Samsung Series 5 3G Chromebook Teardown

June 8, 2011 Hardware, Site News, Teardowns — walter

Just over six months ago, Google released the Cr-48 prototype Chromebook to developers—promising that production hardware would be forthcoming. They weren’t lying! With today’s release of the first production Chromebook, the Samsung Series 5 3G, Google has officially entered the retail consumer laptop market with a device they promise will change computing forever.

Running Google’s own ChromeOS, the Series 5 Chromebook is Google’s answer to machines running monolithic operating systems, which they regard as overbearing and process intensive. We decided that the screws holding it together rather overbearing. So we removed them.

With the release of the first Chromebook, the Samsung Series 5 3G, Google has officially entered the retail consumer laptop market with a device they promise will change computing forever.

But what’s inside?

Our analysis revealed that the Series 5 is a well-polished version of the rather imperfect Cr-48 prototype Chromebook. We’ve had our Cr-48 for a while, and certain hardware failings—the incredibly horrible, no-good, really quite terrible trackpad and mediocre battery life—prevented us from using it regularly. The Series 5 fixes the major shortfalls of the Cr-48 and adds the polish necessary to strike lust into the heart of a broad consumer base: sleek looks, 8+ hours of battery life, and optimized performance.

The Samsung Series 5 3G Chromebook landed a decent 6 out of 10 Repairability Score. The Series 5 can be disassembled with a mere three tools: a spudger, a plastic opening tool, and a Phillips #1 screwdriver.

Teardown highlights:

  • The Series 5 is significantly more attractive than its ancestor—and a bit slimmer as well.
  • The improved Atom N570 processor sports 512K more L2 cache than the Cr-48’s Atom N455.
  • Samsung’s large integrated lithium-polymer battery is good for 8.1 Amp-hours at 7.4 V!
  • The Atom and NM10 graphics chip produce so little heat that no cooling fins are used at the fan’s exhaust.
  • Located underneath the keyboard, we discovered a Synaptics T1320A – Capacitive Touchscreen Controller.
  • Key players on the motherboard include:
    • 1.66 GHz Intel Atom dual-core N570 processor.
    • Intel NM10 Express Chipset (labeled as CG82NM10)
    • 2GB RAM: Samsung K4B2G0846 HCH9 2 Gb DD3 SDRAM (total of 8 ICs = 2 GB RAM)
    • 16 GB SanDisk SDSA4DH-016G SSD
    • Realtek ALC272 4-Channel High Definition Audio Codec

Lifting the motherboard out of the lower case

Lifting the motherboard out of the lower case

Final layout

Final layout

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