Google is all set to launch its Chrome operating system-powered laptop. At an event in San Francisco, the company gave the world a first look into its new Web-centric laptop which CEO Eric Schmidt said is very much like Network Computer devices that he pitched as CTO of Sun Microsystems some 13 years ago. Google Inc’s Web-centered laptop aims to provide an alternative to computer software from Microsoft Corp and Apple Inc. Here’s everything you would want to know about the new Google Chrome laptop:
1. Manufacturer: Samsung Electronics and Acer Inc will make the first laptops. Previously, Google also said that Hewlett-Packard and Dell have also shown interest in Google Chrome laptops.
2. Processor: Intel Corp will make the processors in the first batch. Google CR-48 laptop runs an Intel Atom processor.
3. Spec: Dubbed CR 48, the laptop prototype Google showed comes with 12.1-inch screen, 3G connectivity and webcam. However, the all-black laptop does not have any logos or branding. There’s a regular-sized keyboard and a battery that will last for eight hours.
4. Boot up time: According to Google, it takes seven seconds to boot up Chrome OS and three seconds to log in. The company also claimed that laptops which are turned off completely can be powered back up in 10 seconds. Chrome OS will use the Chrome browser that Google made available last year. Google also said it improved browser speed, simplicity and security, and that its user base has grown this year to 120 million from 40 million.
5. Connectivity: The first laptops will come with 100 MB of free wireless data transfers per month for two years, courtesy US telco Verizon Wireless. According to Verizon, streaming video for just two minutes every day amounts to 260 MB of data downloads in a month.
6. Guest sessions: Users will also be able to share their laptops, with the operating system preventing snooping on one another and providing “incognito” guest sessions that Google boasted is the most private online mode available. “My friend has no access to my data, and once he closes the notebook anything he did is erased,” Google product manager Sundar Pichai said of guest mode. “We call this a ‘friends let friends log in’ mode.“
7. Data cache: Data cacheData is cached in Google Chrome OS to enable users to access Web programmes and content offline. However, the laptops are being built with broadband connections to synch with wireless telecom network.
8. Availability: The first laptops powered by Google Inc’s Chrome operating system will reach store shelves sometime in 2011. Expected to be launched around Christmas this year, the laptops got delayed due to some software issues. Google has, however, begun a pilot programme distributing prototypes to schools, businesses, developers and other users with the intent of collecting feedback
9. Pricing: Google has so far not disclosed the prices of the laptops. Pricing is expected to be revealed by the notebook makers closer to the launch dates. However, according to some analysts the Google Chrome OS powered laptops would be priced under $500.
10. “Pure Google” experience: With the recent launch of Google Nexus S phone, Google has indicated their obsession for the “Pure Google” experience. So expect them to carry the same forward to their Chrome OS powered laptops when they are launched.