.
Instead of using an Intel processor, the new Chromebook is the first model to use Samsung’s dual-core Exynos 5 ARM processor. Usually found in devices like smartphones, tablets and mobile devices, swapping the Intel processor for an ARM chip means Google can afford to offer the Chromebook at a competitively low price of just $250.
This is a huge departure from previous Chromebooks, which have rivaled mainstream laptops in price. In context, the new Chromebook is cheaper than Microsoft’s Surface table and the Kindle HD. With rumors that Google have struggled to sell consumers on the concept of Chromebooks so far, it seems that this new price point is designed to position the devices as a direct rival to both laptops and tablets.
Google’s senior VP of Chrome and apps, Sundar Pichai, wrote in a blog post on Thursday:
“For families, it’s easy to use and share: for kids doing homework on the couch, parents catching up on emails at the kitchen counter and grandparents staying connected on video chat. There’s no need to worry about security updates and maintenance is easy; all you need to do is charge the battery. It just works.”
The Upcoming 2 Weeks: A Timeline
23rd October: Apple are, as usual, being cryptic about their latest showcase, to be held on this date. Whether a red herring tease aimed at those who are sure of the iPad Mini’s imminent release, or as an unsubtle hint at what the whole world already knows, invitations went out this week simply saying “We’ve got a little more to show you.” Some tech journalists also predict that Apple will unveil a refreshed 13-inch Macbook Pro with retina screen, plus a refreshed version of the existing iPad on this date.
25th October: The release date of Microsoft Surface, Microsoft’s first tablet and a direct rival to Apple’s iPad.
26th October: Microsoft will unveil the much-hyped (and much-feared) Windows 8 operating system to journalists. Set to be a radical departure from Windows operating systems as we know them, the new Windows 8 is designed to be more intuitive, using a tiled desktop rather than a start button.
29th October: Following on from the big 26th October release, Microsoft will unveil the Windows 8 phone operating system. A few hours before, however, Google have now announced that they will be unveiling their new Chromebooks. A bold move, indeed.