Samsung Chromebook

I’m taking a short trip around Japan next year, so I needed something light and small to carry with me, and Google/Samsung have just released this interesting machine at a very reasonable price:

The good:

  • Very lightweight
  • Small
  • Seems fast so far (running ChromeOS)

The bad:

  • Not sure I’ll get used to the touchpad
  • Confused about the difference between Android and ChromeOS, and why they didn’t just put Android on it
  • Samsung invent yet another $%!? proprietary power plug

I’m using ChromeOS at the moment, but since that requires an always-on internet connection and is basically a fancy full-screen web browser, I’m going to wipe it and put either Ubuntu or Fedora on it shortly.

The interesting thing about the hardware is the Cortex-A15 processor at the heart of the machine. This supports hardware virtualization, and although the patches haven’t even landed in the upstream kernel yet, the hope is that this could run KVM at a reasonable speed.

Also, 2GB of RAM is nice.



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8 responses to “Samsung Chromebook

  1. If you do end-up loading Fedora on there, can you follow-up and let us know how the experience is, including support for the architecture and any other potential hang-ups/surprises (good or bad) that you find along the way?

    • rich

      Sure, of course. Although I’ll note there is no Fedora image at the moment. Peter Robinson is working on one.

      • Ah, I see. According to this page, it seems each device needs it’s own image, I guess:

        If yours is a success story, though, I think that will give more drive to getting Fedora support for ARM to a first-class level. I would definitely be interested, to say the least.

      • rich

        Unfortunately that’s the story of ARM. There is no “BIOS” for ARM, and until very recently it wasn’t possible to have a common image that would boot on all devices. (This is changing — slowly).

        On the other issue, Fedora on ARM works pretty well. I have a Trim Slice running F17. It’s essentially indistinguishable from Fedora running on x86, except that it’s slower because the hardware is slower. The A15 is supposed to be (a bit) faster. We’ll see. It’s not ever going to be as fast as an x86-64.

      • I see. I didn’t realize the situation about a lack of a BIOS for ARM. I guess that’s just something we take for granted in the x86 world. Thanks for explaining that, though. I can chalk that up as a least one important thing I learned for today!

  2. lzap

    Pls pls more about this! ty

  3. Pingback: Some thoughts after 2.5 weeks with the Samsung Chromebook | Richard WM Jones

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