Posted on 26 Mar 2012 at 10:37
Sony’s plan to introduce an ultra-portable laptop running Google’s Chrome OS software has been leaked, courtesy of the US Federal Communications Commission.
Images of an as-yet unannounced Chromebook from Sony have been released by the FCC as part of its interference testing, a requirement of all electronic items sold in the US. While Sony is keeping quiet on details, the FCC has provided enough with which to get started.
The ultra-slim design, spotted on the FCC’s website by Laptop Reviews, features a Samsung-manufactured 11.6in display and an island-style keyboard missing the Windows key – a clear indicator of a Chromebook rather than a traditional Windows-based laptop.
Full specifications aren’t yet available, but the device is likely to feature 2GB of RAM and a 16GB solid-state drive (SSD) for local storage – both features common to Chromebooks and mandated by Google itself. Interestingly, the FCC’s documentation makes reference to a ‘T25′ processor – suggesting the presence of Nvidia’s Tegra 2 ARM-based chip. If so, Sony’s first entry into the Chromebook market would also be the first non-Intel Chromebook to be made available.
Although the design hasn’t taken off as quickly as the company had hoped, Chromebooks are still proving popular in certain markets. Based around the cloud-based Chrome OS platform, a Chromebook requires an active internet connection and ties in to Google’s multifarious web-based services including Google Docs, Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Search. Thanks to its use of low-power components and the offloading of heavy processing onto Google’s remote servers, Chromebooks typically offer excellent battery life.
Unlike a traditional laptop, Chromebooks don’t support locally-installed applications: instead, everything is accessed via the Chrome browser, which also takes the place of the traditional user interface. To ensure permanent connectivity, some models come with in-built 3G mobile broadband as well as Wi-Fi – although the Sony unit on test at the FCC lacks this feature.
Acer and Samsung are currently the only two companies to produce and sell Chromebooks for Google, but if Sony is about to enter the field it’s a clue that their popularity may be set to increase.
Author: Gareth Halfacree
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