Google will try to win more converts to a computer operating system revolving around its popular Chrome Web browser with a new wave of lightweight laptops built by Samsung Electronics.
The upgraded laptop, called Series 5 550, is supposed to run two-and-half times faster than the original machines, and boasts higher-definition video.
Google also added features that will enable users to edit documents offline, read more content created in widely used Microsoft applications such as Word and Excel, and retrieve material from another computer at home or an office.
More emphasis is being placed on Chrome's Web store, which features more than 50,000 applications. The price: $449 for models that only connect to the Internet through Wi-Fi and $549 for a machine that connects on a 3G network. Samsung's original Chromebooks started out with prices ranging from $429 to $499.
Like the original Chromebooks, the next-generation machines feature a 12.1-inch (30.5-centimeter) screen display and run on an Intel processor.
Google Inc. and Samsung also are introducing a Chromebox that can be plugged into a display monitor to create the equivalent of desktop computer. The box will sell for $329.
One reason Google is confident Chromebooks will eventually catch on is because the Chrome Web browser has attracted so many fans in less than four years on the market. The company says more than 200 million people worldwide currently are using the Chrome browser.