At last, Google has set a firm release date for the first notebooks based on its Chrome OS operating system: June 15. The search giant announced the news on its blog earlier today, revealing that Acer and Samsung will be the first out of the gate with Chrome OS laptops, a.k.a. Chromebooks. No pricing details have been made public yet, but we've got some pictures and specifications.
The Acer system, pictured below, has an 11.6" 1366x768 display, a dual-core Atom processor clocked at 1.66GHz, a couple of gigs of DDR3 RAM, a 16GB solid-state drive, and other amenities often found on systems of that caliber, including 802.11n Wi-Fi, HDMI out, and a 1.3-megapixel webcam. Total weight with the six-hour battery: 2.95 lbs.
Samsung's Chromebook, meanwhile, couples the same processor and similar built-in storage with a slightly larger display (12.1") that has a different resolution (1280x800). Samsung boasts the LCD panel is 36% brigher than a "standard display." Other perks include a card reader, HD webcam, and mini-VGA port. At 3.3 lbs, this system is a little heavier than its Acer counterpart, but Google says it has longer battery life (up to 8.5 hours). Chiclet keyboards and MacBook-style button-less touchpads appear to be standard on both the Acer and Samsung machines.
Both systems are already listed on Amazon in Wi-Fi and 3G variants. According to the introductory video below, users who pony up for the 3G models will get a free 100MB of monthly 3G data courtesy of Verizon:
Incidentally, Google has more or less confirmed yesterday's rumors about that subscription service. The service will include "a cloud management console to remotely administer and manage users, devices, applications and policies" in addition to "enterprise-level support, device warranties and replacements as well as regular hardware refreshes." Monthly subscriptions will start at $28 per user for businesses and $20 per user for schools.Update: According to Engadget, the Acer and Samsung Chromebooks will start at $349 and $429, respectively.