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  • Jhlot - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Can I put windows on it if I have a copy? Are there drivers from the network/wifi, sound, etc..? It is also listing over $199 at Amazon now but Best Buy has it for $199 Reply
  • andrewaggb - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    lol, kinda what I was thinking. Can I install Centos 6 on this thing? Reply
  • owned66 - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    1. a 100Mbps ethernet port (could used usb nics but...)
    2. low end wireless card

    it uses a custom bios that wont let u install ANYTHING else

    heard some ways to circumvent it
  • cyrusfox - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Need a new bios to run windows (but at 800 MHz, it would be pretty anemic)

    ChrUbuntu will work though
  • StevoLincolnite - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    Yeah the performance would be Anemic.
    But, again. Faster than Intel Atom and ARM, but then again you wouldn't be buying a device such as this to play Crysis and the Dual-Core 800mhz Sandy Bridge chip would still be a crap-ton better than Atom powered netbooks.
  • Flying Goat - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    Don't quote me on this, but my understanding is that all ChromeOS devices have a developer switch that will unlock the system, but it will delete all current user data when flipped. Reply
  • schizoide - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Forget about windows, has anyone tried making a hackintosh out of it? At $299 it's got to be seriously commodity hardware, seems like it might be possible. Reply
  • schizoide - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Err, $199. Reply
  • N4g4rok - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    "I wanted to really dislike this experience, and in many ways it was comrpomised"

    First line after the conclusion header.
  • JasonInofuentes - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Fixed. Thanks. Reply
  • Andrew911tt - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    The people who read this site would never buy this as a replacement for their main device so there is no need to look at how your daily work flow would not work on this device and make it go cry in the corner.

    People are looking at this as a second device. I have a great desktop with two monitors and all the bells and whistles if I need to get work done. My second device is a old dell laptop that use in front of the couch or in bed that is the device that this was meant to be/replace.
  • StormyParis - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    The people who read this site act as advisers for many people who might want/need such a machine as a primary PC. Reply
  • Andrew911tt - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    And any person who would consider this as a primary machine don't have that type of work flow Reply
  • phillyry - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    I'd have to agree with StormyParis.

    I've actually been considering getting one of these things for my dad as a primary PC simply because he could still check his mail and do his banking while, at the same time, it would be difficult for him to mess it up.

    So, let's not make too many assumptions about the readers. We don't all fit your personal usage style or preconceptions.
  • Andrew911tt - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    You are making my point the person who ends up with it is going to be using it very sparingly. Your dad is not going to have the work flow that is described in the article, if would be much more facebook and email. Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    So, I think you'd be surprised how many writers see the appeal of the Chromebook. Writing is often a matter of focus. Eliminate distractions and pull together only the resources you need to get the job done. Browser-based publishing tools are polished enough that several of us are actually using them exclusively, including some that even do image manipulations entirely in the browser.

    So, the Chromebook as a primary device has a lot of appeal.
    What I was trying to make clear is how it falters despite having plenty of potential. I have no doubt that as the performance of Chromebooks improves, and as browser-based publishing and media tools become more capable, that I could move to a Chromebook as a primary writing device. I'd still need a better equipped device for a lot of the benchmarking we do, but it'd very much end up being the second device.
  • jabber - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    I have the Samsung on order to test out and have just bought a Business Google Apps account.

    I have been talking to a lot of the folks in my small business networking circle and they are really interested in it.

    All they need is basic word processing and spreadsheet capability. A group calendar and scheduling. All the documents backed up and centrally stored. Pretty perfect for a lot of small businesses.

    That and the cost per user is £2.75 a month! If you have a lot of temp staff passing through you just give them a standard App account and then reset the password when they leave.

    That and the lack of virus, not having to buy Office and the low cost of the locked down kit. Support costs are lower.

    For a lot of businesses its a no-brainer.
  • Alexvrb - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Correction: Any person who would consider this as a primary machine doesn't have ANY work flow. Flow sure, but work not so much.

