IHS iSuppli has dissected and analyzed the Series 5 Chromebook from Samsung Electronics, estimating the cost of components that go into the product at $332.12. The total cost to produce the Chromebook is $334.32 after the $12.20 manufacturing cost. BOM excludes other costs associated with bringing the product to market, such as research and development, packaging, marketing, merchandising, software, licensing, royalties, administrative and transportation costs, cost of sale and what not.

“The Chromebook’s focus on providing a compelling user experience has resulted in the inclusion of some advanced hardware features not typically found in low-cost notebooks”, iSuppli noted. The 12.1-inch computer sports a sealed battery providing eight hours of run time on a single charge. Like the MacBook Air, the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook is designed around 16GB of all-flash storage for instant-on performance and includes 2GB of RAM. A teardown analysis by iFixit revealed a dual-core 1.66GHz Atom N570 processor and Intel’s NM10 graphics chip.

The priciest component?

Definitely the motherboard with an Atom CPU, Intel’s NM10 graphics and a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) for secure computing from Infineon Technologies. The motherboard amounts to more than a quarter of BOM, or $86.37. “The major cost driver for the motherboard is the main memory supplied by Samsung Semiconductor, consisting of a 2 GB Double Data Rate 3 (DDR) SDRAM”, iSuppli wrote. They could have paid even more for the memory, battery and display had they not sourced these components in-house. The display, battery pack and enclosure are singled out as high-quality areas of the 12-inch notebook.

The 12.1-inch display with a 1280-by-800 pixel resolution and a 16-by-10 aspect ratio costs $58, accounting for 17.5 percent of the total BOM. The six-prismatic cell battery pack sourced from Samsung SDI takes nearly two-thirds of the computer’s total volume and costs $48.20, or 14.5 percent of the overall BOM.

Hon Hai Precision Technology, or Foxconn, supplies the 3G module (with an estimated cost of $42.85) based on Qualcomm’s older Gobi 2000 baseband platform that works on both GSM and CDMA networks, supporting quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM, quad-band HSPA/UTMS and dual-band CDMA. SanDisk-sourced 16GB solid-state storage unit is a $28 value.

The Samsung Chromebook starts at $429 for the WiFi-only version (a $70 premium for built-in 3G cellular connectivity). The system goes on sale in the United States tomorrow with a 100 megabytes of free monthly  3G data from Verizon over the period of 24 months.

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