Google just revealed more than 1,000 schools have adopted Chromebooks in classrooms, and it is now working with DonorsChoose.org to “help budget-strapped classrooms across the country.”
DonorsChoose is an online charity that, as Google coined it, connects public school classroom to donors, and the Google partnership will subsequently allow teachers to request the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook at a discount price of $99. The special price is only for the holiday season and includes hardware, management, and support.
If you’re a full-time public school teacher in the U.S., visit DonorsChoose.org and follow the instructions to take advantage of this opportunity by December 21, 2012. Your request will be posted on DonorsChoose.org where anyone can make a donation to support your classroom. When you reach your funding goal, you’ll receive your Chromebooks from Lakeshore Learning, DonorsChoose.org’s exclusive fulfillment partner for this program.
Chromebooks are currently being produced only by Samsung and Acer, the former having multiple Series 5 models on offer and the latter just one base model, the AC700. Market source from Asia, however, toldDigiTimes today that handset maker HTC could be developing a Chrome OS device of its own:
HTC is evaluating the feasibility of combining the advantages of Chrome OS and Android for use in Internet-access devices, products between tablet PCs and netbooks.
The statement is a bit ambiguous in and of itself. Granted, HTC has been rumored to consider alternative operating systems before, but their mission statement-like video posted on YouTube today is a portrayal of a mobile devices company specialized in phones, tablets and personal digital assistants. There’s no reason as to why HTC wouldn’t evolve its product line and throw notebooks/netbooks into the mix.
However, it’ss a crowded space with slim margins offering little incentive unless you’re Apple. On a final note, the “products between tablet PCs and netbooks” part could mean many things, not necessarily a Chrome OS netbook from HTC. Perhaps an Internet-connected portable media player akin to Apple’s iPod touch or Samsung’s Galaxy Player. It could also be a niche gadget such as Samsung’s Galaxy Note as well as a tablet/netbook hybrid with the capability to boot into Chrome OS or Android.
Google’s rapid development cycle with Chrome not only lifted the browser’s version number into the stratosphere, it has as well produced some of the industry-leading features and innovations. Initially, those capabilities were late in Chrome OS, but with the operating system now in the wild and powering Chromebooks, Google has taken a more aggressive stance to keeping Chrome OS and Chrome on the same page.
Today, the search company announced on the Google Chrome releases blog that Chromebooks are getting updated to Chrome 13, the latest stable version which was released two days ago for Windows, Linux and Mac desktops. Chrome version 13.0.782.108 (platform version 587.100) is now available on the Stable Channel for the Acer AC700, Samsung Series 5 and Cr-48 Chromebooks. It includes all of the features of Chrome 13 plus several Chromebook-specific additions. Release highlights after the break:
As you know, Acer lost its CEO Gianfranco Lanci who resigned in March for his inability to produce an answer to Apple’s iPad which ushered in the post-PC era. At the same time, Samsung’s notebook shipments are declining due to weak netbook sales affected by, you guessed right, the iPad and tablets in general. It doesn’t come as a surprise then that Lanci is rumored to be joining Samsung Electronics in August to “help the Korea-based electronics giant expand its notebook business, especially in Europe”, per DigiTimes’article:
Unconfirmed reports indicate that Dell and Samsung have both contacted Lanci, aiming to leverage the former Acer CEO’s expertise in the management of channel sales in Europe. Acer, Asustek Computer as well as Hewlett-Packard (HP) which all count Europe as one of their leading markets, reportedly have been on high alert on Lanci’s move, said the sources.
One possible issue: Lanci signed a one-year non-compete agreement with Acer when he resigned on March 31. This, the sources assert, should be settled easily between Samsung and Acer should Lanci take the job. Samsung is the world’s seventh-largest notebook vendor by units and sixth in Europe. They shipped 9.9 million notebooks in 2010, IDC estimated, and are one of the premium partners authorized to manufacture Chromebooks. On top of inexpensive netbooks and notebooks, Samsung is also increasingly rivaling Apple with flagship offerings such as the Series 9, an ultrathin notebook The Wall Street Journal columnist Walt Mossberg likened to the MacBook Air. That machine is also on T3′s Gadget Awards 2011 shortlist in Computer of the Year and T3 Design Award categories. In addition to Samsung, Acer stumbled, too… Read more
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.