Report: Samsung Chromebook 2 delayed until end of May

Were you hoping to have a new Samsung Chromebook 2(s goog) at the turn of the month? I was but it doesn’t appear likely: Joe Wilcox reported at BetaNews on Friday that Samsung is delaying availability of its new Chromebook. This follows official pre-orders that Samsung began on April 7 with expected delivery in 14 to 21 business days.
According to Wilcox, Samsung’s press group provided this simple but terse statement: “The product is now shipping at the end of May”. I checked Amazon’s(s amzn) pre-order page for the new Chromebook 2 and saw release dates of May 29, which supports Wilcox’s story. He had pre-ordered the 13.3-inch model prior and has been seeing the date slip:

“I ordered one on April 8 from Amazon with delivery date of April 29, which put expected launch a day earlier. But then on April 10, Amazon emailed that my new delivery date would be May 2 and the website indicated availability on the 1st. Last week, Amazon changed the date to May 15 and by the beginning of this week to May 29.”

Without an official reason for the delay, we can only speculate as to the issue. It could be a simple production problem. But there’s really little difference in most of the Chromebooks being built and sold today. The biggest two for the Samsung Chromebook 2 are the 1920 x 1080 resolution display on the larger model — most Chromebooks use 1366 x 768 screens — and the eight-core Samsung Exynos 5 chip that will power the new laptops.
Chromebook2 open
My gut says that if there is a technical issue, it has to do with the latter difference.
Chrome OS may not be optimized to take full advantage of the octo-core Exynos 5 processor. If that’s the case, the Chromebook 2 performance may not be as good as Samsung would like. And performance could be a key attribute for those considering the Chromebook 2 because the Intel(s intc) Haswell-based Chromebooks offer great performance at a lower cost; Samsung is planning to sell the Chromebook 2 laptops for $319.99 and $399.99, depending on the model.