Google Chromebooks go on sale in seven countries

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Google's Chromebooks are now on sale in the following seven countries: the US, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands. They were available for preorder in the US starting last week, but that exclusivity didn't last very long.

In the US, you can get them at Amazon.com or Best Buy. In the UK, it's Amazon.co.uk and PC World. In France and Germany, it's just Amazon.fr and Amazon.de. In Spain and Italy, you'll have to go to PIXmania.com, and finally Laptopshop.nl for the Netherlands.

Last month, Google unveiled Chromebook and Chromebox devices. The first Chromebooks are made by Acer and Samsung. The company also later confirmed it would keep the focus of Chrome OS on notebooks and that there were no plans to merge it with Android.

Acer's version will cost $350 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 $430 for Wi-Fi only and $500 for integrated 3G connectivity. That gets you a larger 12.1-inch display along with 8.5 hours of battery life, and those upgrades push the total weight to 3.26lbs. It also trades the HDMI port for Mini-VGA.

These Chromebooks are the first test for Chrome OS. Google is really hoping its idea of an operating system that is essentially a browser takes off. The company's broader strategy is to have everything on the Web, so it can index it and monetize it with ads. Will you be buying one?

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