Sneaky Samsung! On Tuesday (Jan. 5), at the same time that it unveiled its ultra-thin Notebook 9 Windows laptops, the Korean electronics maker quietly announced the Samsung Chromebook 3, its latest notebook running Google's free operating system.
The Samsung Chromebook 3 has specifications very similar to those of the Lenovo 100S Chromebook, which we recently reviewed. Like the Lenovo, the Samsung features an 11.6-inch screen with a 1366 x 768-pixel resolution.
Measuring 11.36 x 8.04 x 0.70 inches, the Samsung is just a tad smaller than the Lenovo; at 2.53 pounds, it's just a hair heavier. Both machines run on Intel Celeron CPUs — the Samsung on the N3050 chip, the Lenovo on the N2840.
Samsung promises that the Chromebook 3 will get up to 11 hours of battery life on a full charge, but hasn't released the size of the battery. In our test, the Lenovo 100S Chromebook lasted 11 hours and 19 minutes.
Like the Lenovo, the Samsung starts with a 16GB SSD and 2GB of RAM, which can optionally be increased to 4GB. (There doesn't seem to be an option to increase the Samsung's storage capacity.)
Both machines sport one of each type of necessary port: USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI and headphone/microphone. But while the Lenovo 100S Chromebook has a full-sized SD card slot, the Samsung Chromebook 3 shrinks that to a microSD slot.
The one thing Samsung didn't disclose about the Chromebook 3 was its price. That may be because while its predecessor, the Samsung Chromebook 2, still carries a suggested retail price of $249, the Lenovo 100S Chromebook retails for $179, and the similarly specced Acer C720 Chromebook goes for $199.
Samsung said the Chromebook 3 will go on sale "in early 2016." We plan to get a hands-on at CES 2016, and be sure to check back here in a month or two for our review.