Google surprised many this week with introduction of a cheaper new Chromebook that runs on a chip usually meant for smartphones and tablets. The ChromeOS laptop is lighter and thinner than its predecessor, not to mention $200 less with a base price of $249. My hands on video review showed a SIM card slot but Google didn’t officially announce a 3G version of the Chromebook, saying only it would be available in the future. Looks like the future is now.
The Verge received a tip that a 3G model was also available for $329 and it checks out: Samsung’s official Chromebook page shows the 3G-capable device for $80 over the Wi-Fi model. Aside from the inclusion of a 3G radio that supports Verizon’s EVDO mobile broadband network, the specs appear identical between the two devices. And like prior 3G Chromebooks, buyers will receive 100 MB of monthly 3G data at no extra charge.
Surely, you can’t do much with 100 MB of mobile broadband, but it’s handy in a pinch if a hotspot isn’t readily available. Verizon will offer additional service for a fee if you’re going to rely heavily on mobile broadband networks with the new Chromebook.