Chrome OS will dominate the netbook market

Google has long dominated the search engine market. With Android, the company conquered the smartphone market, initially a bit bumpy, but now convincing: Regular updates with numerous improvements have ensured that Google phones are now sold more frequently than Apple's iPhone. Desktop king Microsoft only plays a minor role in this market - with uncertain prospects of success. And now the search engine operator is also digging into the PC market. However, the operating system called Chrome OS is currently not intended to be downloaded and installed. Instead, the successful Android principle is followed here: together with Samsung and Acer, Google has developed so-called Chromebooks that are specially designed for the software. The first Chromebook is now also available in Germany. We tested it extensively.

Update: An earlier version of this article referred to the US model. We exchanged the test report.


Not surprisingly, Chrome OS relies fully on the cloud. In German: All essential services come from the Internet. The hardware equipment of the notebook is accordingly tight and the specifications are more reminiscent of a netbook than a notebook. The Samsung Series 5 is powered by an Atom N570 with 1.66 GHz, two cores and hyperthreading. There are 2 GB of RAM and a 16 GB SSD on board. The tested variant not only has WLAN according to 802.11 b / g / n, but also a UMTS module with HSPA support. This gives you internet access almost everywhere, which you definitely need.

The 12.1-inch screen has a resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels, which is more in the subnotebook category. Fortunately, Samsung has opted for a matte panel, so reflections are not an issue. The energy-saving Atom processor enables a flat design: the chassis is only 2 centimeters high. Width and depth are 29.5 by 21.8 centimeters. With a weight of 1.45 kilos, the Samsung is also pleasantly portable.

The case of the Chromebook is made entirely of plastic. More valuable materials such as aluminum are not used. The lid yields a lot under pressure, but the device still makes a reasonably solid impression.

Instead of the classic keys consecutively numbered with F1 to F12, the Samsung Chromebook Series 5 has a number of function keys for navigating the web.

The keyboard is surprisingly good: The chiclet keyboard follows the Apple style with small spaces between the keys and enables comfortable typing thanks to the sufficient key travel. Instead of the function keys, the Chromebook has special keys, some of which simplify Internet use. For example, there are explicit buttons for forward and backward, refresh and full screen. The touchpad is pleasantly large and enables multi-touch input.

There is an SD card reader on the front and a USB 2.0 port on the right and left. A display or a projector can be connected via the VGA port on the left, using an adapter. Unfortunately, the Chromebook comes without Bluetooth - so a wireless connection to a headset is not possible. An HD webcam is available for video conferences.

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