Tech specifications for Chromebook Series 5
Note: The article addresses the specification of the Chromebook Series 5 manufactured by Samsung.
Within the space of this article we will take an in-depth look at the specification of Google’s Chromebook Series 5 netbook. You can take a look at the review we’ve posted for a more general discussion regarding the device, but if you’re really interested in what is under the hood of the device, and other factual information, this is the place to be. So let’s start with the detailed dimensions of the Chromebook:
- Display size: 12.1 inches diagonal
- Height folded: 0.8 inches
- Width: 11.8 inches
- Depth: 8.6 inches
- Weight: 3.26 pounds
The display diagonal is not unusual, but it is a little smaller than that offered by the majority of netbooks in the category. For instance, Apple’s MacBook Pro (not a netbook per se) offers a total usable screen diagonal of 13.3 inches, while Panasonic and Sony both offer same class devices with diagonals exceeding 13 inches. However, given that the Chromebook is a browsing only device it should not be a problem.
Worth of note is the folded height, indeed significantly smaller than Apple’s MacBook, which sports a 0.95 inches, but the ration between hardware capability and height is disadvantageous to the Chromebook.
The Chromebook chassis is exclusively made of plastic. There are 2 options available in terms of colors – either a white or a black version, both very prone to fingerprinting.
On the sides of the Chromebook you will find the following ports:
- 2 USB ports, one on the left side edge of the device, the other on the right hand – USB 3.0
- 4 in 1 memory card slot/SD card reader: Realtek RTS5138 SD reader IC. Very common for netbooks and quite resilient.
- Mini VGA port (requires a dongle, provided in the package, to connect it to any VGA enabled external display)
- HD webcam with microphone
- SIM card slot
All Samsung Chromebook Series 5 netbooks have built in WI-Fi connectivity. However, 3G connectivity is not included in all models, but you can choose to purchase or rent one that has this option enabled.
Keyboard and trackpad:
Keyboard. The Chromebook has a classic QWERTY keyboard which sports a few proprietary keys instead of the usual laptop Function Keys that trigger Chrome OS specific commands.
Trackpad: Synaptics T1320A. The trackpad allows for multi-touch swipes and is sufficiently responsive though sometimes complicated gestures might be misinterpreted.
Internal hardware and display specifications:
Processor: Intel Atom N570 Dual-Core 1.66 MHz. A resilient processor, quite common in many netbooks, the dual core architecture insures enough power for many applications, and is also an energy efficient processor.
Chipset: Intel NM10 Express Chipset. A classic for netbooks powered by Atom processors.
Memory: 2 GB Samsung K4B2G0846 HCH9 DDR3 SDRAM. More than sufficient for most of the workload that the device is intended for.
Graphics Chip: NM10 graphics chip. Extremely power efficient but quite underpowered, the graphics chip can display most usual contents easily. However, a heavy load of complex flash content will slow down operation and lead to significant stutter.
Speaker: Internal, mono, produced by Foxconn. Nothing too special, a simple speaker that does the job. For better sound quality use a good pair of external speakers. The sound chipset – Realtek ALC272 4-Channel can produce a quality audio stream.
Storage: SanDisk SDSA4DH-016G SSD. A small but sufficient amount of storage, 16 GB is more than enough, given that most of user data will not be stored locally, but in the cloud.
Battery: Samsung lithium polymer battery, 8.1 Amp hours at 7.4 V. The battery pack is a proprietary Samsung model, quite powerful and can allow for up to 8 and half hours of usage, depending on screen luminosity and workload.
Display: 12.1″ (1280×800) 300 nit, probably manufactured by Samsung, however, unlabeled. As we mentioned in our review, the display is far from ideal, especially when it comes to accuracy of color. Refresh rates are ok, but overall, not the most quality display available.
In a nutshell, the Google Chromebook Series 5 netbook (actually the first commercially available product of its kind, not the 5th generation as Google would have us believe. The netbook was preceded solely by a prototype – the Cr-48 Chromebook, which was delivered in a total volume of 60.000 pieces in an effort to test Chrome OS before deployment) is an ok netbook, its main letdown is the display, a bit too low quality, though ok for a few hours of usage at a time. Otherwise, the build quality is just fair. On the plus side, the battery allows for extended use, especially if you don’t use the machine for any demanding tasks.