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Google Netbook Specs Leaked

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the because-they-can dept.

Google 176

Foochee noted that specs have leaked for an alleged new Google NetBook. Coupling this with the HTC Google Phone, it really appears that Google is going to be pushing into new spaces in the next few years.

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Cool. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30581492)

Sounds cool with the exception of ad's showing up when I'm trying to type a letter to grandma

Re:Cool. (4, Insightful)

maeka (518272) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581512)

No kidding, TANSTAAFL.

Now if all of these are true, it's like getting a Ferrari for the price of a Mini Cooper.

Pick (at least) one:
A - All of these [rumors] aren't true.
B - You're going to be forced to watch ads.
C - It's going to be bundled with a monthly wireless bill.

Re:Cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30581564)

D - If any of these are true, I don't want one.

Re:Cool. (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582370)

I'll be happy if all of those are true... and I can install my own god damn linux distro on it.

Re:Cool. (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582480)

I'll be happy if all of those are true... and I can install my own god damn linux distro on it.

We already know that the bios is locked down, and it only runs approved web apps. It's a welfarebook, not a netbook.

Attempting to change it will trigger a re-imaging.

Re:Cool. (2, Interesting)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581740)

Actually, when you take out windows margins (cost of windows software and also royalties, etc), it's not that much of a surprise what they are saying they will offer.

Re:Cool. (1)

cyssero (1554429) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582144)

I'd estimate the bloatware that manufacturers bundle with Windows based PCs will nearly off-set the cost of Windows licensing. I pick 'A'.

Bullshitus Netbukus (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582378)

I call Bullshit--and I'm not alone at that [pcworld.com] .

Chrome Netbook Specs Stretch Believability---Interest in Google's Chrome OS is heating up with the emergence of new rumors about specs for an upcoming . The device would supposedly have a 10.1 TFT HD-ready multitouch display; 2GB RAM; and WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3G connectivity. As if that wasn't enough, this netbook would also have a 64GB solid-state drive, according to IBTimes (more on that source in a minute). By the sound of it, the Chrome OS netbook sounds like a great device, but there's only one problem: in my view these rumors aren't very believable.

It goes on from there, and I think this "news" is moot. I for one hope the 2010's will have less of this rumor frenzy on the monkeysphere.

Re:Bullshitus Netbukus (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582524)

so, by citing an editorial, that's fact?

honestly, do better than that. Hardware/manufacturing/assembly costs are *significantly* lower than what retail goes for. The rest being $300 is basically a low margin hardware cost. Considering no cost for operating system, it's probably quite cheap.

EEE pc's and other nettops that cost $500 plus do not cost anywhere near that margin. The reality is they cost around $100-125 to make, and the rest is retail/asus markup. So for google to find something that costs them potentially $200-250 and charging $300 for it does that sound that outrageous?

Re:Bullshitus Netbukus (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582688)

Please RTFL before ranting. You don't touch on any issue brought up there at all, Dr Offtopic.

Re:Bullshitus Netbukus (2, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582878)

For one the 64Gb SSD smells like BS to me. If you are making a "cloud" device, one that you intend to subsidize no less, WTF do you need that much storage for? Checking Newegg [newegg.com] the cheapest SSD that size is $120, or nearly a third of the cost of the device. Even buying a metric ton of the suckers I doubt they'd get the price below...say $90 as the cost of the chips for those aren't exactly bargain basement.

It just doesn't track. Google is the "king of the cloud" and would want to encourage you to do everything in Google Land. With that much storage space it would be too easy to just do anything you wanted offline and ignore Google. More likely if Google is gonna build a device you will be looking at a max 8Gb SSD, more likely 4Gb, just enough for the OS and enough offline storage so you can do work between hotspots.

That said even if they managed to pull this little miracle of pricing off I wouldn't have it on a bet. Why would you pay $300 for a device locked down tighter than a nun's thighs and be forced to run what Google wants you to run when Netbooks start at the same price, can run what you want to run, and can even run Windows if you so desire or dual boot? This seems like a solution in search of a problem. Those that just want a "browser in a box" have the iPhone and other smartphones, and those that want "baby laptops" have Netbooks that can run their Windows apps and are cheap to boot. If they do manage to come out with this it will be interesting to see if Google can make it just on their name alone, or if the highly locked down nature of the device will turn folks away. I know the big selling point of Netbooks to my customers is the fact that most run XP so they can run all their favorite apps anywhere they want. But I think the SSD size is a giveaway that it is bullshit. Like I said it just doesn't track with Google and the cloud nature of ChromeOS.

