The Google Chromebook UK release date is 15 June, when the first units go on sale.
Google intends Chromebooks to be a simpler way of browsing the web – the OS is essentially just the Google Chrome browser itself, with no desktop, taskbar or separate app browser.
It's a completely cloud based computer and is dependent on being connected to the internet to work properly. The bonus of this is that your files are always updates as is the Chrome OS used on Chromebooks – the software will always be updated automatically.
It's certainly a limited OS but, depending on what you use a laptop or a tablet for, it might be enough. However, a Chromebook is no workhorse - it's very much in the netbook category though, as you'll hear, the pricing is surprisingly high.
You can check out our Hands on: Google Chromebook review that we did with one of Google's CR-48 prototype Chrome netbooks, but while we were able to test the operating system itself, it's a different machine than you'll buy on the market.
When Chromebooks go on sale on 15 June, there will be two models, one from Acer and another from Samsung.
We've taken a look at the basic specs of the two models, but we'll be following it up with full reviews of both of them soon.
The Samsung Chromebook has a 12.1-inch 1280 x 800 display – the same as that in the CR-48 prototype Chromebook - while the Acer is more of a traditional netbook chassis, with an 11.6-inch widescreen HD display with a 1366 x 768 resolution.
Both the Samsung and Acer Chromebooks have Atom N570 1.66Ghz dual-core processors, an improvement on the CR-48 prototype processor which was an N455. We're hoping the new Pineview processors should help speed up the CPU and graphics in the Chromebook, both video and general performance wasn't the best in the prototype.
SAMSUNG: Its Chromebook has a larger screen than Acer's
Both Chromebooks have built in dual-band Wi-Fi and universally compatible 3G. Both Wi-Fi only and 3G/Wi-Fi versions of the Samsung Chromebook will be available.
The Samsung Chromebook's price won't be cheap with a direct currency conversion suggesting the UK is paying significantly more for both the 3G ($499 in the US, which is around £305 in today's currency market) and Wi-Fi ($429, or £262) versions. The Wi-Fi version of the Acer is set to be set at the $349 mark, or £212 in the UK. To be honest, the latter is more like the pricing we were expecting for Chromebooks.
Chromebook battery life
Samsung says its Chromebook can be used for up to 8.5 hours continuously, while Acer claims 6 hours. Chrome has a very deep sleep mode and quick resume, so we're interested to know how long you can have it in standby. Like your tablet or phone, Samsung envisages your Chromebook will spend more time in sleep mode than completely off.
ACER: The Google Chromebook made by Acer is a smaller model, much more like a netbook that we're used to seeing
Both the Samsung and Acer Chromebooks are extremely lightweight at 1.48 and 1.45Kg respectively. Both are considerably lighter than the 1.72Kg CR-48. To put that in context, a (significantly more powerful) 13.3-inch MacBook weighs 2.1kg, an iPad 2 weighs 601g and an Acer Aspire One netbook weighs in at around 1.2kg.
As with the CR-48 prototype, the Samsung and Acer Chromebooks also come with a 16GB SSD on board. Surprised? Remember, Chrome OS is all about storing your files and data in the cloud.
Both have HD webcams as well as two USB 2.0 ports, 4-in-1 memory card slots and audio jacks. But it's in terms of display connectivity that the Chromebooks differ. While the Samsung model has a Mini-VGA port, the Acer's display out is an HDMI out.
While the Acer Chromebook is black, Samsung's Chromebook has a silver and white design - we're looking forward to bringing you full reviews of both models around launch.
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