Benchmarking Chrome OS is a bit tricky because it can not run our Windows benchmarks. It also is not able to run most of our mobile benchmarks. However, it can run browser benchmarks, and since the entire operating system is based on the browser, these results are particularly relevant.
As mentioned in the previous pages, the new Series 5 has received a significant hardware upgrade. The old Atom has been exchanged for a Celeron that is based on the Sandy Bridge architecture. This results in an graphics upgrade to Intel HD integrated graphics. What are the results? Let’s have a look, starting with Peacekeeper.
How’s that for an upgrade? The new Samsung Series 5 blows away the old model by offering a score that’s about three times better. Indeed, the Series 5 isn’t that far off the scores of modern Intel Core i3 ultrabooks – which makes sense, since this mobile Celeron is basically a Sandy Bridge Core i3 low-voltage processor with a particularly low clock.
Again, the new Chromebook with its Intel Celeron processor runs away from the competition. The older Atom-powered model was just barely able to defeat tablets, but the updated version completes the benchmark over three times faster.
Lastly, we are going to take a look at Rightware BrowserMark.
Well, no surprises here. The Intel Celeron powered Series 5 550 runs away from the pack.
Subjectively, I felt that performance was excellent. I had no problem running Flash video, a task that baffled the previous Chromebooks. I watched a number of movie trailers at 720p and did not notice any skipped frames. I can’t be sure about framerates since FRAPS won’t open on this laptop, but the experience seemed equivalent to other laptops.
I don’t know that I’ve ever had a web browsing experience that felt as quick or connected. It’s about more than just the performance, which is more than adequate for any website. It’s also about the smooth, responsive touchpad and the lack of other apps competing for resources in the background. These factors combine to create the ultimate web laptop.
The new Samsung Series 5 Chromebook is an important product for Chrome OS. This is the first time that we’ve been able to experience it on a product with proper hardware. Unlike the old model, which stumbled over multi-tasking and could not handle standard-definition YouTube videos, the new Series 5 is a fully capable machine.
Performance does not just hold up against the outgoing model, either. All laptops powered by Intel’s Atom or AMD’s E-Series and C-Series will have trouble keeping up with the Series 5.
Finding a decent processor in a computer under $500 isn’t difficult if you’re looking for a 15.6” system, but it’s nearly impossible if you want an ultraportable. They only similarly powerful system I could find on Newegg for under $500 was a Dell Vostro 3350 with a Core i3-2350M. It was only equipped with a 4-cell battery, however, so endurance probably is not a strength.
Having handled the new Series 5 for a couple weeks I can’t help but wonder why anyone would buy a netbook or budget ultraportable instead. The experience offered by this laptop is clearly superior in every way. The keyboard is excellent, the touchpad is wonderful, the display is reasonable, the battery is adequate and performance is great for the price. I feel that this new Chromebook is the netbook fully realized – a small, highly portable and inexpensive machine that offer a web experience better or equal to more expensive alternatives.
Of course, there are some downsides. Users can’t do a lot with a Chromebook that doesn’t have an Internet connection, so they're at the mercy of Wi-Fi hotspots or your 3G connection (if you buy the 3G model). Users are also unable to run normal applications even if they are Linux compatible.
These issues are important, but they are known quantities. Bashing the Series 5 because of these so-called flaws is like getting angry about the fact that an electric griddle doesn't make for a great vaccum. Any reasonably informed buyer knows that it wasn’t built to do that, so why complain when it doesn’t?
What’s important is how well the griddle cooks your bacon – and in this case, it serves up a crispy plate of goodness better than any other product on the market for the same price.
Thanks for your post. I
Thanks for your post. I totally agree, the Chromebook is a great product. I use mine every day and have totally stopped using my Windows laptop, Chrome OS is that much better. There is a web-app alternative for every Windows desktop program I used that is as good or better.
At first I thought it was too
At first I thought it was too expensive, but after reading the review I like it. It’s not exactly something I would use, but I think they did an excellent job with the overall package.
The 3g deal is actually pretty good, this isn’t meant to be your primary rig, 100mb of basic browsing/email is pretty good for 2 years @ that price.