Re:Cool. (1)

minorproblem (891991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582346)

How much is a company willing to pay to be able to deliver there advertisement to not only the right person, but the right person in the right place!

SUBSIDIZED (2, Interesting)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582590)

$300 price tag due to the device being subsidized.

And since Google is not a charity organization, that means there will be other costs.
Most likely a wireless contract.

unless Google is willing to promote its new OS so hard, that it intends to sell these at loss just to gain a market share. Sounds extremely unlikely but knowing Google and its wild ideas (free 1GB email with POP3 anyone?) not entirely impossible.

Re:Cool. (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581978)

It looks like you're writing a letter!

Google Docs [google.com] is a great tool for collaboratively writing documents. Tell me more! [google.com]

Re:Cool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30582196)

This is a good idea, I think I have to write such an app for X11, sniffing active windows and keyloggin should be enough.. :-)

Re:Cool. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582318)

Behold! [flickr.com]

I'm a nigger (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30581506)

All I can see in the mirror is my teeth.

nigger
-noun
1. Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive.
a. a black person.
b. a member of any dark-skinned people.
2. Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a person of any race or origin regarded as contemptible, inferior, ignorant, etc.
3. a victim of prejudice similar to that suffered by blacks; a person who is economically, politically, or socially disenfranchised

Interesting (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30581976)

a victim of prejudice similar to that suffered by blacks; a person who is socially disenfranchised

ACs who post nigger posts are treated like niggers by the /. moderation system.

dn2 post (1)

fregare (923563) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581510)

What the hell I have terrible Karma. I feel like an untouchable in India.

Google notebook specs... (1)

desmogod (792414) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581536)

Maximum surface area for adverts and branding!

Re:Google notebook specs... (2, Interesting)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581676)

Will they be able to combine GPS tracking w/ browsing history to deliver the most relevant ads? Sigh.

Re:Google notebook specs... (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581758)

I rather see ads relevant to me than irrelevant ads.

Re:Google notebook specs... (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581814)

We've given up on the goal of not being bothered by commercial solicitation every bloody minute of our lives?

Re:Google notebook specs... (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582004)

To say nothing of being continuously watched for the purpose of being separated from our money.

netbook netbook netbook (0, Troll)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581546)

Who cares? It's a fad for itiots.

"3G" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30581550)

doesn't mean shit. gsm or cdma

smartbook is nice, but where are the ARM nettops? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30581552)

Does anyone know why there are no ARM nettops?

Is it that it can't be made or perhaps that there's almost no profit margin left if it has to undercut something like the $200 Acer Aspire Revo?

I'd love to see something like Beagleboard that I could mount on the back of an LCD.

Re:smartbook is nice, but where are the ARM nettop (4, Interesting)

maeka (518272) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581640)

Does anyone know why there are no ARM nettops?

I'd love to see something like Beagleboard that I could mount on the back of an LCD.

The advantages, IMHO, of ARM are all tilted for use in the mobile space.
Being 5, 15, whatever watts more efficient than an Atom is a high price to pay for breaking x86 compatibility when you're hooked to a wall outlet, considering your choice in monitor likely has as much impact on your final power bill as your ARM/Atom choice.

Re:smartbook is nice, but where are the ARM nettop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30581782)

That's true, but there is the factor that ARM chips also cost less and usually require only one chip package instead of two for cpu+gpu+io which also cuts circuit board costs.

The new Atom "Silverthorne" chips mitigate this to some extent by having the GPU integrated into the CPU package and no longer need a 6 layer PCB.

I'm trying to build a 24" digital picture frame (among other features), and I think the control computer is going to end up being an AspireRevo which seems totally overkill. I'd love to see a cheaper, more efficient option with 1080p output.

You might want to check out (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581902)

The beagleboard [beagleboard.org] . Capable of dvi and hdmi output. 256M ram. Linux running on it.

Re:You might want to check out (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582012)

That was already mentioned in the first AC's post.

Re:smartbook is nice, but where are the ARM nettop (1)

Simon Brooke (45012) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582074)

The advantages, IMHO, of ARM are all tilted for use in the mobile space.
Being 5, 15, whatever watts more efficient than an Atom is a high price to pay for breaking x86 compatibility when you're hooked to a wall outlet, considering your choice in monitor likely has as much impact on your final power bill as your ARM/Atom choice.

