Kogan Agora Chromium Laptop Preview

Posted by jun auza On 6/15/2011
Google’s Chrome OS has been highly anticipated by people all over since its announcement. Manufacturers such as Samsung and Acer are trying their best to be the one company that gets the honor to first release a laptop or a netbook to the market that runs Chrome operating system.

Things are pretty much looking good for the two companies when out of nowhere, Kogan broke the news that they already released a laptop with Chromium OS as its operating system. Kogan is an Australian manufacturer that has been shipping the notebook in Australia and the United Kingdom since June 7 leaving Samsung and Acer to eat its dust.

What can we expect from the Agora Chromium laptop manufactured by Kogan? Will it become successful riding on the fact that it is the first? What does its spec sheet look like? Read on for the full details about the Kogan Agora Chromium laptop.


Design and construction

Measuring 29.0 x 19.5 x 2.56 cm, the Agora Chromium basically fits the typical notebook dimensions. It is thin and at its weight of 1.32 kg makes it a very portable and highly mobile device. It comes in black color and the construction is mostly made from plastic.

Under the hood

After checking out the spec sheet of the Agora Chromium, I thought I made a mistake. I thought I was going through a spec sheet of a notebook from around 2005. Why?

The Agora Chromium draws its power from an Intel Celeron (yes, no mistake here) SU2300 M ULV processor running at 1.30 GHz. The processor is complemented by a measly 1GB of DDR2 (what, no DDR3?) RAM. Sounds like a joke but Kogan claims that it is upgradable to 4GB.

For graphic matters, the Agora Chromium has an integrated Intel GS40 GPU which packs a 256MB shared memory and storage purposes is taken care of by a 30GB SATA SSD (at least, Kogan got something right here).

The display

The Agora Chromium sports an 11.6-inch WXGA Widescreen HD LED display with a 1366 x 768 resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio. The quality of the display is expected to be average, same with its viewing angles. We can only hope that sunlight legibility will at least be above average as this notebook boasts of portability and high mobility.

Feature set

The Agora Chromium packs the typical I/O options such as 3 USB 2.0 ports, a LAN port, even an HDMI port, which comes as a surprise. It also has a 3-in-1 card-reader that takes in SD, MMC and MS Pro cards. Bluetooth support is also standard along with Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n. It also packs a 1.3-megapixel webcam for video chats.

The only saving grace that the Agora Chromium brings to the table is that it runs an ultra-fast operating system. With the device being powered by the Chromium OS, not only does it boots up in 5 seconds or less, it also gives you the capability to store and save all your data in the cloud.

With cloud computing in mind, the Agora Chromium automatically connects to your network, be it wired or wireless, while booting up. As soon as you get booted up, you are already connected to the web. In the same manner, your settings, apps and documents are all resting safely in the cloud.

In addition to that, the Agora Chromium has access to tons of web-based apps from spreadsheets, photo-editors to games. Even if you are not online, most of these apps will still work so you can keep working at the same time.

Battery life

It packs a 4-cell, 4600 mAh Polymer battery that gives you an approximate 3.5 hours of usage on a single charge until its juice gets fully squeezed out. Not a good indication especially if you have plans of bringing this notebook on the road. Should you decide to do so, never leave home without its power adapter.


The bottom line

The Kogan Agora Chromium laptop as I see it is a chunk of disappointment after disappointment. What can you expect for 349 Australian dollars in the first place? I think the only thing that this notebook has got going right is the fact that it is the first laptop that became available in the market that runs Google’s Chromium OS. At this point in time, it might be more prudent to wait for what Samsung and Acer Google Chromebooks have to offer instead of jumping the gun bringing the Kogan Agora Chromium laptop home.


Written by: Antonette Pineda, Tech Source’s gadget reviews and news correspondent.

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