Chrome netbooks due in weeks

October 2, 2009 // 1:02 p.m.

Tags: #chrome #chrome-netbook #chrome-os #google-chrome #loonsong #loonsong-cpu #loonsong-mips #loonsong-processor #mips

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.

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