I don't get this. Mind you, I first used ARM powered desktop machines [computinghistory.org.uk] (running BSD) in 1989, so it doesn't seem that new or revolutionary to me. But unless you're tied to legacy proprietary applications, what does it matter what the processor is? The ARM processor family has always been a competitive alternative to Intel, if you were not tied to Windows. And with Debian and Ubuntu available for ARM, I shall be very keen to have one of these babies as a useful mobile workstation.

Re:smartbook is nice, but where are the ARM nettop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30582980)

It isn't just being tied to legacy proprietary applications, it is also being tied to proprietary drivers. Ubuntu developers estimate 70-80% of Ubuntu users are using close-source drivers and/or software. Run on anything other than x86 and your options decrease quickly.
You can do most of what you can do on x86 on ARM, but is $10 a year in power bills worth the hassle of fighting though compiling just one app which hasn't taken ARM into account? This makes desktop ARM not ready for prime-time, IMHO. Embedded (as in the picture frame mentioned above)? Sure - and there are already products to serve that role.

Re:smartbook is nice, but where are the ARM nettop (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581744)

Given the existence of things like this HP thin client [hp.com] (1.2GHz Marvel ARM Soc, 512MB RAM, 512MB flash, DVI video, running a modified version of Debian(though they don't really like to talk about that), $199 quoted price, quite possibly less, given how enterprise product pricing tends to work) I'd say that building ARM nettops is clearly possible; but(depending on exactly how far down HP actually goes on the stated price) their may not be a whole lot of margin to work with.

Re:smartbook is nice, but where are the ARM nettop (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581860)

Because Windows doesn't run on it. I saw a piece on Google news about the netbook fad dying. The premise is that they lost sight of their original goals and are just becoming low powered laptops. IMO, this is mainly down to trying to get windows on netbooks.

This is true. We're seeing fewer with SSDs, they're becoming slightly bigger but still have shitty little atom processors.

So now they're not as portable, more expensive and irrelevant. The EEE's were awesome (typing this on my 901 in bed), cheap, ran forever (compared to a laptop) and could take some serious abuse.

Personally I believe the netbook will be another victim of the Windows monopoly.

I intend the keep my little EEE. I went to Crucial, scored some extra memory and a 64 gig ssd. It runs eveything I want just fine and has more than enough space for when I'm out and about.

Re:smartbook is nice, but where are the ARM nettop (2)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582456)

Because Windows doesn't run on it. I saw a piece on Google news about the netbook fad dying. The premise is that they lost sight of their original goals and are just becoming low powered laptops. IMO, this is mainly down to trying to get windows on netbooks.

I think just the opposite - Windows (especially XP) runs great on atom-based systems, so people are buying them as a primary computers instead of secondary gadgets. (The crowd around the netbook counter at the local Best Buy certainly did not look like the kind of people with multiple PCs.)

If the netbook fad is "dying", it is because WinTel killed it to protect their margins.

Re:smartbook is nice, but where are the ARM nettop (1)

solevita (967690) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581876)

I'd love to see something like Beagleboard that I could mount on the back of an LCD.

Et voila! [alwaysinnovating.com]

Re:smartbook is nice, but where are the ARM nettop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30582260)

I swear to fucking God this damn thing has been Coming Real Soon Now(TM) for 2 goddamn years. How fucking hard is it to cram an ARM processor into a fucking laptop and put it on the market? Fucking vaporware motherfuckers.

Re:smartbook is nice, but where are the ARM nettop (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582002)

Fear and because it is bad business.
People that sell Windows machines probably make as much from the crapware they install on each machine as they do on the machine. Once you leave the windows world you loose that money and throw in that they will have a razor thin margin and you have a high risk situation.
I am not jumping up and down about Chrome. I have seen the SDK on the Pre and I am convinced that the idea of HTML+javascript is NOT a great development platform. Yes Web apps are very cool but I wouldn't want to try and write to do any DSP or image processing with javascript and doing it all server side really pushes the cost of entry for the developer through the roof.
Web and only web just doesn't work for me.
I am still convinced that for the "Smartbook" to work you will need to have an app store. No Synaptic+Apt IS NOT AN APPSTORE. It doesn't allow you to buy and sell apps.
An apps store would allow the Smartbook maker to make a little money on the sale of a lot of software and pushes down the cost of software to the point that it becomes a why not purchase.
It also gives developers a way to make a little money and gives the average user a safe and easy place to get software. Sure allow people to side load apps but give them an app store.
Frankly that is what Linux and smartbooks are missing. To me Chrome is nothing more than a neat research project.
Think about GoogleDocs. It is great and very handy but how many people have stopped using Office or OpenOffice and gone 100% Googledocs?

