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Google's Chromebooks are now available for preorder in the US at two major retailers: Amazon and Best Buy. Neither retailer has given a ship date for any of the devices, but Google has previously said June 15, 2011.
Google made the announcement via its Twitter account. Here's the message: "Nothing but the web: Samsung & Acer #Chromebooks now available for pre-order from @Amazon and @BestBuy in the US https://t.co/LpY0jWU." The full description the company is giving for the devices is as follows:
Chromebooks are built and optimized for the Web, where you already spend most of your computing time. So you get a faster, simpler and more secure experience without all the headaches of ordinary computers.
Last month, Google unveiled Chromebook and Chromebox devices. The first Chromebooks will be 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.