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Chrome OS Google Netbook Specs Allegedly Leak

Gordon Kelly


Chrome OS Google Netbook Specs Allegedly Leak

Get ready to inject yourselves with another dose of healthy scepticism.

Having gotten our eyes on Chrome OS, seen the virtualisation software, read the FAQs and heard about the supposedly branded netbook we may now know what hardware it will be running.

According to the IBTimes, far from being the modest machine many claim is all the platform will require, the Google netbook/smartbook is prepping a spec which includes a 10.1in multi-touch HD capable display, 2GB RAM, a 64GB SSD plus WiFi, integrated 3G, Bluetooth and the obligatory webcam. Talk is also that it will eschew both AMD and Intel to run an ARM-based CPU and use the Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset. A potentially subsidised price of $300 is said to be the cost when bought with a network contract.

Our own take? News is slow over Christmas and virtually anything will garner headlines. With little else to discuss we're in the business of sorting the wheat from the chaff and, personally speaking, I call bullsh1t on this one. Certainly much of what is mentioned makes sense: ARM CPUs are more efficient and should make for a machine with longer battery life, ditto SSDs over HDDs not to mention their speed and boot time advantages. Integrated 3G is of great appeal too as is any talk of Tegra 2 given the impact of Ion in the netbook space.

But I call a line at a 64GB capacity drive. What's the point considering a) the price and b) isn't everything supposed to run in the Cloud? Surely that negates the point of having a lot of native storage? Furthermore, Chrome OS hardly seems like a multi-touch optimised interface and Google's reticence to even use it in Android suggests this is merely wishful thinking.

I may be proved wrong, but I doubt it.


via IBTimes


December 29, 2009, 5:56 pm

Of course everything is supposed to run in the cloud, however Google has acknowledged that we aren't always connected to the internet, hence allows you to download apps to use offline. Stuff like documents can be written offline, stored and saved in the cloud when you return online. Chrome is a glorified sync interface.


December 29, 2009, 6:01 pm

Ok Gordon. Because I am off work at the moment, and essentially bored, I am going to call skepticism on your skepticism! Here's why:

The fact that Google built multi-touch into Android but haven't actually used it in any of their own UI or software, and now this, simply reinforces my suspicion that Google fully intend to use multi touch, but they are waiting until their legal people can find a way for them to do it without paying Apple or whomever over some patent infringement.

Second point is about the 64Gb hard drive. Even with everything in the cloud you will still need ample storage space for your google gears/HTML5 enabled offline access, and then there's music and media.

I suspect that Google would want a way for people to store locally the music and films that they will be buying from whatever means Google enables in the fullness of time. Correct me if I'm wrong on this, but even the doyen of streamed music, Spotify, has a role for downloaded music. Isn't that how they enable you to continue listening to something on your mobile device when your train goes through a tunnel?


December 29, 2009, 7:19 pm

@Bluepork - Palm, Motorola and HTC all have multi-touch devices, Google could have enabled it by now if it really wanted to. If there was a major patent problem in doing this then a financially troubled company like Palm wouldn't have risked doing it.

As for practicalities of multitouch: have you see Chrome OS? It is essentially the Chrome browser and I can't this really benefit from multi-touch. Putting an HD ready resolution on a 10in screen (presumably 1366 x 768) also makes icons, start bars, etc are TINY - it would be a nightmare trying to work accurately with touch and there is no specific finger friendly interface.

Re: the SSD - you can't install any programmes on Chrome OS (at least at this stage) so there will be no native music or photography software on the platform or even a media player. Picassa, for example, is the online version. For music you will have to use something like Napster (which works in browser) - Spotify (where offline access simply stores content in a temporary file, it isn't formal downloading as such) wouldn't work since it can't be installed.

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