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Chromebooks continue to iterate the PC market. Here’s a timeline of the top models that have defined the evolution of the Chromebook.
At the end of 2010, Google announced the Chrome OS Pilot Program and the CR-48 Chromebook prototype. Google distributed the CR-48 for free to participants of the program in exchange for feedback on the device and OS.
Samsung Series 5
After the CR-48 pilot shipments ended in early 2011, Samsung released their Series 5 Chromebook in June 2011. The Series 5 was a lot more polished than the CR-48, but it was still met with mixed reviews.
Acer released the AC700 in July 2011, just one month after Samsung released the Series 5 Chromebook. While it had the same processor as the Series 5, an Atom N570, it had a slightly smaller screen and a shorter battery life.
Samsung Series 5 550
Almost one year after their initial Series 5 Chromebook, Samsung released the Series 5 550 in May 2012, around the same time they announced their Series 3 Chromebox. Users could choose between an Intel Celeron 867 or Core i5, and 4GB RAM was standard.
Samsung Series 3
Samsung released their Series 3 Chromebook, the XE303, in October 2012. In some circles it is known as the Samsung ARM Chromebook, as it is powered by the Exynos 5 Dual ARM processor. At the time of this story, it has spent 579 days in the top 100 selling laptops on Amazon.
In November 2012, Acer released the C710, also known as the C7. Seemingly in response to Samsung’s 550, the C710 offered two Intel processors, the Celeron 847 and the Celeron 1007U. It has the same screen size as the C700, but only managed about four hours of battery life.
Lenovo Thinkpad X131e
Lenovo jumped into the Chromebook game in January 2013 with their Thinkpad X131e. The product was billed as “rigged” by Google, boasting a rubberized casing and reinforced hinges, and was primarily targeted at education deployments.
HP Pavilion Chromebook
HP made their foray into Chromebooks soon after Lenovo, releasing the HP Pavilion Chromebook in February 2013. At the time, it was one of the largest offerings with a 14 inch screen size, but it only manages about four hours of battery life.
HP Chromebook 11
October 2013 saw two Chromebooks from HP, the first of which being the Chromebook 11. It had a sub-$300 price tag, an ARM processor, and a trendy design with many color options; but an overheating problem with the original charger prompted a recall.
HP Chromebook 14
The HP Chromebook 14, called the 14 because of its 14 inch screen, debuted alongside the HP Chromebook 11 in October 2013. It has an Intel processor and can get almost ten hours of battery life on a single charge.
Acer released their C720 Chromebook (pictured) in October 2013 and followed it up with their C720P Chromebook in December of that year. Both Chromebooks are powered by an Intel Haswell processor, but the C720P offers touch-screen capabilities.
Dell Chromebook 11
Dell kicked off 2014 for Chromebooks by releasing their Chromebook 11 in January. The device promises a full ten hours of battery life and is powered by the same Intel Celeron 2955U that powers the Acer C720 and C720P.
Toshiba released the CB30, its first Chromebook, in February 2014. Following the last few Chromebook releases, the Toshiba is powered by the same Intel Haswell Celeron 2955U processor and has a 13.3 inch screen.