Re:smartbook is nice, but where are the ARM nettop (1)

vipw (228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582152)

Very interesting points.

As I understand, Ubuntu plans to add support for paid apps in their Software Center. http://arstechnica.com/open-source/reviews/2009/11/good-karma-ars-reviews-ubuntu-910.ars/8 [arstechnica.com]

A revenue sharing system on Software Center sales could give computer sellers a serious reason to promote Ubuntu.

Re:smartbook is nice, but where are the ARM nettop (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582484)

But here is the "problem" with too many Linux supporters.
"I think that dropping the "store" name was a good move. One of the most important advantages that Linux has to offer end users is the availability of a rich ecosystem of free and open third-party applications. It's important to emphasize that advantage and avoid using language that downplays it."
Guess what? Windows has probably got just as much free software as Linux does. Just about every major project has ported it's software to Windows as well as Linux.
Let's take a look at some of the big names.
Firefox.
Gimp.
Apache
PHP
Perl
MySQL
Postgres
OpenOffice
Pidgin
Adium
All available for Windows
The simple truth is that you loose very little in the way of free software buy going to Windows.

Re:smartbook is nice, but where are the ARM nettop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30582422)

I want one too, something like a scaled up N800 with a non-sucky screen, a small SSD, and a real kbd. So as my N800 can run for 8 days before I have to recharge it (depending on how much I use it to play videos), a netbook with a much larger battery should be able to run for days.

It'll never happen though because, as others have said, it can't run Windows, and ain't no way that Joe and Jane Sixpack will ever become non-sheeple and try anything that all their neighbors are not doing.

Re:smartbook is nice, but where are the ARM nettop (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582498)

Ok?

Buy a 3 beagle board and strap it to the back of an LCD. Revision 3 has pinouts for direct lcd connection, other versions have dvi output through an hdmi jack. You then have exactly what you are looking for. You could probably even do it for $200 (using revision c, a small cheap lcd and a case crafted from spare parts).

Re:smartbook is nice, but where are the ARM nettop (0)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582518)

I really wish slashdot allowed me to edit posts. I swear the ability to submit without preview is almost as big a pain in the rear as waiting for preview was. remove the first 3 from the above post and replace the second one with a "c" for revision c beagle board.

Re:smartbook is nice, but where are the ARM nettop (1)

ElizabethGreene (1185405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582660)

There was one called the Pepperpad. It was ~$700 and ran a java gui on top of montavista linux. It was end-of-lifed and replaced with an x86 compatible chip. It was slow, and a marketplace of apps never really surfaced for it.

Is it going to be free? (1, Interesting)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581554)

i played with Wave and think it sucks. it's slow, it's a resource hog and no one is on it. I joined a few public waves and now my Chrome RAM usage goes up to 600MB of RAM.

I played with Chrome OS and think it sucks as well. you can't do anything without an internet connection.

even my iphone can do a lot more without an internet connection in places like the NYC subway

Re:Is it going to be free? (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581650)

google gears today and html5 "tomorrow" allows one to use services like gmail while offline, in the same way as one would use a offline mail client.

Re:Is it going to be free? (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581746)

Then why not use an efficient offline mail client today? I still don't see the point of everything being in the browser, and I'm a web developer.

It's not like we all use kiosks when away from home. Our portable data devices can all run applications besides a browser.

Re:Is it going to be free? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581954)

It is probably because you are a web developer that you don't see the point of having everything web based...

The major problem with offline applications is an issue of distributions and updating them.

The problem with updating software and distribution is a problem across all os's sure they all take innovative approaches to the problem to help relieve it But the issue still exists, and especially for smaller applications or ones who do not fit the OS ideals and third parties who cannot get on the OS approved list. Eg. Closed Source Commercial apps are not on Apt, Non MS Products are not part of the updates etc...

Then there are people with viruses and other crap on their PC that hinders your application and makes it seem like you did something wrong.