    You said it yourself, people are looking at this as a second device to complement a real computer. But at that point, I think most people would be happier with a tablet as a second device.
  • silverblue - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    What if you were a author and wanted something cheap and not too small? Reply
  • silverblue - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    'an', rather... I did put writer before, hence the 'a'. Reply
  • s44 - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    As a second device, this is terrible. Active cooling, mechanical storage, total crap battery...

    No way should anyone buy this over the ARM Samsung.
  • lwatcdr - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Actually I can see a lot of people using this as their only computer. If you do not game then this is ideal for a good number of home users. Thing of what a lot of home users do.
    1. Facebook,
    2. Amazon.
    3 Banking/investments.
    4. Email.
    5. Netflix.
    6. YouTube.
    7. Pandora.
    8 if a student writing papers.

    Will it do Netflix? Doesn't netflix use .Net?
    A lack of a spotify app could be an issue but then again RDIO doesn't need an app.
    Google Docs is good enough for a lot of folks. With more and more moving to the web this really does make some sence for users. I would probably put Ubuntu on it but that is just me.
  • tech6 - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    The problem with Chromebooks is the Chrome OS which is, at best, a Google side project. It's feels incomplete like an early beta release and the resulting compromises make it overpriced even at $200. Reply
  • sprockkets - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    I guess the Nexus 10 review is permanently shelved... Reply
  • mayankleoboy1 - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Still waiting for that.
  • Death666Angel - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    The performance figures are really bad in my opinion. The A15 is dangerously close to the SNB Celeron. I am looking forward to more tests between those chips. And I wonder what the implications are for the 13W IVB/10W Haswell chips.
    As for the laptop itself, it costs between 231€ ( and 269€ (.nl shop) in Europe, which means it competes with AMD E and C processor based notebooks (starting at 200€ without OS and 270€ / 300€ with full Win7/8 OS) and I don't see any advantage for this one.
  • cosminmcm - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    What performance are you talking about? This Celeron is the lowest SB can go, it has no HT, no turbo and works at 800 MHz. Anything at a higher frequency would make the difference enormous. And Ivy would only add to that and lower the power consumption.
    An AMD E or C would be comparable to the Atom and lose to this Celeron too (800 MHz vs 1700 MHz).
  • Death666Angel - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    I didn't draw a performance comparison between the Celeron and the E and C AMDs, I only drew one between the A15 and the Celeron. Yes, it is the lowest one out there and it is clocked even lower. But considering that it is still a chip from Intel, done on a competitive and proven 32nm process with a 17W TDP, the performance delta over the A15 is pretty low in my opinion. And the 13W TDP IVB and low power Haswell chips will get there by significantly reducing clocks as well. I'm not saying it is slower, but considering everything Intel has over the other chips manufacturers, such a small lead is surprising to me. Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Celeron chips are Intel's not quite worthless dies salvaged for whatever they can get away with selling them for. They've always had horrid performance/watt numbers. The fact that a near garbage grade 2 year old design is still competitive with the best that Arm has to offer says something completely different; as does Intel's 17W IVB chips being nominally upto ~4-7x faster (dual core, HT, and 1.9-2.8ghz). Chop that in half to look at a single core and you're at ~2.3.5x the performance for only marginally above the A15's max power; do the same with the 13W TDP part (1.5-2.4 ghz) ~2-3x performance at a slightly lower TDP. Reply
  • extide - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    That Celeron may be rated at 17w TDP, but I bet it doesnt even get CLOSE to that in reality. It's probably more in the 5-7W realm realistically. Think about it, 800Mhz, very little cache, no HT, no Turbo... Also considering that the Exynos 5 is running at up to 1.7Ghz, which is over twice the clockspeed, it firmly puts the performance differences into perspective. The Intel chip is straight up smoking that ARM chip. Reply
  • Spoelie - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    mhz doesn't matter, it's just a function of architecture on a given process node.

    With the celeron, you get 15% better cpu performance for 65% of the battery life, which is a pretty lousy showing imo.

