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The New Samsung Chromebook 2 is Tough, Has Aluminum Reinforcement

Remember I was not really impressed with the Samsung Chromebook 2? Well, here is a piece of info about these Chromebooks that might slightly change my opinion.

Samsung Chromebook 2 is built for schools and students and has extra-sturdy chassis to protect the rough handling.

chromebook  The New Samsung Chromebook 2 is Tough, Has Aluminum Reinforcement

Here are some highlights from this PC World article:

Nearly 1.4 million Samsung Chromebooks are deployed in U.S. schools, but these devices were designed for casual users, not rambunctious children. Samsung product manager David Ng admitted his company “needed to make the device more durable” for the education market. Aluminum reinforces the display panel, the corners of the chassis, and other vulnerable points. “Just try flexing the LED panel,” Ng dared me. I did: It’s quite stiff, though the thick bezel is ugly. Nevertheless, this level of build quality should help the device’s retail reputation as well.

The USB ports have electrostatic shock protection to help them survive repeated plugging and unplugging of devices.

The official Samsung page for this Chromebook has two videos showing off the device, and the second one shows a tear down. I couldn’t get those videos to embed so, watch them here.

Think this is something that you might want to buy? This Chromebook is expected to be released on October 20. You can pre-order it here.

Thanks Alvin Chin for the official product page link!

Amazon is Selling Chromecast for $28. Firefox for Android Beta Gets Tab Mirroring for Chromecast #chromeweekender

Happy weekend guys! I had the #chromeweekender scheduled to auto-publish from WordPress, but something went wrong. That’s why you saw the post on Monday (after I fixed it up and published manually)

chrome news  Amazon is Selling Chromecast for $28. Firefox for Android Beta Gets Tab Mirroring for Chromecast #chromeweekender

In another news, I am working with one of my favorite WordPress theme designers for a custom design for Chrome Story. A few more weeks, and you will see it live here.

Now, here is this week’s list. Let’s start with some offers and new Chromebooks.

Google’s Head of Engineering for Android Now Handles Chrome OS Too

Sundar Pichai has been heading Chrome and Android for a while now, trying to make both platforms work together better. Here is one more move from Google in the same direction.

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Google has appointed its vice president of Android engineering to oversee its Chrome OS engineering teams as well. Hiroshi Lockheimer, who oversees Android now has the responsibility of Chrome OS as well.

Google is preparing Chrome OS to support Android apps. Plus there are efforts to make both platforms work together, say, notifications from your phone showing up on your Chromebook. When Google redesigns Chrome OS with material design, things will start looking a lot similar on both platforms.

chrome news  Googles Head of Engineering for Android Now Handles Chrome OS Too

With all these changes, bringing Android and Chrome OS engineering teams under the same boss makes lot of sense.

via The Verge.

Samsung Launches Chromebook 2 Variant with Bay Trail for $250

Let me start this post with this unusual note. Sorry Brent Sullivan. I know that you told me about this a few days back, and I was too lazy to follow up with you on that Amazon link for this new Chromebook!

Alright.

So, Samsung still makes Chromebooks. They are adding live video support for Chromebook users. Other OEMs have caught up with or beat Samsung in the Chromebook game, but they have started showing signs of a come back.

The original Samsung Chromebook with the ARM chip was a success. At $249, this was the poster child of Chromebooks for a long time and Google promoted it really well.

Then came the Samsung Chromebook 2 with ARM processor, better screen and the fake leather from Galaxy Note series. Things didn’t workout as Samsung had expected it to. People had moved on from ARM Chromebooks, at least temporarily (Tegra K1 Chromebooks are getting good response these days), and there were many new OEMs and more options to customers.

Samsung was late to respond to this. (At least they didn’t too fast and too many times as HP did!). This week, they are releasing a Chromebook 2 variant with a Bay Trail chip and a $249.99 price tag.

  • Intel Celeron 2.16 GHz
  • 2 GB DDR3L SDRAM
  • 16 GB Solid-State Drive
  • 11.6-Inch Screen, Intel HD Graphics
  • 8-hour battery life

Specs look okaysih. But here is the problem. Bay Trail Chromebooks are not doing as good as Haswell Chromebooks. At least that is what I sense from reading comments from many people on my network. Keeping that in mind, I am doubtful about how good this Chromebook 2 variant will do.

chromebook  Samsung Launches Chromebook 2 Variant with Bay Trail for $250

Price is an attraction here, yes. Design is not very compelling to me, but I have many Chromies appreciating the fake leather on this guy. So, we really have wait and watch how this goes.

This Chromebook is expected to be released on October 20. You can pre-order it here.

Refurbished Chromecast Available from Groupon for $25 [Deal]

Groupon has a “limited quantity” deal going on for Chromecast giving you a $10 discount.

At the original retail price of $35, Chromecast is already pretty affordable, but if you have been waiting for the price to come down to buy one, or to buy couple of extra pieces for some sort of experiment, this is your chance!

chromecast  Refurbished Chromecast Available from Groupon for $25 [Deal]

Here is the Groupon link.

