Some details about the upcoming Google Chrome OS based netbooks has leaked and the specification look delicious indeed.
The Chrome OS devices will be powered by an NVIDIA Tegra chipset with an ARM processor which uses less power and gives better performance than current Intel Atom chipsets. The Tegra chipset is also what powers Microsoft's Zune HD.
Chrome OS, which was announced back in July had been the center of some rather wild speculation until finally Google unveiled the OS and made the bitter sweet announcement that Chrome OS would not be released by Google as an installable operating system for current netbooks but would be a device in itself. The Chrome OS netbooks were meant to be used a companion devices, not intended to replace current computers but to be seen as more of a browser-on-the-go.
By having a completely new hardware platform to run the OS, Google was able to cut down booting time to a mere 7 seconds, with even more scope for improvement, making the device switch on like a TV. To achieve this Google will use a custom boot sequence which will skip steps which are no longer required -- such as searching for a flopy drive -- and will add an integrity checking step to ensure that the OS in not infected by malware. With this the OS can always be kept malware free and at the latest version. The operating system would run off an SSD drive instead of a regular HDD.
Since then speculation has run wild again as to what kind of machine would power this device, and now some of that is put to rest. Besides the Tegra chipset the system will have a 64GB SSD drive -- as expected -- and 2GB RAM. Since the device is meant to surf the internet it will feature WiFi, and 3G connectivity, and an Ethernet port. The rest of the usual fare such as a multi-card reader, bluetooth, USB ports, webcam, and a 3.5" audio jack will also be present. Additionally the device will feature a 10.1" HD ready TFT display with multi-touch capability.
And if that wasn't good enough, rumors are that the device will subsidized and priced at sub-$300 (under Rs. 15,000)! In the US they might even be bundled with 3G data plans with wireless carriers.
The remarkably low price coupled with the powerful configuration makes for a great bargain. So even while the specification are still far form being facts, they do paint a pretty picture of a Chrome OS device.