Could Sony be the next major brand to get cosy with the Google Chromebook family? An FCC filing suggests so. Despite the proliferation of Google’s Android mobile operating system and the rapid rise of its Chrome browser for Windows, Mac and Linux computers, the Chromebook product line has only had a muted reception to date.
Google’s Chromebooks are basically slimline netbooks running a bespoke version of Linux called Chrome OS. It’s a fast, stripped-down system that relies heavily on cloud services for apps and storage. For this reason, the device needs a net connection as much as we need oxygen, which explains the platform’s rather limited success.
Up to this point Acer and Samsung have been the main hardware producers for the Chromebook line-up. Now a series of photos and a user manual have been spotted at the FCC (Federal Communications Commission – America’s equivalent of Ofcom) detailing a Sony laptop codenamed the VAIO CC111.
There are clear indications that this prototype is a Chromebook, from references in the user guide and the keyboard’s telltale lack of a ‘Windows’ button. The accompanying side shots leaked online appear to show an SD card reader, two USB ports, HDMI, mic and headphone jacks. It also has an 11.6-inch screen, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi (820.11 b/g/n) and reportedly uses an NVIDIA Tegra 250 T25 ARM CPU at 1.2GHz. Its other main specs, including whether it has 3G or 4G connectivity, are not known.
In the US products that send or receive radio signals go through routine inspection at the FCC before going on sale. Sony uses Google’s Android for its current S and P range of tablets, though it could be argued that it makes more sense to have a touchscreen laptop running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) to complement its Windows-based VAIO ranges. Time will tell.
Via The Verge