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Samsung Spending More to Build Chromebook Than Many Netbooks Cost at Retail

The new Series 5 Chromebook is the first of its kind. It runs off Google's Chrome OS and puts everything online, getting rid of Windows and all of its desktop applications. However, as unique as its operating system is, the notebook's Atom N570 CPU and 12.1-inch screen are fairly common netbook parts. That's why it's so surprising to hear that Samsung spends a full $334 to build the 3G version of its Chromebook Series 5 when competitive netbooks retail for around the same price.

Take the Hannspree SN12 Notebook with the same 12.1-inch display. Instead of the Atom N570 CPU the Hannspree has an Intel Pentium SU4100. The two processors aren't substantially different but the price is. The Hannspree is $299 to buy making it less than what Samsung paid to build the Chromebook.

The Acer Aspire One AOD255E shares the same Atom A570 CPU as the Chromebook. However, the Acer sacrifices on screen size, with the display being just 10.1 inches. Like the Hannspree, the Acer comes in way cheaper than the Samsung at just $269.

So why is the Samsung so expensive to build? IHS iSuppli spares no details in explaining the break down of  cost. The motherboard is the most expensive component with a $86.37 price tag. This funds the Intel Atom N570 CPU that fails to outshine similar processors. Samsung pays an addition $42 for the 3G radio. Although it streams videos fine, 1080p trailers aren't so smooth and certainly not worth the extra cost.

In our review the Chromebook scored just 2 and a half stars. The price it takes to build appears excessive when you compare it with other notebooks in its league. Even the unique operating system left our reviewer wishing for a traditional desktop. Perhaps, Samsung should save the money it spent building the Chromebook and use it to go back to the drawing board instead.

via IHS iSuppli