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Google and Samsung debut new Chromebook

With their limited functionality and dependence on a reliable web connection, Chromebooks have been a hard sell to even the geekiest of early adopters. But Google and Samsung have decided to give the Chromebook concept a second try with two new devices: the Chromebook Series 5 550 notebook and Chromebox Series 3 desktop.

Google says boot times for the Chromebook Series 5 550 and Chromebook Series 3 are a blistering 7 and 5 seconds, respectively. Both units will also come loaded with the latest version of Google's Chrome OS, complete with its Aura UI.

The 12.1-inch Chromebook Series 5 550 , the follow-up to Samsung's 12.1-inch Chromebook Series 5 gets an upgraded processor, an Intel Core-series CPU rather than an Atom processor, and a 16GB SSD for local storage. The Series 5 550 also gets 4GB of RAM, up from the Series 5's 2GB. The Series 5 550 also features a built-in webcam, 2 USB 2.0 ports, a 4-in-1 memory card reader, and Kensington lock slot.

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Like the Series 5, the Chromebook Series 5 550 is available in two configurations, a $449 Wi-Fi only model and a $549 3G model.

In addition the the Chromebook Series  5 550, Samsung and Google have also debuted the new Chromebox Series 3 mini-desktop computer. Specs include an Intel Core-series processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 16GB SSD six USB 2.0 ports, DVI port and Bluetooth 3.0. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be a built-in media card reader. The Series 3 will set you back just $329.

According to Google, neither unit will support Google Drive out of the box, but a future update will eventually bring the cloud storage service into the fold. Check back for our full review of the Chromebook Series 5 550 in the coming weeks.