Chrome OS notebooks Stories May 11, 2011

Chromebooks, the just announced notebooks optimized to run Chrome OS, will benefit from new features in Chrome OS. When Google introduced Chrome OS a year ago, many people wondered how useful the upcoming notebooks would be the software’s clunky handling of external storage, your documents and other items. Google has been perfecting Chrome OS with these specific concerns in mind and today they dispelled myths that Chromebooks won’t be a fit for the average Joe Schmuck.

First up, Chrome OS has built-in players for music and video that show your content in a panel form factor by default. You can, however, take your video to fullscreen with a simple click. Another sought-after feature is a file manager that pops up when you slide a USB thumb drive or other peripherals to a Chromebook. But what about photos?

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Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome, has just announced two cool Chrome notebooks up on stage here at Google I/O 2011. He used a new word to describe them – Chromebooks. Add that to your vocabulary, I have a feeling we’re gonna use it a lot moving forward.

Samsung’s 12.1-inch Chromebook, shown above, has eight-hour battery and sports instant-on performance, like Apple’s MacBook Air, with eight-second boot time.

Acer’s machine, seen below, has a 11.6-inch display, 6.5-hour battery and also boots in just eight seconds. So, how much will those beauties cost you?

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Google I/O Day Two Keynote is set to begin at 9:30 here at the San Francisco’s Moscone West. Yesterday’s was all about Android and today we will learn what’s in store for the Chrome browser and the Chrome operating system for notebooks. According to Forbes, Google will announce a $20 a month hardware subscription option for Chrome OS notebooks.

Instead of dropping a couple of hundred dollars upfront, you’ll be able to get a free Chrome OS machine as long as you continue paying twenty bucks a month to Google. The offering will include both the hardware and the accompanying cloud services and will be targeted at students, a Google source told the publication. That could put Apple, the leader in education, in an uneasy position. The Forbes piece says nothing about hardware refresh cycles or a possible 3G/4G connection bundle.

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Chrome OS notebooks Stories May 2, 2011

As first Chrome OS notebooks are about to hit the market, specs leak to the web pertaining to Chrome OS machines from Samsung and Acer plus a mysterious touch device. As expected, these forthcoming machines ditch hard drives in favor of presumably scarce solid state storage because pretty much everything sans the operating system code resides in the cloud.

Engadget detailed Samsung’s machine code-named “Alex” which is rumored to pack in a ten-inch display at 1280-by-800 pixel resolution, a Synaptics touchpad, a webcam, Bluetooth and a Qualcomm Gobi 2000 3G cellular connectivity. The outed processor is said to be of a 1.5GHz dual-core Atom N550 variety. Two gigabytes of RAM and a SanDisk solid state drive of unknown capacity were also spotted.

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