Today Google announced the immediate availability of their long awaited “Chromebooks”, and they might just be the best competitor to Microsoft and Apple yet. Based on a solid Linux core, Chrome OS is built to be the fastest way to get to the web. Boasting an 8 second boot time, ease of use, and a familiar interface, Linux has finally found its place on the desktop.
The first few Chromebooks from Acer and Samsung feature a clean, clutter free design. Solid black, or black with a white top, and no stickers. A refreshing change from “Intel Inside” and “Made for Windows” stickers that accompany most PC laptops. The Chromebooks look good. The Chromebooks are small and light, and claim battery life between six and eight and a half hours of continual use. They come with standard ports and a webcam, but what is most interesting about the machines is what not listed. Google doesn’t draw attention to the tiny, and extremely fast, SSD hard drive, or the the amount of RAM in the machine, an intentional dismissal of their importance. Plainly said, it doesn’t matter, Chromebooks have speed where it matters, and are meant for only one thing.
Chromebooks run the Google Chrome OS, which is based on the open source Chromium OS project, which uses Linux as its core. Google’s distinction between the Google Chrome OS and the Chromium project is subtle, but important. As stated in the Chromium OS FAQ: