Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Could Samsung be Readying the First Chrome Netbook?

The rumors are beginning to swirl as Google's operating system called Chrome begins to see market penetration on the not so distant horizon.  Just to avoid confusion, Google also has a browser called Chrome.  The OS and the browser share a lot in common, but are different animals.  The Chrome OS Netbook called the Cr-48 is now out of beta testing and may be headed to stores sooner as opposed to later.


The rumor I find the most intriguing is that Samsung may well be the first company to bring a Chrome OS device to market.  They've obviously done a pretty good job working with Google on their other operating system, Android.  Samsung has sold a ton of phones that run Google's portable operating system.  It seems that Samsung has been working on a device that is known internally as "Alex".  While this alone isn't a big deal, check out this little bit of info form a Chromium Google Doc:


TEST=gft_hwcomp.py *DEV* # *DEV* contains all '*' 
# seeing PCI fields not '*'.

A sample output on Alex, with approved_componenets=all '*': 
{'data_display_geometry': ['1280x800'], 
'hash_ec_firmware': ['6148...'], 
'hash_ro_firmware': ['6219...'], 
'key_recovery': ['*'], 
'key_root': ['*'], 
'part_id_3g': ['05c6:9244 Qualcomm Incorporated Qualcomm Gobi 2000'], 
'part_id_audio_codec': ['Realtek ALC272'], 
'part_id_bluetooth': ['0cf3:3002'], 
'part_id_cardreader': ['*'], 
'part_id_chipset': ['8086:a010'], 
'part_id_chrontel': ['*'], 
'part_id_cpu': ['Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU N550   @ 1.50GHz'], 
'part_id_display_panel': ['SEC:4231'], 
'part_id_dram': ['2048'], 
'part_id_ec_flash_chip': ['Macronix MX25L1005'], 
'part_id_embedded_controller': ['SMSC FDC37M81x (id=0x4d, rev=0x01)'], 
'part_id_ethernet': ['0b95:7720 ASIX Elec. Corp. AX88x72A'], 
'part_id_flash_chip': ['Macronix MX25L3205'], 
'part_id_hwqual': ['SAMSUNG ALEX DEV 6916'], 
'part_id_storage': ['ATA SanDisk SSD P4 1'], 
'part_id_tpm': ['49465800:'], 
'part_id_usb_hosts': ['8086:27cc 8086:27cb 8086:27ca 8086:27c9 8086:27c8'], 
'part_id_vga': ['8086:a011'], 
'part_id_webcam': ['2232:1013 Namuga WebCam SC-13HDO10B39N'], 
'part_id_wireless': ['168c:0030'], 
'vendor_id_touchpad': ['SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad'], 
'version_rw_firmware': ['1']}


That's right.  Right there in the middle is "Samsung Alex".


Here are the rumored specs:

  • 1.5GHz dual-core Atom N550 processor
  • SAnDisk SSD (solid state drive)
  • Syaptic touchpad
  • Qualcomm Gobi 2000 3G card
  • 2 GB RAM

At t his point, I'm finding this thing intriguing, to say the least.  More info should continue to leak out, but if you're in the market for a netbook... you might want to hold off a little bit longer.  I would.

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