Google offers first Chrome OS netbooks to testers

So the great Internet rumor mill foretold, and so it was! Google has pulled the curtain off the very first Chrome OS laptop, as expected, although we’re talking about an unbranded machine offered exclusively to testers for now—not all that exciting. The search giant has also announced the forthcoming arrival of retail systems from Acer and Samsung, which will be available "in the first half of next year," and it has revealed plans to help bring Chrome OS to "devices beyond notebooks."

What you see above is the Cr-48 Chrome Notebook which has a 12.1" display, Verizon 3G connectivity, and rated battery life of eight hours. (Standby time is said to be eight days, too.) You won’t find this system on store shelves; instead, you’ll need to apply for the pilot program here for a chance to get one.

Google is hoping to get Cr-48 laptops to folks in the business, education, non-profit, and developer communities, as well as "qualified users." The pilot program is U.S.-only for now. From what I can see, this is basically a closed software beta with some hardware involved. Google explains on its blog, "We’re not done yet, but Chrome OS is at the stage where we need feedback from real users. Some of the features of Chrome OS require new hardware, but we didn’t want to sell pre-beta computers."

In related news, Google has opened the Chrome Web Store, which looks pretty much like an app store for web apps. Like the Cr-48 pilot program, though, this is only open to users in the States for now.

Comments closed
    • eternalmatt
    • 12 years ago

    I signed up for one AND I GOT ONE. Sunspider benchmarks here §[<http://goo.gl/ShyjU<]§

    • puppetworx
    • 12 years ago

    Intel Atom? Gah. Thing can barely manage JS animation never mind Flash, HD or gaming.

    Cannot wait for AMDs new low power portable chipsets. In a tablet though. Nobody wants a netbook anymore.

    [Edit: Maybe if it’s an Air, from the pictures though…it’s definetly not]

    • BlackStar
    • 12 years ago

    No, Cr-48 machines machine actually looks like this! 🙂

    See pics here: §[<http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/reviews/2010/12/google-chrome-notebook-c48-unboxing-first-impressions.ars<]§

    • yes
    • 12 years ago

    certainly seems so

    • kvndoom
    • 12 years ago

    Das Notebook!!

    • LiamC
    • 12 years ago

    +1 funny pop culture ref. Google does want to become the Gatekeeper after all…

    • Duck
    • 12 years ago

    Looks like a laptop that would be given out by a communist government.

    • zqw
    • 12 years ago

    That’s a weak-sauce render.

    • Dashak
    • 12 years ago

    My first thought too. I prefer trackpoints, but otherwise it’s perfect.

    • [+Duracell-]
    • 12 years ago

    What about my USB GPU? Oh wait…there’s a cloud service for that already.

    • Deanjo
    • 12 years ago

    The comment was said in sarcasm. People were flaming me when I made the same points as you with the Macbook air and some peeps were crying like it was the end of the world.

    • FuturePastNow
    • 12 years ago

    I want a netbook that looks like that. All matte black with no branding or other markings of any kind.

    • 5150
    • 12 years ago

    If someone asks you if you’re a GPU, you say “Yes!”

    • jthh
    • 12 years ago

    There is no CPU/GPU/BIOS/HDD…only Zuul!

    • StashTheVampede
    • 12 years ago

    I’m only hoping that not every version will be Atom powered.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 12 years ago

    Sure thing, buckwheat.

    • Farting Bob
    • 12 years ago

    You should blame MS for the poor state of my grandparents PC, it was old 7 years ago.

    • Voldenuit
    • 12 years ago

    I lol’ed.    

    • Taco
    • 12 years ago

    USB mouse? CLOUD MOUSE.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 12 years ago

    Atom, and Acer and Samsung will be using Atom when theirs come out all the way in the summer, too. 🙁

    Way to blow a good idea, Google.

    • nagashi
    • 12 years ago

    It’s got solutions for the various usage patterns you need USB for anyway. Printer? cloud printing. External hard drives? pssh, cloud storage. USB mouse? it looks like it has a mac style trackpad, which is night and day better than any other trackpad and quite comparable to a mouse IMO.

    I’d be ok with a single port I think. My current notebook only has 2 as is, and I rarely use even 1 of them.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 12 years ago

    I signed up, hope I get one.

    • Deanjo
    • 12 years ago

    OMG! Only one USB port? 😛

    • poulpy
    • 12 years ago

    I looked around for those specs too but they don’t seem to have been released just yet.

    • codedivine
    • 12 years ago

    Any details about the CPU/GPU/RAM?

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