Google, together with its partner Samsung, launched a new Chromebook and its first desktop Chromebox today. The most important change to the new Samsung Series 5 Chromebook is that it is significantly faster. While earlier versions featured a battery-friendly Intel Atom chip, these first Chromebooks often felt underpowered. This new version features an Intel Core chip, as well as 4GB of RAM, an HD camera, two USB 2.0 ports and a 1280×800 display. Pricing starts at $449 for the WiFi-only version. While this is a nice update, what’s more interesting here is the launch of Google’s first Chromebox ($329), a Mac Mini-like desktop version of the Chromebook that features more ports than the Chromebook, though it is missing an SD card reader. Otherwise, though, its specs are pretty similar to the laptop version. This is the first time Google is officially putting ChromeOS on a desktop machine, something it hopes will make the browser-centric operating system more appealing to business customers.
The new Chromeboxes will come to Best Buy in the U.S. in the coming weeks. In the U.K., they are now available at PC World and Currys stores.