Google announces Chromebook, Chromebox devices

By on May 11, 2011, 3:19 PM

Google has announced the culmination of its CR-48 pilot program: two Chrome OS-powered notebooks manufactured by Acer and Samsung. The machines were unveiled today during the second half of its annual Google I/O conference in San Francisco, and both "Chromebooks" share similar netbook-like specifications.

Acer's version will cost $349 with an 11.6-inch display, a dual-core Intel Atom processor, integrated dual-band Wi-Fi and optional 3G, an HD webcam with a noise cancelling microphone, two USB 2.0 ports, a 4-in-1 card reader, and one HDMI output. The 2.95lb device will reportedly offer up to six hours of continuous usage.

Samsung intends to charge a little more for its Chromebook with pricing set at $429 for Wi-Fi only and $499 for integrated 3G connectivity. That gets you a larger 12.1-inch display along with heftier battery that offers 8.5 hours of life, and those upgrades push the total weight to 3.26lbs. It also trades the HDMI port for Mini-VGA.

Both systems will be available for preorder on June 15 in seven countries: the US, the UK, Spain, Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands. Google also plans to offer a "Student Package" that will allow college students to pay $20 per month for a Chromebook and there could be similar plan for enterprise customers.

In addition to the Chromebooks, Google has teased a nettop running Chrome OS, unsurprisingly called the "Chromebox." Details are thin, but at least one model is in development at Samsung. Although it resembles Apple's Mac mini, the Chromebox is reportedly aimed at businesses and will come with various system admin tools.

While it remains to be seen if Google's cloud-centric operating system will gain traction, the company's web browser has witnessed continuous growth since launching in September 2008. During today's keynote, Google said Chrome is now actively used by 160 million people worldwide, up from the 70 million reported last year.

User Comments: 11

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mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

They really look nice and I think there's a good market for this type of cloud devices although I think they are a little to expensive for being online-only. A price range between $100-$300 USD would be a lot more attractive specially since, I assume, people would prefer a $300-$500 USD regular Windows netbook/laptop over this machines.

It would also be safe to assume that Chromebooks will get to a $100-$300 price range within a year. I could really see myself buying one of this machines.

Zecias said:

i feel like chrome os is pretty good for netbooks(and maybe smartphones), but not much else.

Guest said:

I'll take the Samsung!

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The price. The price. The price.

The only problem I see here...

abe10tiger abe10tiger, TechSpot Paladin, said:

lawfer said:

The price. The price. The price.

The only problem I see here...

Yes my friend..... yes...

Guest said:

That's an amazing news. The price is good. I will definitely go for the Samsung.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

How big of a system drive? Or is it non-existent?

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

spydercanopus said:

How big of a system drive? Or is it non-existent?

Considering pretty much everything is run and stored via "the Cloud" apart from the OS itself, these devices probably have very small SSD drives, or are just using a standard 120GB/250GB platter drive because they are cheap.

lawfer said:

The price. The price. The price.

The only problem I see here...

About normal for these kinds of PCs actually, but the fact these do not have any bundled third party software (90% being bloatware of course) or a retail OS (ie one that costs money), there's nothing to help offset the hardware costs.

Though, nowadays, that price offset is not nearly as much as it used to be.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

For those people who want this, what do you find desirable about it?

SneekyGeaky said:

An internet browser is one thing, but a net-centric OS is different... Personally, I won't trust my "data" to these upcoming Chrome powered devices until that OS gets a deep analysis of it's code for the inner workings and whatnot. Paranoid? well, it's Google's fault...

captainawesome captainawesome said:

with the price of mobile internet, i'm not sure how this will work when outside of Wifi (home/office) range.

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