We’ve been eagerly awaiting Google’s netbook for a while now, and for neither the first time nor likely the last, rumors have surfaced about what specs we should expect to see in the thing.
The Google netbook will run the Google Chrome OS on a 10.1-inch screen that will be HD-capable and powered by the Nvidia Tegra.
The system will also include an ARM CPU and 64 GB SSD – small, but lightning-quick. It should have 2 GB of RAM, Bluetooth, 3G suport, a webcam, 3.5mm audio jack, multi-card reader, and a few USB ports.
The Google Chromium OS will be a fascinating experiment when it comes out next year. It suffers from a constant need for a connection to the internet, but with Google apps like Gmail, Maps, Docs, Calendar, and Wave, it will feature an integrated and lively interface, streamlined for mobile use. A $300 price tag could be in the works as well.
All these details are moot until the Google netbook hits stores, but if the pieces come together as projected the Google netbook will be a fine thing to get one’s hands on.
The netbook world has been eagerly anticipating the Google Chromium OS since its initial announcement just a few months back, and Dell has already released a beta for those of us too impatient for the real thing. However, the work isn’t over; we could be getting a number of unanticipated but welcome features come the official release.
A recent demo displays the Chromium UI with a user accessing music playback application Lala. Google already uses Lala pop-up windows to play music through Lala in its search engine, and hopes to implement this as an attraction to prospective Chromium netbook buyers.
Lala sells streamable songs for 10 cents each and hosts users’ old music collections in the cloud. This will allow owners to get their music from anywhere with internet access without lugging around gigs of data, something netbook lovers in particular tend to appreciate.
And even if you don’t have internet access, Lala says its upcoming iPhone application will keep the last few hundred songs you’ve listened to on tab so you can play them without the internet. This could be a welcome addition to Chrome as well.
Anyway, here’s the demo:
Here’s how to get it:
I have released an USB key image file to: http://linux.dell.com/files/cto. The file name is: “ChromiumOS_Mini10v_Nov25.img.” It contains a functioning image of my USB key loaded with ChromiumOS. In addition, I have made a best effort attempt to get the Broadcom Wi-Fi adapter working in this image. It’s definitely not perfect (read: highly experimental, untested, unstable, yada yada…) but it does appear to function.
This version’s boot time is around 12 seconds, a bit longer than earlier reported. The makers mentioned a few other minor issues you might be interested in knowing about:
- It will take more than 5-10 *minutes* for the ChromiumOS network connection manager to “see” the access points and allow you to select and connect – be patient.
- Wired connections appear to work fine and appear quick to connect.
- There are currently issues with both the connection manager as well as the underlying components (wpa_supplicant) that can easily break or get hung. When in doubt, reboot and give it another try.
- Use this image at your own risk – it comes to you totally unsupported and very minimally tested.
Still, for the amount of time that the Chromium OS has been available for netbook users to mess with, it looks like a solid effort. For more info on how to get Google’s new operating system on your netbook, read the article over at Dell.