    On the other hand, at least the GPU is an improvement.
  • madmilk - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - link

    MHz does matter. Sandy Bridge is not optimized to actively run at 800MHz - its sweet spot is around 3GHz. You pay a huge perf/watt penalty through leakage. An i7 doing the same tasks can go to sleep and power gate in 1/4 the time. Reply
  • BedfordTim - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Agreed. I was surprised how close the A15 was. Given the level of development that has gone into x86 processors, you would expect the code to be faster, and the gap should close with time. Reply
  • silverblue - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    I think it could be the case that making an architectural change yields significant benefits, however after you while you'd end up like Intel, spending a huge amount of money to eke out a few more percent. I doubt that the next big step for ARM would be anything like A9 to A15 was. Reply
  • andrewaggb - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    I know when I saw the benchmarks I had to go back and look at the x86 specs. For a second I thought the A15 was way faster than I expected. But then I saw just how crippled the celeron is and everything made sense... Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Others pointed this out, but the take away from performance a performance standpoint is that if you take the second fastest x86 core designs in the market today, gut them, take out their legs, wrap a chain around their neck and put blinders on them, they're still faster than the fastest ARM Cortex-based SoC on the market today.

    The big play with A15 is that they have finally reached IPC parity with small notebooks. And while that would have definitely been true 5 years ago when Atom was still fresh and Sandy Bridge was off the edge of Intel's road map slides, it is now not nearly so strong a case. In terms of performance/watt, ARM has done a very very good thing and they should be commended for that. And I have no doubt that a Chromebook equipped with Exynos 5 clocked at 2.3GHz would wipe the floor with the Acer C7. But we're still talking about putting a featherweight champion against a heavyweight punching bag.

    We'll explore this relationship a little further, indeed you can get some feel of it in Anand's reviews of the Win8 tablets that have been coming out. Stay tuned.
  • lmcd - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Hmm, but the graphics are an important point, and it seems like ARM (Mali-series) and Nvidia have a better roadmap there. Maybe a T4 Chromebook could take down an Ivy or Haswell ULP? Or an Exynos-Quad?

    Worth seeing.
  • bleh0 - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    I'll wait till there is a reliable way to put Mint 14 on it. Until then you might as well put money towards the Samsung chromebook. Reply
  • mutatio - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Never mind the fact that this product, in similar fashion to the Droid phones, is designed entirely with the focus of mining, harvesting, and exploiting your personal data for their profit. No thank you, Google. Hell, I'll pay the Dell/HP "premium" of a $299 or $399 laptop/ultrabook to avoid that whole arrangement. Mind you, I've already happily paid the Apple premium to have devices focused on my ease of using them rather than the ease of which my information is exploited. Apple has a much better track record in respecting user's privacy, making the disclosure of it voluntary rather than inherent to the products being used. Reply
  • phillyry - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    That's a good point.

    It really does seem like Google's dark side is starting to show now that they've got a death grip on the market.

    It's like, "Mawahaha, now that we've got you in, we'll just monitor and monetize every aspect of your virtual life. Hahaha!"
  • Spoelie - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    The exact same argument, without a word changed, can be made about Apple's approach to the market. Reply
  • BadCommand - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Maybe I missed it, but there is also the 100 gigs of google drive offered for 2 years for free w/purchase. If you use drive, that storage would be about $5/mo thereby making this device cost basically $80. Not bad. Reply
  • mike55 - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Coincidentally, I took a picture of the Chrome logo on a 13 inch 1280x800 LCD. It was on a much more expensive laptop, though. Here it is for comparison: Reply
  • evilspoons - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    You have a typo on your Display page - resolution reads 1136x768 when it should be 1366x768.

    Otherwise - thanks for the review. I'm not sure if I'd want one of these, since my Nexus 7 does most of what you'd do with this device just fine, but I am going to keep these in mind for people who just want a web browser / "typewriter" out of a computer.
  • JasonInofuentes - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Fixed. Thanks. Reply
  • whyso - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Would be nice to have at least something other than browser tests. Reply
  • mayankleoboy1 - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Eh ? But thats all what this Chromebook an do. Strictly browser stuff only. Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    We want to explore the relationship between the two Chromebooks further, but until then we can only do what will fit in a browser, since that's all we've got. Reply
  • lmcd - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    Are there any FOSS benchmarks you could recompile for NaCl? Reply
  • Exophase - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    Where/how was the 800MHz clock measured? Acer says that the model clocks at the full 1.1GHz:
  • JasonInofuentes - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    In the terminal I was able to run cat /proc/cpuinfo during lots of scenarios and the output was always 800MHz. Since there's no way to run monitoring programs in a Chrome OS instance, and since the clock and voltage tables aren't exposed as they were in the Samsung Chromebook, we don't know whether this is an intermediate state, but based on the results I'm confident of that figure as the max clock. Reply
  • Exophase - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    Are you sure it said 800MHz for both cores? Can you test it while running a workload you know is pegging the CPU indefinitely, preferably a backgrounded command line task like dd?