All in all distribution and maintenance of software is difficult and takes a lot of resources. Web Based tools makes the problem a lot easer having you only really focus on making sure that your browser is uptodate.

Re:Is it going to be free? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582110)

and the major problem with any client/server app is that most of the bugs are in the server piece. when i supported MS Exchange most of the problems were on the server side, not in Outlook or IE. when a developer codes an app today most of the work is in the server side part. When Blizzard releases their new games like SC2 and Diablo 3 most of the maintenance work is going to be in running Battle.Net 2.

the theory that all issues are magically going to vanish when everything is in the cloud is false. in fact it's going to make things more complicated and the it will be harder to cover up bugs. people still use Office 97 and it works with new products like SQL 2005 and SQL 2008, no upgrade issues.

the only reason to put everything in the cloud like Google is doing is to track everything you do so you can mine and sell the data to "partners" for marketing purposes. even hardware wise it's usually more efficient to keep data locally. my iphone stores one copy of the song. if the data was in the cloud you would need several times the raw storage to usable storage for DR purposes. we have EMC and our current raw to usable storage ratio is 5 to 1 for data on the SAN with an offsite DR copy

Re:Is it going to be free? (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582210)

It is probably because you are a web developer that you don't see the point of having everything web based...

I was a custom client/server developer for 10 years, and a web developer for the last 5. I still prefer dealing with software distribution and maintenance problems to get a "real" app than have everything web-based. If the system is meant to (almost) always be online anyway, and one company is controlling the distribution, then it's relatively trivial to update the client applications.

Re:Is it going to be free? (2, Interesting)

chill (34294) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582130)

I believe they are probably working towards a system similar to Zero Install.

http://zero-install.sourceforge.net/faq.html [sourceforge.net]

Apps would run on the device, but be initially loaded from the web. There is no installed, only cached. When net connectivity isn't available, they run from the system cache. Syncing is done when connectivity is restored. I mean, if it was 100% web based then there wouldn't be much of a need for a big SSD, would there?

It actually has a lot of potential.

Re:Is it going to be free? (-1, Offtopic)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581664)

and now my Chrome RAM usage goes up to 600MB of RAM.

That's just wrong.

A much better reaction would've been to have your Chrome RAM usage go up to 600MB of ROCK!

Re:Is it going to be free? (1)

molnarcs (675885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582008)

i played with Wave and think it sucks. it's slow, it's a resource hog and no one is on it. I joined a few public waves and now my Chrome RAM usage goes up to 600MB of RAM.

I played with Chrome OS and think it sucks as well. you can't do anything without an internet connection.

even my iphone can do a lot more without an internet connection in places like the NYC subway

It sucks now, but they have one year to refine the experience, which is hell of a lot time considering that they already have the major components in place. If they have the will, they have the resources necessary to pull this off... Think android a year ago, and see what it can do now for example (T-Mobile G1 vs HTC Hero). Not to mention that this isn't going to be a random install on random hardware - they'll have hardware built for their exact specs!!!

Re:Is it going to be free? (-1, Flamebait)

LOLLinux (1682094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582984)

Not to mention that this isn't going to be a random install on random hardware - they'll have hardware built for their exact specs!!!

OH MY GOD!!!! TO THEIR EXACT SPECS?!?!?!?!?

More seriously, if you have to custom build a machine to work with your piece of software, your software is usually a piece of shit.

Re:Is it going to be free? (2, Insightful)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582036)

I played with Chrome OS and think it sucks as well. you can't do anything without an internet connection.

Google can't send you ads if you aren't online.

Re:Is it going to be free? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582050)

Also is in development, maybe a lot under the surface. The final/public version dont have to be that heavy (but i agree that watching very populated weaves is a resource hog).

Regarding Chrome OS not doing anything without an internet connection, is mean to be an internet device, no more, no less. Is like complaining that car sucks because can't do anything without gas or batteries, or desktop computers sucks because they can't do anything without electricity. If you want something to work with in places without internet, try something that is not only an internet device, could be more expensive, have less battery life, and maybe more security risks, but will work in the subway.

How the fuck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30582344)

How the fuck is this insightful? Apple mods in full swing today?

10" screen?? (4, Interesting)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581566)

Though the idea sounds cool, I'm wondering what benefit having a solid-state drive with a 10" screen will be other than for those few road warriors who have to write long proposals while on an airplane flight.

