SideXSide: Samsung Chromebook Vs. Asus Eee PC 1215N

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 05-16-2011 Print Email
Now that Google and its vendor partners have taken the wraps off the upcoming Chromebooks, we compare how these netbooks, which use the Google cloud-based operating system Chrome OS, stack up against their Windows 7-based brethren.

At its Google I/O 2011 developers conference in San Francisco May 10-11, Google unveiled two new Chromebooks from Samsung and Acer. The netbooks, which will be available for customers to order on June 15, run Google's cloud-based operating system Chrome OS. Now that Google and its vendor partners have taken the wraps off their upcoming devices, we can compare one of the Chromebooks -- Samsung's option -- with a recent Windows-based netbook from Asus. Granted, netbooks have lost much of their appeal with corporate customers enamored of iPad and other tablet options. But it's important to note that Google has its sights set on the enterprise with its Chromebooks. The Asus' Eee PC 1215N is also a valid option for employees who don't need all the power of a full-fledged notebook computer. Our SideXSide comparison below gives you the details you need to decide whether a Chromebook or a Windows-based netbook is the right fit for some of your users.

SideXSide: Samsung Chromebook Vs. Asus Eee PC 1215N

Features

Samsung Chromebook

Asus Eee PC 1215N

Operating System

Google's Chrome OS, a cloud-based operating system that the company has been touting for months. It does not allow for offline access.

Windows 7 Home Premium. Although it's not the Enterprise edition you might be looking for, it will still deliver adequate functionality for IT staff.

Basic Hardware Features

The Samsung Chromebook comes with a 12.1-inch display and clamshell design one would expect in a netbook. It boasts the Intel Atom Dual-Core Processor and options for users to connect to the Web via Wi-Fi and 3G. The computer comes with two USB ports and a four-in-one memory card slot for users to transfer data to and from the device. A trackpad is built-in to control the computer.

The Asus Eee PC 1215N features a 12.1-inch display and clamshell design one would expect in a netbook. It comes with the 1.8GHz Intel Atom dual-core processor and 250GB of onboard storage. An additional 500GB is available through the company's WebStorage offering. It has 3 USB ports and 0.3-megapixel camera. The device includes an HDMI port. It offers access to the Web via WiFi 802.11b/g/n.

Security

According to Google, its Chrome OS offers multiple security features, including sandboxing to ensure Web pages and applications can't affect others. The platform also features a "verified boot" option that will repair malware prior to boot up. Data encryption and the addition of a guest mode should also help improve security on the platform. However, beware that by focusing its efforts on the Web, the computer is susceptible to online threats, including malware.

Because the Asus Eee PC 1215N features Windows 7, you'll need to ensure that the computers are running updated security software to keep users safe. In addition, you'll need to inform your employees of the threats they might face when using a Windows machine. Windows 7 is arguably more secure than its predecessor, Windows Vista, but the threats are always present. And the onus is on you to protect sensitive corporate data.

Productivity

At first glance, Samsung's Chromebook might look like a drain on productivity. After all, the operating system is brand new and your employees might not know much about it. However, if those folks have used Chrome at any point, they should feel right at home. Chrome OS is designed to deliver a Web browsing-like experience in a cloud-based operating system. The only productivity issues you might run into is employee use of sites you might not want them to access. 

Thanks to Windows 7, you shouldn't need to worry too much about the productivity of employees running the Asus Eee PC 1215N. That device features the familiar notebook design they're familiar with and is running an operating system that they continue to use each and every day. Plus, if you have the right solutions in place, you should be able to set use permissions and other protocols in place to ensure your employees are doing what they should, when they should.

Software Considerations

The biggest issue standing in the way of the Samsung Chromebook and Chrome OS is that it won't have the kind of software compatibility you'll be looking for. Google says that because of its reliance upon the Web, its operating system will work for many things folks are looking for, but as you know, many enterprise-focused programs are still only available on Windows. Don't expect those programs to come to Chrome OS anytime soon -- if ever.

You should have no trouble whatsoever deploying software on the Asus Eee PC 1215N. Because the device is running Windows, many of the programs you currently employ will work just fine on the netbook. However, because the Eee PC 1215N is a netbook and not a powerful laptop or desktop, some of the more resource-intensive options might not work so well on it. Keep that in mind before making your decision.

Wireless Connectivity

Dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity, in addition to World-mode 3G from Verizon Wireless.

802.11 b/g/n at 2.4GHz

3G Pricing 

Free for the first 100MB of data. A single-day pass costs $9.99 per day. Verizon offers a 1GB, 3GB, and 5GB plan for $20, $35, and $50 per month, respectively. 

Not applicable.

Storage 

The Chromebook features no storage, and instead will allow users to store content in the cloud. A four-in-one memory card slot allows users to transfer information to and from the device.

The Asus Eee PC 1215N boasts 250GB of storage. Asus also operates a cloud-based storage service that delivers 500GB more of storage for users.

Mobility 

The device weighs 3.26 pounds and, thanks to its small, 12.1-inch display, should be quite easy for your employees to carry around. Over all, the Samsung Chromebook seems to be quite appealing from a mobility perspective. The Chromebook will offer 8.5 hours of battery life on continued usage.

The Asus Eee PC 1215N weighs 3.22 pounds and features a small, 12.1-inch display to make it easy to toss into a bag. Moreover, if your employees are working while away from a power outlet, the battery life will give them the ability to use the device for a considerable amount of time.

Price

$429 for Wi-Fi-only model and $499 for the 3G option. Businesses can also get a subscription option for $28 per user per month.

$500


 

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