    Frankly I think the scores don't really add up for 800MHz. Look at what the lower end Samsung Chromebox achieves here:

    That uses a Celeron B840 which is clocked at 1.9GHz, and since it isn't running on a battery they'd have no reason to underclock it. If you scale its Sunspider score of 296ms from 1.9GHz to 1.1GHz you get 511ms, which fits perfectly with the values you got in this review. At 800MHz you would expect a number closer to 700ms. This is assuming linear scaling, but given Sunspider is single threaded and these are fairly low clocks for both I doubt you'd get much worse. I also doubt that V8 made huge improvements in its x86 performance since then.
  • sonnyrao - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    Hi, it is definitely a 1.1Ghz processor, but has cpu frequency scaling enabled like any other modern system. I'm not sure what scenarios you ran but looking at /proc/cpuinfo isn't really the best way to determine frequency. At the minmum, you should be looking at /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu*/cpufreq/scaling_cur_freq
    but running something like powertop or i7z would be even better (you can copy them onto the C7 from another 32-bit Linux system)

    I'd do something like this, put it into dev mode, open a window for crosh (ctrl-alt-t) and run the shell from there sudo to become root
    then run
    watch -d cat /sys/devices/system/cpu*/cpufreq/scaling_cur_freq

    and then run your benchmarks in another window.
  • jabber - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    I've been trying out Lenovo Q180 Nettops recently. The ones I've been rolling out have the top end 2.1Ghz Atom in them, with 4GB of ram and a HD6450 GPU in them.

    Tally this together with a Sandisk Extreme 120GB SSD and the computing experience is pretty good. In all the usual computing tasks I couldn't tell it was an Atom based machine. It felt as fast and fluid as any full size x86 PC I have around. I've rolled a few of them out to small businesses and feedback has been excellent.

    The problem with Atom is that makers feel they have an excuse to pair them up with even crappier hardware. Throw in an Atom chip with some decent supporting hardware and you have a pretty good low power setup.
  • lmcd - Saturday, January 26, 2013 - link

    The graphics tied with Atom are probably the most hindering aspect. Reply
  • max347 - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    Great review!

    I think the pics could use a little less bokeh though :-)
  • nathanddrews - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    LOL - first thing I thought of. DOF is cool, but not if you can't even tell what's on the IO panel. Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - link

    Fair enough, I'm trying to get a nice light set-up that would facilitate more bokeh-free shots, but in the meanwhile I'm generally just trying to keep people from seeing the mess my house is generally in. :) Thanks for the compliment.

  • Notmyusualid - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - link

    And it was so dog dam slow, that I GAVE IT AWAY, as soon as I got back from my deployment in the USA.

    Really, it gave me chest pains waiting for it to do anything.

    I tried upgrading the RAM, and that made very little difference.

    I realised quickly that I was wasting my time.

    The 10yr old niece was happy to receive it though....
  • dj christian - Thursday, January 24, 2013 - link

    Justin where did Anand cover the Chrome OS? It would be nice if you could provide us with a link to it.

  • asa.bender - Sunday, February 17, 2013 - link

    "So are their any deficits to using the Dev build?" -> "...there..." Reply
  • Cumbey - Monday, February 18, 2013 - link

    The 20 second bootup and log in time greatly beats my Windows and Mac based computers. The price was more than right. The 320 hard drive storage "covers a multitude of sins", if any there be. I think both Google and Acer got it more than right this time! Thanks to both! Reply
  • xa3phod - Saturday, March 23, 2013 - link

    Hey folks. Quick question...if this is your only computer, how do you print? Does it work with network connected printers? Or can you USB connect it to a printer? Reply

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