Chrome OS Netbook Specs Leak: 64GB SSD, 10.1" Display, 3G

Google threw a wrench in everyone's expectations when it announced that the Chrome OS wouldn't be widely available to install on just any machine. Unlike Windows 7, which can be installed on pretty much any x86-based machine, Chrome OS will be customized for a specific set of hardware components that Google deems fit. It's an interesting approach, but like Apple, it appears that Google wishes to have some control over the hardware that its operating system runs on.

Google has informed us that a number of netbooks will be Chrome OS-approved, so to speak, but up until now we have had no information as to what specs would be built into Chrome OS netbooks. A leak over at IBTimes has stated that the Chrome OS netbook will be reasonably priced and well suited for basic use; in fact, it looks to be as powerful (if not more powerful) than some of the lower-end netbooks on the market today.

Here's what we have so far. It will sport a 10.1" display with a 1280x720 resolution, a 64GB SSD, 2GB of RAM, Wi-Fi, NVIDIA's Tegra GPU, integrated 3G, Ethernet, USB ports, a webcam, and a multi-format card reader. The only standout inclusion here in our minds is the SSD; if Google really plans on keeping most of the apps in the cloud, why is there such a need for a spacious internal storage device? Early netbooks shipped with 4GB SSDs, even with Windows, but with Chrome OS it seems that 4GB or 8GB would be plenty, particularly on a cheaper version.

Rumors have it that the netbook(s) will ship around this time next year for between $200 and $300, which sounds awfully ambitious given the specs (and again, that expensive SSD). We're also told that it will be sold directly to consumers by Google itself, though we'd expect it to also be sold by whatever US carriers will support it. If all this proves true, it will obviously shake up the netbook market in a big, big way, and we bet Microsoft is watching intently as things develop.