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Thursday June 16, 2011 8:00 am

What does the Samsung Chromebook cost to produce?

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Google, PC / Laptop

samsung chromebook

How much does that Samsung Chromebook really cost? According to an iSuppli teardown, the device's bill of materials comes to $322.12.

With the manufacturing cost throw in, the Chromebook costs $334.32 to produce. Despite Google's emphasis on the software, meanwhile, iSuppli finds that it's the hardware that really makes the Chromebook sing.

"As much as Google would like to de-emphasize the role of user hardware, it is the hardware, in fact, that defines the Chromebook and will determine the success of the platform," Wayne Lam, a senior analyst at IHS, said in a statement.

The Chromebook includes "some advanced hardware features not typically found in low-cost notebooks," iSuppli said.

The motherboard is the most expensive part of Samsung's Chromebook, at $86.37, or 26 percent of the total bill of materials. The motherboard includes a 2GB Double Data Rate 3 (DDR) SDRAM, as well as a dual-core Intel Atom N570 processor and a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) for computing security from Infineon Technologies, which is most commonly found on enterprise-level computers, iSuppli said.

The second most-expensive component is the 12.1-inch, 1,280-by-800 display from Samsung, which costs $58, or 17.5 percent of the total.

The Samsung battery pack, meanwhile, is $48.20. The Chromebook packs a 7.4-bolt lithium ion polymer battery from Samsung SDI, which takes up nearly two-thirds of the Chromebook volume.

In the same price range is the 3G module from Hon Hai, which costs $42.85. ISuppli said Samsung cut down on costs by using an older Gobi 2000 baseband platform from Qualcomm.

Other components and their cost include:

  • Mechanicals and enclosures (keyboard and touchpad assembly): $40.45
  • 16GB solid state disk (SSD) for storage from SanDisk: $28
  • Peripheral printed circuit board (with Wi-Fi and PC camera modules): $17.85
  • Box contents (including AC power adapter and other accessories): $10.40

The report notes that the cost only covers hardware and does not factor in other expenses, like manufacturing software, licensing, and royalties.

Earlier this week, Google announced that Chromebooks from Acer and Samsung were available for pre-order via Amazon and Best Buy. The 3G Samsung Series 5 costs $499.99, while the Wi-Fi version is $429.99. The 3G Acer Cromia is selling for $449.99, while the Wi-Fi version will set you back $379.99. It includes an 11.6-inch HD display, a 16GB hard drive, 1.66-GHz processor, 64MB of RAM, two USB ports, and about six hours of battery life.

The pre-orders came after a Salt Lake City-based company filed suit against Google, arguing that it has the rights to the Chromium name, and by default, Chromebook and Chromebox. ISYS Technologies wants a Utah district court to stop Google—as well as partners Acer, Amazon, Best Buy, and Samsung—from marketing and selling Chromebooks.

This article, written by Chloe Albanesius, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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