Following Google's I/O event on Wednesday evening, Samsung showed off its new Series 5 Chromebooks, which pack 8.5 hours of battery life, a 12.1-inch display, a dual-core Intel Atom N570 processor and an HD webcam. It'll run you $499 for a 3G-connected version or $429 for the Wi-Fi only.
Most reviewers note Samsung Chromebook's trackpad is a big improvement over Google's Cr-48 pilot laptops from last year, and the device will boot up in a blazing eight seconds. While it's not as thin or light as the MacBook Air or Samsung Series 9, the 3.3 pound, .79-inch thick Series 5 is an affordable Web-powered laptop for under $500.
Google will be pushing its Chromebooks into the enterprise and education spaces, with competitive monthly subscription-based pricing at $28 and $20 per user, respectively. It's a new model for laptops that has more in common with subsidized cellphones and their data connections than traditional low-cost laptop sales.
Read on to hear what critics have to say about Google's newly announced Music Beta service.