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Google announces first Chrome OS notebooks, partners with Acer and Samsung

Google announces first Chrome OS notebooks, partners with Acer and Samsung

Almost two years after Chrome OS was first announced in July 2009, Google have introduced the first Chrome OS notebooks, dubbed Chromebooks, with partners Acer and Samsung. Both Chromebooks will debut in seven countries, including the United States and United Kingdom, this coming June 15th.

Both Chromebooks are relatively similar in specifications, although the Samsung model is certainly more pleasing on the eye. The 12.1” Samsung Chromebook boosts 8.5 hours of battery life and weighs 3.26 lbs, while the 11.6” Acer Chromebook holds charge for 6 hours and weighs slightly less at 2.95 lbs. Both notebook devices have Intel Atom™ Dual-Core processors, built in HD webcams, two USB ports, a 4-in-1 memory card slot, and support Wi-Fi and optional 3G. The Acer has one HDMI port while the Samsung Chromebook unfortunately only has a mini-VGA port.

Chrome OS runs web-based applications within a modified Chrome browser

Chrome OS runs web-based applications within a modified Chrome browser

Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight, cloud-based operating system that focuses on speed, simplicity and security. Unlike traditional desktop operating systems like Microsoft Windows 7 and Mac OS X, there are no applications as such, no desktop or folder structure to be found. Instead, Chrome OS only runs web-based applications within its popular and powerful Chrome browser. Taking all the traditionally associated software out of the equation allows Chromebooks to boot within seconds and be less burdening on battery life.

Chromebooks will originally retail online on June 15th in the US, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Spain, with more countries to follow in the coming months. Amazon and Best Buy will sell both the Samsung and Acer Chromebook devices in the US from $429 and $349 respectively, while international retailers have yet to be disclosed.

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Darren McCarra is co-editor of The Sociable. He has a keen interest in photography, all things mobile, and writing about technology and social media. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

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