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Chrome netbooks due in weeks

Chrome netbooks due in weeks

Devices running Google's Chrome OS are expected to launch in China by the end of the month - ahead of schedule.

If you're patiently waiting for the first official netbooks to be shipped with Google Chome, there's good news and bad news: expect something towards the end of this month, so long as you live in China.

According to a rumour over on Shanzai.com - via Fudzilla - un-named Chinese netbook manufacturers are preparing to launch sub-$200 (£125) netbooks running Google's open-source Chrome operating system before the end of the month.

While the low expected retail price is perhaps a surprise for a new product, it comes at the expense of power: the devices are expected to run on the MIPS-architecture Loonsong CPU, which has the potential to offer impressive battery life but disappointing performance to those used to devices running on Intel's popular Atom range of ultra-low-voltage processors.

If you can't justify a trip to China to pick up one of these little devices, fear not: while no major manufacturer has yet committed to a firm release date, it's thought that big brands including Acer and Hewlett Packard will be launching Chrome-based netbooks before the end of the year across the global market.

If the time scale predicted by Shanzai proves true, it would be a boon for Google - the company didn't expect devices running the OS to hit the market until 2010 when it first announced Chrome.

Do you think that ultra-low-power netbooks running Chrome could prove to be a saving grace in a market which is increasingly turning them into miniature laptops, or would the system have too little power to keep your interest? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

18 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
l3v1ck 2nd October 2009, 13:12 Quote
There's only so low you're prepared to go when it comes to net books. I'm wondering if this is a step too far. I'm still eyeing up Nano powered netbooks rather than Atom powered ones.
DXR_13KE 2nd October 2009, 13:32 Quote
Its a netbook... i am going for a pandora :D
docodine 2nd October 2009, 13:40 Quote
I was hoping for a very shiny silver notebook. :-(
mi1ez 2nd October 2009, 14:03 Quote
@docodine You're not the only one! A netbook that doubles as mirror for xmas and the girlfriend would love me forever!
xaser04 2nd October 2009, 14:40 Quote
Poor performance compared to the Atom setup......? What is it an abacus?!
crazyceo 2nd October 2009, 15:35 Quote
Filed under "Goes the same way as the Linux Netbooks!" Especially with the netbook friendly windows 7.
Shagbag 2nd October 2009, 15:41 Quote
Google are really pushing cloud computing and it'll be interesting to see the hardware specs of Chrome OS netbooks. Google Docs, Google Calendar and the upcoming Google Wave are really going to challange the traditional view of the personal computer client OS. Add to that HTML5 and WebGL and in the next 3-5 years we're going to see the dominance of ActiveX in PC gaming decline significantly.
javaman 2nd October 2009, 18:01 Quote
Would love to give linux ago. Been thinking of a netbook for uni for basic programming stuff. Best ive seen is 7hr batter with the atom for around £230 how much more battery do you need really? Give me that one a full 15"-17" laptop that less than £500 and Ill love you forever.
thehippoz 2nd October 2009, 20:30 Quote
they must be doing a good job at marketing chrome.. I was asked the other day if it was worth getting chrome over windows 7
perplekks45 2nd October 2009, 21:08 Quote
I hope you said no. :p
thehippoz 2nd October 2009, 21:24 Quote
lol yeah.. well chrome is good in it's own ways, maybe just what some people need =]
perplekks45 2nd October 2009, 21:41 Quote
It might be perfect to just quickly check your mails and stuff but let's be honest: Most good phones can do that already. And with the amazing performance hinted at in the article there isn't too much more you can do with these netbooks.
LordPyrinc 3rd October 2009, 02:19 Quote
Well, they can also serve as a paperweight once your done checking your email.
The_Beast 3rd October 2009, 05:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by docodine
I was hoping for a very shiny silver notebook. :-(


Me too, I was looking to bling-up my computer but it's still just a dream
Shagbag 3rd October 2009, 07:14 Quote
Mobile phones have too small a screen and don't support USB keyboards.
I'm very happy with my Acer Aspire One. It does everything my desktop does and cost a fraction of the price. Admittedly, WinXP runs slower on the AA1 than the desktop, but Arch Linux s_h_i_t_s all over WinXP performance wise on the AA1 so I mostly end up Rdesktop-ing (Remote Desktop) to my desktop's WinXP if I need to use Windows. I've grown out of playing games so that's 99% of perceived netbook downside out of the way for me.
Cupboard 3rd October 2009, 13:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by xaser04
Poor performance compared to the Atom setup......? What is it an abacus?!

My thoughts exactly.
I have heard reports of Chrome going to be a massive competitor to Windows 7 which seems a little bit off to me, being as its aimed at netbooks and all that. Time will tell I guess.
perplekks45 3rd October 2009, 13:57 Quote
Windows 7 Starter Edition is aimed at the netbook/ultra-portable market so they WILL compete. But on these machines Chrome will be king of the hill because they're so badly underpowered.
simonw 5th October 2009, 10:43 Quote
How is this even possible? Google Chrome OS is not set for release until second half of 2010.
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