At the same time, having a bundled deal so that one gets phone service with the netbook isn't that much of a benefit, IMO. You can already do this with a HTC Hero/Android device or even an iPhone.

Re:10" screen?? (2)

FauxPasIII (75900) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582672)

> what benefit having a solid-state drive with a 10" screen will be

Perfect silence, negligible random seek time and I can lob it onto the couch without worrying about data loss.

Re:10" screen?? (1)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30583020)

....trying to picture lobbing a computer on to a sofa... :P

Yeah, but what's the catch? (1)

ThoughtMonster (1602047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581572)

At that price point, I'd expect it to come with some kind of (legal) obligation towards Google. Can I take the device, nuke ChromeOS and load my own GNU/Linux distribution? Do I have to register the device with Google?

Maybe I'm wrong and maybe the price point is realistic in accordance with the cost of manufacturing. I'd expect that Google, effectively being an advertising company, would have some rules in place to ensure the "fair" use of their investment.

Re:Yeah, but what's the catch? (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581606)

Can I take the device, nuke ChromeOS and load my own GNU/Linux distribution

It has a Tegra chip, so probably not at all easily. Tegra is currently only supported with Wince, not with Linux. Google may have persuaded nVidia to give them some blob drivers, but it's quite unlikely that have provided open drivers. Google may simply be using a generic ARM11 kernel and ignoring the GPU (although then you'd wonder why they bothered going with Tegra instead of a cheaper ARM SoC), or they may have a blob driver. If it's running Android then this driver will integrate with the Android display server, so you won't be able to use it with X.org without a very complex shim (if at all) and it will depend on the kernel ABI, which will probably change immediately after the device ships if the Linux developers' track record is anything to go by.

Re:Yeah, but what's the catch? (1)

mpol (719243) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582914)

I reckon the Tegra GPU still supports VGA or VESA modes. You won't get nifty 3D effects, but it might be good enough for desktop use.

Re:Yeah, but what's the catch? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581642)

the article states that in the US you will probably have to sign a 2 year contract with a cell phone carrier as well

check out www.abovethecrowd.com for a nice write up of Google's revenue sharing model. They pay people to sell their products like MS pays others to use Bing.

Re:Yeah, but what's the catch? (4, Funny)

jimbobborg (128330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581674)

After reading the other replies here, I'd say the best bet would be NetBSD, since it's been ported to everything else.

Re:Yeah, but what's the catch? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581898)

Uh, what? I like NetBSD as much as the next BSD-user, but it's support for ARM hardware is pretty poor. They only just committed support for the Cortex A8, and it's not really usable yet. Even OpenBSD has better ARM support than NetBSD at this stage.

Odd (1)

Luthair (847766) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581578)

Why would a computer which only uses web applications need a 64GB SSD?

Re:Odd (2, Interesting)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581620)

HTML 5 supports offline caching and I think even Google will allow it. other than that 64GB SSD's are probably the smallest you will find next year

Re:Odd (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582084)

Last year I bought a 16GB SSD for roughly $140. I wouldn't be surprised if a 64GB SSD (even next year) would be as expensive as the rest of the chrome-book's components put together.

Re:Odd (2, Informative)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582686)

Toshiba just doubled the density of their NAND chips. flash memory prices are plummeting on a per GB basis, just like hard drive prices 10 years ago

Re:Odd (2, Funny)

Xenobiotic (1230540) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581622)

cookies and porn

Re:Odd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30581992)

Titties and beer!

Others are also sceptical about this leak too (1)

Sits (117492) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581632)

OSNews also questions why such a device would need such a large SSD [slashdot.org] . I can well believe it will be ARM based (so long as the ARM version of flash is up to the job) but that hard drive size seems excessive even if it is keeping two copies of the OS (one for restoration purposes). It will also be interesting to see if the Moblin boot time work and Kernel Mode Setting support would/could be supported in an NVIDIA binary driver...

Re:Others are also sceptical about this leak too (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582048)

I can well believe it will be ARM based (so long as the ARM version of flash is up to the job)

I can't, because then Google Native Client wouldn't run on it.

There's a port underway of NaCl to ARM (1)

Sits (117492) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582332)

From a Register article talking about Chrome OS [theregister.co.uk] :

Then, when a second questioner asked if Native Client would be "an important part" of Chrome OS, Pichai said "work is underway to make [Native Client] work on ARM." And though he declined to "go into all the technical details," Papakipos explained that Native Client applications would run on ARM just as they run on x86 chips.

