The Chromebook cometh

On June 15, Google launches its Chromebook netbooks. The Ubergizmo site has a useful preview of the Samsung version. Highlights include:

  • Thin (0.79-inch) case
  • 12.1-inch display
  • HD webcam
  • 8.5-hour battery life (for Samsung version; the Acer version has shorter battery life)
  • Onboard 60GB solid-state disk.

    So far, so conventional. But now it diverges from the norm:

  • 8-second boot-up time
  • 1-second wake-up from sleep mode
  • Supports SD and USB mass storage
  • Gmail, Google calendar and Google Docs work offline (“and many third-party applications will do the same”: Hmmm… The ones featured in the Google press conference didn’t look too exciting).
    Citric and VMware deals which will allow people to access their organisations’ Windows applications remotely.
  • The most interesting revelation, however, had nothing to do with the hardware. Google announced a “Chromebooks for Business” deal which, for $28 per employee per month, organisations get:

  • Free Chromebooks, replaced/updated every three years
  • Web console (?)
  • Support
  • Warranty and replacement
  • There’s also going to be a comparable deal for education – at $20/student per month.

    This could be really interesting – especially as many organisations (including major UK newspapers and universities) have already gone over to Google Apps (Gmail and Docs especially). will be selling it from June 15.