While we won’t see Chrome OS notebooks hit retail until next year, there are already about 60,000 laptops designed to run Chrome OS in the world today. That’s because Google plans to provide free Chrome OS laptops to about that many testers.

Google calls the laptop the Cr-48, and DigiTimes reports it was built by OEM Inventec. The laptop has already been shipped to Google, which means it shouldn’t be too long before the company starts sending out test units to those who have signed up for the beta.

The Cr-48 has a 12.1 inch display, 802.11n WiFi, 3G, an 8 hour battery, and a webcam, as well as flash storage. Google didn’t mention the processor in the announcement, but Sascha from Netbook News says his sources are saying the machine has a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N455 processor. It will reportedly be updated to a dual core Intel Atom N550 chip in the future… assuming Google continues to offer the Cr-48.

In related news, DigiTimes says Quanta Computer is building Acer’s upcoming Chrome OS netbook, and that model will have a 10.1 inch display and an Atom N550 chip.

While many folks have suggested that Chrome OS would be an ideal operating system for a dual-boot notebook, Engadget reports that Google won’t officially support notebooks that dual boot Chrome OS and Windows. That means the Cr-48 as well as upcoming machines from Samsung, Acer, and others will be designed only to run Chrome OS (although I suspect that users who really want to will figure out ways to install Windows, Linux, OS X, or any other OS designed to run on x86 chips).

I suppose there are at least two reasons for Google’s decision: First, the idea is to have a laptop which boots quickly and offer secure computing since little data is stored on the computer. Second, laptops will presumably ship with limited amounts of storage space, making it difficult to install and run most desktop operating systems.

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8 replies on “Inventec produces 60,000 Chrome OS notebooks for Google”

  1. “secure computing since little data is stored on the computer”

    Yeah, the easiest way to secure data is to make sure that you can’t access it without having to use a network. That’s idiotic. This is one of the least secure data storage arrangement possible, one of many obvious flaws of this operating system. However, it’s not intended for people who actually know any better, it’s intended for idiots. Apparently, you might be a candidate.

    1. The idea is that most computer users don’t regularly apply all important security updates which can leave their computers vulnerable. And if your computer is lost, stolen, or your hard drive crashes, you may lose everything.

      By storing your data in the cloud, it’s accessible from anywhere. And since all apps are web apps, you’ll always be running the latest, most secure version of any software available.

      Saying that web storage is one of the least secure available is like saying that off-site backup solutions such as Carbonite or Mozy make your data less secure, not more.

      If you want to be paranoid about it, yes… technically it means that third parties may have more access to your data than would be the case if you built your own computer from scratch and stored it in a bunker in your house with no internet connection. But that’s not exactly how most people operate.

      That said… I’m not saying Google is 100% right here. I’m just explaining some of the reasons the company says Chrome OS is more secure than other operating systems. But I wouldn’t be surprised if malicious hackers figured out ways to exploit Chrome OS just as they have most other operating systems.

      1. “I’m not saying Google is 100% right here. I’m just explaining some of the reasons the company says Chrome OS is more secure than other operating systems.”
        dear brad, we are not criticizing you, but the point is, that here google tries marketing it’s business model as optimal for security. this is by all know security standards in the it industry a blunt lie and everybody with with some experience on the matter knows this. this is not a question of “the cloud” or not, but of data security. holding data out of hand with somebody one can not control, one becomes totally dependent on is to say the least – bloody stupid. the truth with this model of data storage is that the possible advantage of accessibility (only if online, a caveat of its own btw) is bundled with one of the most insecure data handling models. there is one other point to add to this. this is in addition a model of very costly computing. data on a offline pc costs only “cents” to be handled and maintained (for the energy to run the stuff). cloudy computing costs online access time, rent of space and other so called web services in addition to the cents running the pc itself. furthermore, if forced offline by whatever means one will be caught cold with the pants down to the ankles. this might add to further costs (money and nerves or more).

      2. I hope Brad continues to highlight the pros and cons of Chrome OS’ unusual approach.

        Perhaps enough customers can be persuaded to desire a computer with minimal offline capabilities. But there should be a significant price break for these more secure but less capable machines.

        Google has a serious consumer education project ahead of it. Your Chrome netbook won’t run Microsoft Orifice? Sorry, our product return agents are busy helping other customers …

        Jailbreaking is a minor option, not significant for the majority. In my experience, many, many computer users believe Google (or MSN) is the Internet. They have little idea how to operate their PCs and no idea why or how to install another OS.

        I don’t think Brad Linder is spouting Google propaganda. Atrocious spelling maybe (OK it’s improved lately!)

    2. You might want to take a look at the RevLin OS project then, Same idea as chrome except A more functional and B locally stored everything with cloud integration 🙂

  2. “the idea is to have a laptop which offers secure computing since little data is stored on the computer”
    that’s blasphemy …. this lapper is not much more than a thin client to the cloud …. it’s nowhere easier to gain access to data than there. another point in this regard, if the cloud is down the user and his pants are down too. ones data somewhere in the cloud, with somebody one is dependent from (his master’s will and voice – google) and talking about security is not only silly – it might be bloody stupid.

  3. Dude. I watched the announcement event and Sundar Pichai specifically said that Chrome OS will be “Jailbreak Friendly”. He said there will be a switch under the battery that will enable the user to switch off the locking-to-Chrome-OS only mechanism so we could load another OS if we want. As for “supporting” dual-boot with windows, of course Google will not “support” that.. But I don’t think that means you can’t change the computer to have more than one OS. Especially since he said they will be “Jailbreak Friendly”.

    1. as far as photos are published so far is the keyboard of these machines not win or linux compatible, meaning there won’t be any drivers around. jailbroken or not. but anyways it might be a far better idea to by a standard netbook that already is capable to run almost every / any os single, dual or multi boot than wasting time hacking a “googlebook” – might also be cheaper at the end of the day …

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