Notebooks from Samsung and Acer running Google Chrome OS aren't due to arrive until midway through 2011, but Google's own, unbranded Chrome OS Cr-48 notebook will tide developers over until the browser-based platform makes its full retail debut. A minimally-logo'd 12.1-inch ultraportable, the Google Cr-48 runs an Intel Atom processor and has a full-sized keyboard - complete with Google key customizations, like ditching the caps-lock and function keys - and the company reckons its battery is good for up to 8hrs of use or a week of standby.
There's also an integrated Qualcomm Gobi 3G chip, for use with Verizon's network while in the US. The carrier will bundle 100MB of free data with every Chrome OS notebook bought in the US, for 24-months, or for an extra $9.99 there's a day's worth of unlimited access.
If you're happier getting online in a more ad-hoc way, there's the usual dual-band WiFi b/g/n, plus there's a webcam and an "oversized" trackpad. Google reckons the Cr-48 will boot in just 10 seconds, resuming from sleep almost instantly.
The Cr-48 won't be available in retail; instead, Google is throwing open the doors to a test-drive program, offering business, education, developer, non-profit and individual users to take their web-centric lives onto Chrome OS. You can find out more details and apply here, if you're in the US, though the search giant does warn that it only has a limited number of units to offer.
We're expecting out Cr-48 review unit in later this week, so expect full coverage soon!