Atom is fast enough to run a Chrome browser and without the burden of Windows 7 I’d expect Chrome notebooks to be fast enough for most things. It remains to be seen how smooth things like scrolling Flash video playback will be however.

Google did provide two measures of performance in its announcement yesterday. Chrome OS should boot in around 10 seconds and wake from sleep instantly. These two imply that there’s some element of solid state storage at play within the Cr-48 but I’m still awaiting confirmation from Google. Edit: Storage on the Cr-48 is confirmed to be all solid state, no platters, thanks everyone!

ISA Independence

Chrome OS is currently only supported by Intel x86 platforms and will launch with Atom based designs, however with the apps running on Chrome OS being web based, from a developer standpoint the Chrome OS is effectively ISA independent.

If Google (or someone else, the OS being open source) chooses to port Chrome OS to ARM, so long as the underlying OS is full featured, apps that run on an x86 version would run on an ARM version. This leaves a huge opportunity for ARM to enter the notebook/netbook market with the Cortex A15 in the coming years. The OEMs would have to demand it however, and I suspect we will only see that if Intel drops the ball on being price/performance competitive in this space.

Whereas an ARM (or non-x86) threat to Intel never really existed in the Windows world, it’s very possible with Chrome OS.

I will add that while Chrome OS could enable ARM based notebooks, I don’t suspect that will happen in a major way anytime soon given what I know of Intel and ARM’s respective processor roadmaps.

The Hardware: Meet the Cr-48 Final Words
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  • tipoo - Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - link

    Yeah, its just a prototype to test the OS but I really wish manufacturers used this kind of design more often! No logos, no curves, no patters, no glossy black plastic, nothing but what matters.
  • tipoo - Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - link

  • yzkbug - Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - link

    Looks like a lot of us here share the same vision of how notebooks should be designed. Here is an idea. Let’s start an open-hardware project (analogous to an open-source project) defining what our notebook should be (high quality LCD, no 16:9 screen, no gloss, thin bezel, no-flex keyboard, etc.) May be one day, a notebook manufacturer will hear us and turn it into a real product. Anand, do you want to drive this? ;)
  • Dug - Thursday, December 9, 2010 - link

    Hear hear!
    It seems so obvious, but good ol stupid marketing and project managers can't get it through their thick heads to listen to customers.
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - link

    Perhaps your wants aren't what the majority of people want; and since price is based off supply, demand, and cost, perhaps they really don't want to lose.

    When you start specializing, you lose an economy to scale. There are higher manufacturing costs, which means it'd cost more for the rest of the people, which equals less sales, which equals less profits. This is one of the reasons why the Dell manufacturing process was so successful; they used only a couple of base models so that prices would not be as high.

    But I agree, having some variance in design would be nice. I would not call it "open-hardware", I'd call it "open-design", which could encompass hardware as well as software.
  • Computer Bottleneck - Thursday, December 9, 2010 - link

    I like that idea, but what platform/OS would that go best with?
  • mrBug - Sunday, December 12, 2010 - link

    AROS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • gr00 - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    I wouldn't call it open hardware because open-source hardware already exists, more like "sensible notebook design initiative". Definitely agree on "no 16:9 screen, no gloss", many of those are just standards that I hope will come to pass.
  • GullLars - Thursday, December 9, 2010 - link

    I liked the design, with exception of connectivity options (seriously 1 USB, and no external storage?), but the name is not thought through.
    The reference platform is called Cr-48, which is a very unstable radioactive isotope (λ < 24 hours) of the element Chrome (nr 24 in the periodic table)... Cr-52 is the most abuntant stable isotope, and would make a better name for a computer...
  • tipoo - Thursday, December 9, 2010 - link

    Nah. This is a public beta of sorts, its going to be buggy. Naming it after the stable molecule of Chrome would ruin its name, naming it after an unstable isotope with a short half-life makes sense for this :)

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