Google's prototype Chrome OS-powered notebook (Cr-48) boasts a 10-second boot time, 12.1 inch screen, full-sized keyboard & touch pad, integrated 3G from Verizon, eight hours of battery life and eight days of standby time.
The first Chrome notebooks will be available for sale from Acer and Samsung during the first half 2011.
However, additional models based on a variety of form factors, and designed by other vendors, are expected to arrive later in the year.
"We're not done yet, but Chrome OS is at the stage where we need feedback from real users. Some of the features of Chrome OS require new hardware, but we didn't want to sell pre-beta computers," explained Google VP Linus Upson.
"Instead, we're launching a pilot program where we will give test notebooks to qualified users, developers, schools and businesses. We're starting with the US and will expand to other countries once we get the necessary certifications."
Upson also confirmed that Chrome OS was designed to work across a "wide range" of screen sizes and form factors, which would enable manufacturers to design computing devices "beyond notebooks."
"Many people already spend all their time in a web browser, and by building an operating system that is essentially a browser, we can make computers faster, much simpler and fundamentally more secure," he added.
Additional features and specs include:
- A Cloud-based experience - All apps, documents, and settings are stored safely in the cloud. So even if you lose your computer, you can just log into another Chrome notebook and get right back to work.
- Always connected - Integrated Wi-Fi for home and work, and 3G for all the places in between. 100MB of free 3G data every month on the Verizon Wireless network. Affordable data plans with no commitment required.
- Integrated security - Chrome notebooks use advanced technology to help prevent malware and viruses from accessing your data.
- Seamless upgrades - Every time you turn on the Chrome notebook, it upgrades itself with the latest features and fixes. Annoying prompts not included.
- Web-based apps - Every Chrome notebook runs tons of web apps, from games to spreadsheets to photo editors. Try the latest apps from the Chrome Web Store or just type URLs into the address bar - no CDs required.
Want to beta test a Chrome notebook? Vist the Chrome notebook website to apply for the pilot program.