Google previews Chrome notebooks

Google CEO Eric Schmidt talks about the Google Chrome operating system in San Francisco, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010.(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

December 7, 2010 7:03:58 PM PST
Google unveiled its much anticipated notebook featuring the Chrome operating system Tuesday. The Mountain View-based Internet company promises it will be faster, safer and easier to use than anything else on the market, but there's a major wrinkle -- it won't go on sale until mid-2011.

The Chrome notebook is the first to carry the Google logo. Called Cr-48, it will skip the things users hate, like installing software, the annoying Caps Lock keys, slow startup times and more. It is a computer device strictly for those using the web.

"So what we want to do for the computing experience is make it as delightful as using a car," explained VP of product management Sundar Pichai. "You open your car, you drive it. You don't think about what's happening inside the car."

Notebooks have become extremely popular.

"They're small, they're portable, so the advantages if you're traveling a lot, you're out and about, [are] good battery life," said Nick Snyders of Best Buy. "Eight to 10 hours."

Google says it can do better. Their notebook will come with Chrome OS already installed -- the fastest browser out there.

"What does this mean for real users? Their favorite applications like Google Maps or YouTube? you go there, they tend to work faster," said Pichai.

At Tuesday's presentation in San Francisco, software developers experienced the latest version of Chrome OS, which is especially helpful with large documents like the 1,990-page health care reform bill. With one click of the mouse the large PDF loads instantly.

To support the many applications out there, Google also launched the Chrome Web Store -- a catalog of apps.

"It is very rich, visual, interactive, and we constantly work to feature new applications," said Pichai.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt told the audience users will be able to get online more quickly.

"You have a thousand times faster networks, CPUs, screens, just literally more horsepower at the networking and disc level," he said.

Every one of the developers in the audience for Tuesday's event will be sent a Cr-48. Google is looking for more people to participate in their pilot program. You must live in the U.S. and be at least 18 years old. Applications will be open until Dec. 21. To apply, click here.

The notebook will eventually be available globally and made by Acer and Samsung, and will work with Verizon. The price has not yet been determined.


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