If Beast Died Tomorrow, Chromebook 2 Could Be Its Replacement

Beast is fine. It’s old, but still kicking. It boots. It edits. It searches. It networks. Beast’s CPU is way over-sized for what I do and I do a lot. 99% of the time it idles. Every few weeks I open it up to full throttle to build the next Linux-3.10.x kernel, but what’s the rush? If it took twice or thrice as long I would still be happy.“The Samsung Chromebook 2 Series offers users nearly instant access to everything they need. It wakes up in less than one second and cold boots in less than ten. Samsung’s energy-efficient Exynos 5 Octa processors allow for effortless multitasking and rapid rendering of graphics and videos, so multimedia content never misses a beat.” The Chromebook 2 is so much smaller, has so much longer battery-life (Beast only has a CMOS battery…), and is portable. I could hook a USB keyboard and mouse up to it and get an HDMI monitor going. In fact, we already have 3 but they are called TVs for some reason. There’s plenty of RAM for Beast’s 200 processes and I can add USB storage galore, meaning I can ditch the big box that has travelled thousands of miles in Canada’s North and barely survived (the sides no longer fit…). I don’t use CDs or floppies any longer. I don’t need that box. Heck, I could even use a wireless keyboard/mouse and sit in an easy chair…

So, if Beast dies, I would be perfectly happy with a machine like this. Check out the specs:

Category Details 11.6-inch Samsung Chromebook 2 13.3-inch Samsung Chromebook 2
Display Size 11.6″ 13.3″
Resolution HD LED Display (1366×768) Full HD LED Display (1920×1080)
Performance OS Google Chrome Google Chrome
Processor Samsung Exynos 5 Octa (1.9Ghz, 2MB L2 Cache) Samsung Exynos 5 Octa (2.1Ghz, 2MB L2 Cache)
Memory 4 gB DDR3L 1600Mhz 4 gB DDR3L 1600Mhz
Storage 16 gB Flash Drive 16 gB Flash Drive
Camera 720p HD Web Camera 720p HD Web Camera
Battery Life Battery Life Up to 8h Up to 8.5h
Dimensions Dimensions 11.40″ x 8.06″ x 0.66″ 12.72″ x 8.80″ x 0.65″
Weight 2.43 pounds 3.09 pounds
Jet Black, Classic White Luminous Titan Gray
Ports Ports 1 HDMI, 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, MicroSD Multi-media Card Reader, Headphone out/Mic-in Combo, DC-in 1 HDMI, 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, MicroSD Multi-media Card Reader, Headphone out/Mic-in Combo, DC-in
Availability MSRP $319.99 $399.99
Availability Date April 2014 April 2014

See Samsung U.S. News.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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9 Responses to If Beast Died Tomorrow, Chromebook 2 Could Be Its Replacement

  1. oiaohm says:

    JD for a person like me who is most likely going to nuke the install as soon as I get what OS is installed is basically not important.

    Important is that I can nuke the install and replace. Chromebooks are change able if you don’t want to send data back to google.

    Next is enough over all performance.

  2. JD says:

    I just bought a new machine myself. A Dell Precision M4800. Here are the specs:
    Processor: I7 4900MQ
    RAM: 32 GB
    Storage: 1x256GB SSD, 1x32GB mSATA, 1x1TB HDD
    Warranty: 3 years
    Screen: 15″ Full HD (qHD also available)
    9 Cell battery lasts about 5 hours (good enough for me).

    Here is a video of it rebooting in about 20 seconds. Minus the boot screen, a cold boot is way less than 10 seconds. Also wakes up from sleep in a couple of seconds.

    The big difference of course, is it costs over 5x the price. But for that, I get to run a pure, unadultered version of my beloved Linux, not some gimped version siphoning all my data to Google. And for that alone, it is worth every penny. As a bonus, it also runs all my IDE’s, web servers, etc.

  3. oiaohm says:

    wolfgang to use Linux programs on a chromebook does not equal taking it apart. Taking it apart is to get rid of the nag screen.

    https://github.com/dnschneid/crouton You have crouton for Chrome OS that gives you access to debian and ubuntu in developer mode. Most chrome os devices today is just press a few buttons to enter developer mode. Just it nags you every boot about being insecure.

    To convert a Windows UEFI laptop to Linux you may have to disassemble it to disconnect the hard-drive so you can turn booting only to internal hard-drive off.

    Having to disassemble a laptop to make it run Linux is something you are forced to accept if you want a broad choice of models.

    Sorry wolfgang you might call it odd but when it what we normally have todo anyhow to run Linux we are not bothered by it.

    Also read Roberts post more closely he is considering not building kernels any more. So his heavy usage is reducing.

    Basically a chromebook is not that much worse than buying a Windows laptop with UEFI to format over.

  4. wolfgang says:

    …laughing at me…

    that good thing then, since I get lot of chuckle out of you. look in wiki for nerdiest geek alive today and there is story about oiaohm! lots of aliases, too.
    Pogson talk about compiling kernel and using gimp, nothing about being in sandbox. you have reading problem along with others. many Linux heavy users in google world saying chromebook no good for tough stuff.
    if you think having to take chromebook apart and fool with under hood to use with Linux programs is just bump on log, you silly goose.

  5. oiaohm says:

    wolfgang by the way as well chromebook in develop mode can emerge any gentoo package include mysql as well. This is the big problem with people saying its not GNU/Linux. Chrome OS is truly a GNU/Linux with all the extra packages being a GNU/Linux accessible in a little bit of a tricky way.

  6. oiaohm says:

    wolfgang here is why I keep on laughing at you.

    pnacl(chrome native code) Guess what mysql embedded runs in that. Your not likely to run mysql is lack of homework.

    Yes chrome can run sand boxed native code.

    Wine inside the sandbox does not work because it needs Linux syscalls. Large number of Linux daemons can in fact be run inside pnacl with only minor alterations.

    Does not matter because due to the way chromebooks are required by google to document how to override there boot loader you can make them run anything bar windows(windows requires firmware things chromebooks don’t have). Effort breaking open a chromebook can be way simpler than some UEFI. Yes Microsoft made it mandorary that UEFI can be unlocked on x86 Microsoft did not make it mandatory that end users have to be provided with the documentation todo it.

  7. dougman says:

    Chrome devices, which are running Gentoo Linux, are a much safer solution then Win-Dohs. Chromebooks do not get malware, Windows 8 does, huge difference.

    On the subject of applications, Vmware and Google will remedy that, once they nail the enterprise down solution tight, they will roll out online versions for the rest of the world at cost.


    Before my sabbatical, I used a 11″ Chromebook all the time connected back to the office byway of RDP and when I did not wireless, I just fired up a T-mobile hotspot and used that.

    M$ and the pawn-stars commercial is laughable, trying to insinuate “Oh, without wireless your SOL”

  8. Agent_Smith says:

    What a sad state of affairs, when the tech companies only release client machines (Android), or dumb terminals (Chromebooks).
    And, yes, that other one (MS) is no better, offering that outlandish interface (Metro).
    So, we, as customers, are basically S_____ed…

  9. wolfgang says:

    …don’t need beast of computer…

    might need more than chromebook to build kernel and mess with pictures of flowers with gimp. chromebook I saw at store was great for google web apps and email kind of stuff, but not so hot for anything else. I check with google world and see where big Linux fans not so happy with doing fire-breathing Linux stuff with chromebook. maybe you have better way than them.

    tell oiaohm that it not likely to run MySQL either.

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