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Samsung revamps its lower-end Chromebook with faux leather

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It's taken a while, but people finally seem to be embracing Chromebooks as the low-cost laptops that they were designed to be. Samsung's already earned our plaudits for this year's Chromebook 2, but what if you just don't have $400 to spend on a new piece of hardware? Never fear, for the company has also refreshed the lower-end model from 2012 with better specs, but the same $249.99 price-tag. The low cost doesn't mean that this new (old) Chromebook can't be stylish, however, as Samsung has coated the top lid in the same faux-leather backing that we've seen on plenty of the company's other gadgets.

Speaking of the hardware, the Exynos 5 that ran the show in the 2012 model has been ditched in favor of a 2.58GHz Intel Bay Trail CPU (Celeron N2840) paired with 2GB RAM. You'll also find 16GB storage, Intel HD graphics and an Intel-made 802.11ac WiFi chip lurking beneath the keyboard. Display-wise, there's a 1,366 x 768 TN screen nestled beneath a 720p webcam, and we'd imagine both have been carried over from the original in order to keep the costs down. In addition to the battery rated for nine hours of life, owners will be some of the first to be able to use Google Help, the company's Mayday-esque tech support service. Available between 10am - 7pm (ET), all a user needs to do is type Chrome:help into their address bar and, if an agent is available, you'll be given the option to call them for assistance. If that's all the information you need before slapping cash on the counter, you'll be able to pre-order the Chromebook from right now, with shipping commencing at some point next week. If not, then you'll just have to wait for our review

Dana Wollman contributed to this report.

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