You can also follow the bugs that are being worked on in the ARM native client port [google.com] .

Re:There's a port underway of NaCl to ARM (1)

chill (34294) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582838)

For a minute there I was wondering how you get table salt to run on an arm, but then I just turned my arm up and it ran. Thanks for the tip. As for bugs...the only problem I've had is ants, and they don't like salt to begin with. They seem to prefer the coffee.

Re:Others are also sceptical about this leak too (1)

stakovahflow (1660677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582302)

http://www.osnews.com/story/22666/_Google_Chrome_OS_Netbook_strike_Bogus_strike_Specs_Leaked_ [osnews.com] * Just thought I'd help with the OSNews article link as I was unable to go to the slashdot.org link you provided... * --Stak

Thanks! (1)

Sits (117492) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582814)

Sorry about the botched link...

Re:Odd (3, Insightful)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581644)

Porn

Re:Odd (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581680)

The plan has always been for ChromeOS to have Google Gears/HTML5 style offline storage for those webapps; but 64GB seems quite ambitious. Perhaps the aggressiveness of the offline storage component is greater than commonly believed? They must have some reason to be doing that; because SSDs are modular(so they could easily have chosen a smaller size with pretty much zero re-engineering cost) and, even if you stick to the cheap seats, 64GB of flash is a real punch in the BOM compared to just about anything else in a netbook.

I find it particularly surprising because I'm writing this on a more or less ordinary netbook, running UNR, with a 16GB SSD for a full OS, applications, and user data.

Re:Odd (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581922)

I assume you can save images, audio and video to your computer so 64 gig is sensible, imo.

Re:Odd (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582400)

I have no use for a device that stores less than 50 gigs atm. 64 gigs actually barely meets those needs. I would actually like something that could work with a few dozen USB boot images which my job requires, so 100+ gig would be ideal. That is why my current netbook has 160 gigs.

64 gigs is not enough for me.

In A.D. 2010 (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581618)

Orwellian Society was beginning.
User: What happen ?
Router: Somebody set up us the banners.
Computer: We get wi-fi signal.
User: What !
Operator: Main screen turn on.
User: It's You !!
Google: How are you gentlemen !!
Google: All your browsing history are belong to us.
Google: You are on the way to spam.
User: What you say !!
Google: You have no chance to hide make your time.
Google: HA HA HA HA ....
User: Download every 'Linux Distro' !!
User: You know what you doing.
User: Install 'Linux Distro'.
User: For great justice.

Re:In A.D. 2010 (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582606)

get out; it's not safe to talk to thought criminals

Bullshit (1, Flamebait)

buruonbrails (1247370) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581648)

No more than stupid rumors. Chrome OS main strength is the ability to run on cheap hardware, and if Google netbook will exist, it will utilize this advantage. For example, why does it need 64Gb SSD while it may store all data in the cloud? Why does it need NVidia Tegra chip? To play 720p HD video on 10" screen? - what a joke.

SHOCKING! (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581706)

...it really appears that Google is going to be pushing into new spaces in the next few years.

Sorry for being a smartass (blame it on me being at work for one day during the holidays...) but, really, who didn't already know that? Especially if you're even a casual reader of slashdot. It's clear that Google is an expanding company who's focused on a wide offering of products and services that are internet- and information-related. Anyone who doesn't know that Google is planning on pushing into new market segments hasn't been paying a hint of attention.

Google in New Spaces (1)

lousyd (459028) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581732)

it really appears that Google is going to be pushing into new spaces in the next few years

You could have said this at any point in Google's history. It's almost to the point that all Google stories should be marked dupe.

Very interesting. (4, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581754)

This can be interesting, why:

  • This would become a non-Intel platform, which means Windows doesn't run on it. I'd really like to see how well it sells when Windows is simply not an option. If it takes off, MS is going to be hit hard, if only because alternative OSes become a serious alternative all of a sudden. Instead of being a niche product.
  • Price of under $300, but still subsidised: where is the money coming from? Normally e.g. a mobile phone is subsidised because you are going to pay money to the mobile phone provider (calls, data, etc). I have never paid Google anything, other than for ads that I asked them to place. But not for any of their regular services. So either ad-supported, or only sold together with mobile data plans or so? The first is easy to get around: just install another OS or so.
  • Opening up the processor market: if this netbook takes off, we could start seeing really lots of non-Intel compatible computers around, first of all of course ARM based, and maybe a revival of the PPC in the consumer market. I think that would be the best effect of this. Not just because Windows doesn't run on it but because there is so much more than Intel. And I bet there will suddenly be more room for competitors to AMD and Intel: they do not need to license any microcode or so. And porting Linux/*BSD/Chrome to those architectures, if not done yet, will be relatively easy.

