The Samsung Series 5 is easily disassembled and has replaceable components, but there's at least one surprise inside the first commercial Chromebook.
Starting today, consumers and businesses can purchase the Samsung Series 5—the first commercially-available Chromebook. Businesses can also rent them for $28/month per user through Google's Chromebooks for Business program. When they were first announced, I characterized the Series 5 and Acer's companion Chromebook as being "more netbook than notebook". And in his first TechRepublic blog post, Kevin Purdy looked at "what Chromebooks can and can't do".
The Samsung Series 5 is available in two flavors—a Wi-Fi + 3G model for $499.99 (US) and a Wi-Fi-only model for $429.99 (US). You can purchase the Series 5 from Amazon.com and BestBuy.com. The Samsung Series 5 weighs 3.3 pounds and measures 11.6" (W) x 8.6" (D) x 0.8" (H).
We got our hands on the Samsung Series 5 early, and I couldn't resist cracking it open. While Series 5's design and internal hardware was as expected, there were a few surprises—RAM solder to the motherboard.
Full teardown gallery: Cracking Open the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook
Cracking Open analysis:
- Simple to crack open and dissect: Samsung used standard Phillips #0 and #1 screws both outside and inside the case. Four of the seven outer case screws are hidden under the machine's rubber feet, but the feet are easily removed and reattached.
- Shares components with the Google CR-48: Not surprisingly, the Series 5 shares components with the original Google CR-48 Chromebook, such as the SanDisk 16GB SSD (SDSA4DH-016G) and Qualcomm Gobi2000 WWAN card.
- Some replaceable components: The wireless cards, SSD, and battery are all easily removed, but you must remove the computer's back cover to do so.
- RAM is soldered to the motherboard: Unlike the CR-48, but like the Apple MacBook Air, the Series 5's RAM is soldered to the motherboard, making a RAM upgrade impossible.
Internal hardware and chips:
According to IHS iSuppli, the total cost to produce the Series 5 is $334.32 (US). The motherboard is the most expensive component at $86.37 (includes the Intel Atom N570 processor and other attached chips). At $58.00, the 12.1-inch LED back-lit LCD display is the second most-costly component. The 7.4V Li-Polymer battery ($48.20), Qualcomm Gobi2000 WWAN card ($42.85), and 16GB SanDisk SSD ($28.00) also add to the unit's price tag.
Here's a breakdown of the Series 5's major hardware components:
- 7.4V 61Wh 8100 mAh Li-Polymer Battery
- 1.66 GHz Intel Atom dual-core N570 processor
- Intel CG82NM10SLGXX Platform Hub Controller
- Realtek ALC272 4-Channel High Definition Audio Codec
- Samsung K4B2G0846 HCH9 2 Gb DD3 SDRAM (2GB RAM)
- SanDisk 16GB SDSA4DH-016G SSD
- Two internal speakers
- Synaptics T1320A Capacitive Touchpad Controller
- Realtek RTS5138 SD card reader IC
- Qualcomm Atheros AR5BHB116 802.11n Wi-Fi card with Atheros AR9382 chip
- Qualcomm Gobi2000 WWAN board (Qualcomm MDM2000, Samsung 32MB Mobile DRAM, Qualcomm RFR6500 receiver, and Qualcomm RTR6285 UMTS/GSM/EDGE cellular transceiver with GPS)
- Alpha & Omega Semiconductor AON6912A 30V Dual Asymmetric N-Channel MOSFET
- Infineon SLB9635TT1.2 Trusted Platform Module (TPM)
- SMSC MEC1300-NU
- Silego Technology SLG8SP513V CK505 Clock Generator
- SMSC EMC2112 Fan controller
- Macronix MX25L1005C 1Mb Serial Flash
- Texas Instruments BQ24725 2-4 Cell Li+ Battery SMBus Charge Controller
- Texas Instruments TPS51117 1.8V to 28V Input Sync. Step Down Controller
- Texas Instruments TPS54319 2.95V to 6V Input, 3A Synchronous Step-Down Converter
- Texas Instruments TPA6017A2 stereo audio power amplifier
Update 12/19/2011: This post originally appeared in our TR Dojo blog.