And do not forget to say thanks to Brent Sullivan!

Samsung Adds Live Video Support for Chromebooks

Remember this video support feature that showed up on Chrome OS Help app back in August? Samsung has made this feature available in beta to Chromebook users in the US.

If you have Samsung Chromebook, open up the Help app and look at the bottom left for “Contact Samsung (Beta)”. This will take you to the Contact Samsung Support page.

chromebook  Samsung Adds Live Video Support for Chromebooks

 

Samsung support team will be available to provide assistance to US customers between Monday and Friday, 10 Am to 7 Pm Eastern Time. (It shows offline to me, may be because I am not in the USA.)

Chrome OS is getting support for accepting remote connections to allow support technicians to access your Chromebook and troubleshoot or show you around.  This sounds like an awesome combination for the Live Support feature.

Anyways, I will wait for someone from the US to try this out and provide feedback on how it goes.

Question: Will other OEMs follow Samsung adding live support?

via OMG Chrome.

Second Generation Chromecast Shows Up at FCC With Same Hardware Features

A new version of Chromecast has surfaced in recent FCC documents. This is new hardware, but there is not much of a change, inside or outside.

The only change worth mentioning is the support for 5GHz Wi-Fi, unless they have something else hidden in the confidential documents submitted along with the device.

I will stay away from speculating what they are planning, or why this upgrade etc for now.

chromecast  Second Generation Chromecast Shows Up at FCC With Same Hardware Features

 

Even a member of Google’s Chromecast team has said  that most users won’t notice a difference” according to this reddit comment, “No plans for big announcement on this one. Mostly because it will have the same features as the original and most users won’t notice a difference.

So, there you have it. They are updating the hardware, but most probably, there won’t be much to be excited about, or may be not even an announcement.

via Android Police and OMG Chrome.

Dell Releases Chromebook 11 with Core i3 Processor and 4GB RAM for $379.00

Dell Chromebook 11 is a crowd favourite. It has everything that most of the other Chromebooks offer, the usual screen resolution, the Haswell processor etc, plus a good design and a decent build. Now, Dell is making this a little more attractive by throwing in an Intel i3 variant to the mix.

There are many Chromebook lovers who want something more powerful than the usual lot. These Chromebooks fans love the i3 Chromebooks. If you are one of them, and want a new Chromebook for around Christmas time, this is worth checking out.

The i3 Dell Chromebook 11 is priced at $379 and is now available for pre-order.  Deliveries start on the 11th of December, which makes perfect sense for holiday buyers.

That being said, this is not the perfect Chromebook for power users. Only the performance department is taken care of. Another piece of hardware that power users always ask for is a high resolution screen which this Chromebooks lacks. And there is no backlit keyboard too, just another thing that people look for in their dream Chromebook.

chromebook  Dell Releases Chromebook 11 with Core i3 Processor and 4GB RAM for $379.00

Still, this one is a lot better than many others around, and looks MUCH better than most of them. (In my opinion that is! the two Chromebooks that I love for their design are Dell Chromebook 11 and the original Chromebook 11 from HP.)

You can find more about this new Chromebook and the other Chromebook 11 variants here on Dell.com

via  and his amazing Chromebook database.

You Can Translate Selected Text with The Updated Google Translate Extension for Chrome

Google Chrome has an inbuilt translator that offers to translate the webpages that you visit. Then there is this official Google Translate extension which does the page translation plus a bit more. The latest update has made this extension a tad more useful.

You can now select text from pages you visit and translate it, not just the full webpage translation. It also supports audio, so you can hear words pronounced as well.

chrome extensions  You Can Translate Selected Text with The Updated Google Translate Extension for Chrome

Simply highlight the text that you want to translate, and then click the Translate icon that appears. You can also right click and choose “Google Translate”. If you click the icon in the upper right of your browser window, with no text highlighted, you can translate the entire web page.

You can download and try the Translate extension from the Chrome Web Store; if you already have the extension installed, it will be updated automatically.

 

Google Maps Team Releases Chrome New Tab Page Extension with Stunning Google Earth Imagery

Google Maps team has released a new tab page extension named Earth View for Chrome! That sounds interesting, isn’t it?

They had previously added a bunch of Google Earth photos to Chrome OS wallpapers. Now, with the new Chrome extension, these images come to the new tab page too, if you are interested.

chrome extensions  Google Maps Team Releases Chrome New Tab Page Extension with Stunning Google Earth Imagery

Each image has the location of the image mentioned on the bottom right corner similar to those daily photos from Bing.

If you are a fan of the traditional new tab page with most visited websites thumbnails, you are going to miss those while using this extension. There is only a small link to Chrome Apps menu on the top left corner of the new tab page and no sign of most visited sites. Tradeoffs, you know!

Install this from here and try it out!

via OMG Chrome.