Google has introduced a $320 notebook powered by their new Chrome operating system. The new device which will be made by Samsung and Acer will be on sale at Australian retailers in the second half of the year.
Google said the laptops, dubbed “Chromebooks,” will be available to purchase from June with Australia tipped to be one of seven countries that will get the new device which will boot in eight seconds.
The search company has also said that they are currently working on a new desktop version with that expected late in 2011.
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Google’s foray into laptops represents part of its attempt to expand its influence beyond the Web, and encroach on the home turf of rival Microsoft, whose Windows software runs the majority of the world’s computers.
Sundar Pichai, Google’s VP of Product Management said that the new Chromebooks will begin at US$349, with higher prices depending on features such as 3G Internet access. The new notebook will not require any virus protection.
Each notebook comes with a dual-core Intel Atom processor and an “all-day” battery, which Google says will provide 8.5 hours of continuous usage here. Samsung’s particular clamshell will have a 12.1-inch, 1280 x 800, 300 nit screen, weigh 3.26 pounds and come with dual-band 802.11 WiFi, optional global 3G, two USB 2.0 ports, an HD webcam and a clickable trackpad.
Chromebooks will also be made available to businesses and education customers for a monthly fee, which will include replacements and upgrades over time. Businesses will be charged $28 per user monthly while educational customers will pay $20 per user per month.
At their I/O conference yesterday, Google introduced a music service in which users have to provide their own music, as well as a US-only low-cost video rental service.
The Music Beta service, also for US users only, requires subscribers to upload their music collections, after which they can stream the music to any device.
Music won’t be available for sale through the service, Google said, because it couldn’t reach a broad agreement with record companies. Jamie Rosenberg, a director of digital content for Android, said the labels, which he declined to name, had “terms that we felt were unreasonable or unsustainable.”
Google also revealed its next version of Android, dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich, would be released for smartphones and tablets in the fourth quarter.