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Google plots pre-Christmas Chrome OS iPad killer

Big carrier subsidies to slash up-front price, says mole

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Google will have a spec-tastic, low-cost, possibly even free Chrome OS tablet in punters' hands a month before Christmas, it has been claimed.

And now the bad news: it's likely to be only available in the US, and if you want to get the tablet for a lot less than the iPad, you'll need to take out a Verizon data airtime deal.

Launch day, according a to an unnamed source cited by website Downloadsquad, will be Friday, 26 November, the day after Thanksgiving and a time when holidaying Yanks descend upon retail outlets in their droves.

According to the mole - if mole he be - HTC is making the hardware, which will use Nvidia's ARM-based Tegra 2 system-on-a-chip. It'll have 2GB of Ram - which is a lot for this kind of device, especially one with a cloud-centric OS - and 32GB of Flash storage, possibly expandable through memory cards, though that's not certain.

The display will be 1280 x 720, so well set for widescreen HD content. Navigation too, thanks to built-in GPS chippery, plus Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and - hence the Verizon link - 3G connectivity. It'll have a video conferencing camera too, the source says.

If said mole is correct, Google's gadget will come in ahead of a raft of tablets based on the online advertising giant's other OS, Android, which is expected to get all tablet-ready at the tail end of the year in its 3.0 release. ®

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