IMHO one of the core reasons all consumer PCs come with Intel compatible processors is that Windows runs on them. Equip them with other processors and you can not sell your product with Windows. And that is an absolute suicidal business plan at the moment. Google may get this going, get non-Windows and non-Intel computers to the masses, opening up a lot of space for competitors.

And if it doesn't work, well we can always continue dreaming.

Re:Very interesting. (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581862)

Except I doubt most people would buy these as desktop replacements. They expect the limitations of the device because it's small and portable. But on their desktop or full size laptop people expect more functionality and software options.

Re:Very interesting. (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582348)

and how will these things do all the things people expect of a normal computer? import photos, family movies, download music and movies, video chat with family, games, etc?

Re:Very interesting. (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582652)

I have never paid Google anything

Selling a soul to the devil is free. For some time, at least.

A Ferrari for the price of a Mini (1)

Anneco (710407) | more than 4 years ago | (#30581880)

quote:
It's like getting a Ferrari for the price of a Mini Cooper. (...) The Google netbook will be subsidised.

Now, who will pay this device ?

sub-$300 price tag? (1)

kai_hiwatari (1642285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582052)

If it has a price tag of less than $300, as the article says, its a real good deal. It won't be a desktop replacement at all but it'd be great as a web device.

Carrier plan bundling (1)

Zantetsuken (935350) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582088)

FTFA: "However, in some countries like the US, Google will tie up with one or more network operators and sell it as part of a bundled 3G plan"

Re:Carrier plan bundling (1)

DSW-128 (959567) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582922)

Will they really need a carrier subsidy? We've been able to get netbooks at retail in the $300 range; rather than drop the price over time, they up the specs to hold at that price point. If components continue to drop in price or increase in capability, shouldn't the specs that were hinted at be possible at the $300 price point without a mobile carrier?

This has failed before and will fail again. (3, Interesting)

tekrat (242117) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582550)

Okay, let's see if I've got this straight...
#1) Google will SUBSIDIZE the cost of the netbook (aka NetPC, which was hacked out of existence).
#2) Unlike NetPC, they won't be using an intel processor, locking out Windows.
        --- so when joey or jane try to download and install their favorite game or chat client, it will fail.
        --- so when grandma can't load in her quickbooks document for the church, it will fail.
#3) As someone who has lurked in many a netbook forum, I can tell you the number one question will be "How do I install Windows XP on it?"
#4) Someone will figure out how to install alternative OSes on it, maybe even write some kind of intel CPU emulator, or real-time recompiler, and then hack Windows into running on it, and then the lawsuits begin.
#5) As soon as people get bored with it, into the trash heap it goes.

Google will lose money on this deal. Chrome will not take hold, in fact, most early adopters will be spending their time trying to get Chrome off of it. When the masses get it they will be disappointed by it's lack of backwards compatibility, and start searching (ironically using Google) for websites to show them how to "jailbreak" the thing into running what they want. Adblocker apps will appear as will other hacks to thwart Google, so people can feel they got a "free netbook".

Re:This has failed before and will fail again. (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30582704)

If i remember well, it will be able to "fix" itself if some rogue app gets installed. Probably something in BIOS will check integrity of OS, and undo changes if something got modified, and that probably includes installing another OS. Also will have automatic OS updates, making this even harder yet.

About trying to run applications, is supposed to be an internet device, no local applications, just the browser and most that runs on it.

But will be 2 potential problems:
- Games meant for internet, with local/native clients (no google ads on them, so probably wont be a priority). NaCl could be a way, but the OS must get wildly popular to ever gets noticed by game developers.
- Plugins. Ok, you surely will have flash, ability to see pdf documents, and movies. But the plugin universe don't ends there. There are several that are windows or mac only that don't work yet (or ever) in linux. And that is internet content, meant for browser, and in pages that maybe even have google ads in.

Google Netbook Specs? I *totally* misread that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30582818)

I was hoping for some Google Goggles.

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