Google Chrome OS Pilot Program Launches

Google has formally introduced Chrome OS and the Chrome OS Pilot Program for laptops, and they’ve even introduced a new ultraportable laptop that was “designed for the pilot program.”

Google Chrome OS is a Linux-based OS being developed by Google for laptops/notebooks, and netbooks that is focused on internet-based work, with an emphasis on using Google Apps. All of the applications are either meant to be web-based, or work with web-based content. The pilot program is open to the following people/groups who are based in the US:
– Individuals
– Businesses
– Schools
– Non-profit organizations
– Developers

The Google Cr-48 Chrome Notebook really resembles a 13.3-inch Black MacBook.

Cr-48 Chrome Notebook
– “Designed for the Pilot program”
– 12-inch LCD
– Boots in about 10 seconds, Resumes from sleep instantly
– Over 8 hours of battery life, standby for a week
– Flash/SSD storage instead of a mechanical hard drive
– Wi-Fi and 3G network connectivity
– Full-size keyboard / oversized touchpad
– 3.8 pounds
– VGA out
– Possibly a headphone out jack
– Possibly a Secure Digital (SD) slot
– 1x USB 2.0 port
– Webcam

If you’re worried about security, Google has posted this video, explaining some of the safety/security features:

Further Reading:
Chrome OS Pilot Program

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Google Chrome OS Netbook to Launch Tuesday (December 7)?

Engadget believes an Intel-Atom powered netbook running Google Chrome OS, and branded by Google will be released next Tuesday, December 7, 2010. Multiple sources have told Engadget to expect a Google Chrome OS device to be released then. Google has sent out official invitations to the media for a Chrome event on December 7 in San Francisco.

The “launch” is going to be more of a publicity launch than anything – Engadget’s sources believe it’s going to be a very limited production run (65,000), and not for the public market. Apparently the OS is still in beta and not polished.

It’s been right around a year and a half since it was announced. Originally it was slated for a release by the fall of this year, but back in November Google said it would not be until early 2011.

Google Chrome OS is based on Linux and the entire focus of the OS is centered around internet/web applications. The OS will even look like Google’s Chrome browser. Performance should be very good, even on low-end hardward, since there isn’t a lot to the OS – everything will be based on using the internet. The OS itself will be stripped down, and that should ensure good performance, even on single-core netbooks. The OS will be designed to take up as little of the display as possible, leaving more room for web browsing, online document editing (Google Docs), and other intended uses, which will be especially helpful on the lower resolution display (1024×600, etc.).

Engadget and Google invite

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ASUS U36JC Hands on (NetbookNews) was able to get their hands on an 13.3-inch ASUS U36JC at the ASUS’ press conference yesterday. The U36Jc is very interesting – it’s fairly lightweight for the size, and is packing an Intel Core i5-460M (2.53GHz, dual-core). The graphics are powered by an NVIDIA GeForce 310M with a dedicated 1GB DDR3 RAM. You read that right. Also, there is the option of using the Intel GMA HD graphics to save on battery life when the NVIDIA graphics are not needed. While it does come with a glossy display and a small webcam (0.3MP), it’s still powerful for the size. You also have an HDMI out.

They estimate the price will be around $1,100, which is very good – it comes with an 8-cell battery, a 500GB 7200rpm HDD, and 4GB DDR3 system ram.

They’ve also posted a video hands-on:


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Netbooks – They are Everywhere (even Toys R Us)

Netbooks. They are everywhere. Even at Toys R Us, as you can see by the image to the right of this article.

I’ve been aware of them on display at Toys R Us for a year or two, but I’m surprised to see them still sold there. In a way, it makes perfect sense though – netbooks are probably the best bet for buying kids their own computer, although I’m sure they’d argue in favor of an Apple iPad.

While the ad to the right for a free printer only applies to in-store purchases up through tomorrow afternoon I believe, Toys R Us actually has a fairly comprehensive netbook section on their website, including a video demonstrating the differences between a netbook and a regular laptop or notebook.

Online, they sell everything from Sylvania 7-inch netbooks with a VIA 8505 Processor up through 10-inch HP Mini 210 running the latest Intel Atom CPUs, alongside the Toshiba NB305.

If you want to check any of them out in person, they are a little sparse, only having these models in store:
– Asus Eee PC 900 (8.9-inch)
– Sylvania G Meso with Intel Atom (8.9-inch)
– HP Mini 210-1085NR (10.1-inch, Intel Atom N450)

Yes, that Eee PC 900 maybe the original, since the model # is EEEPC900BK091X, but they are carrying some of the latest netbooks.

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Laptops With Intel’s Sandy Bridge Discovered

We knew that Intel would be formally introducing Sandy Bridge at CES 2011 in January. These are the second generation of Intel’s Core CPUs/platform. One of the major features would be moving the graphics processing completely onto the processor and sharing cache in a much tighter integration. This would allow graphics performance to more closely match dedicated chipsets, without increasing the size of the CPU/platform. There will also be security enhancements.

Laptoping has discovered a couple of laptops that contain known Sandy Bridge CPUs, and that maybe manufactured using the 32nm process.

They were looking for information on the AMD Mobility Radeon HD 6550M, and came across a couple of Sandy Bridge-based laptops:
– 17.3-inch Acer Aspire with the Core i7-2630QM (Quad-Core)
– Gateway laptop with the Core i7-2630QM
– Lenovo IdeaPad Y560P with the Core i7-2630QM

While those are the extreme opposite of what is normally covered on, and they may also have a dedicated AMD graphics chipset, it might be an indication that Sandy Bridge-based ultraportable laptops could be available fairly soon at or shortly after CES 2011.

Read: Laptoping

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