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Google to release own-brand Chrome OS netbook

Acer, HP too

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Expect to see the appearance of netbooks running Google's Chrome OS later this month, the first of them coming from the online advertising giant itself.

Acer and HP will have similar machines out in December.

So say moles from within Taiwan's electronics industry by way of local newssite DigiTimes.

The machines come more than a year after industry players began talking up "smartbooks" - netbooks with ARM processors rather than Intel chippery. These deviced fall into that category, and may prove more successful than the few smartbooks that have made it out the door in the intervening time.

The arrival of the iPad has done for a number of promised smartbooks. Of those that have been released, the Toshiba AC100 is probably the best known, though its combination of tasty hardware with an inappropriate OS - Android, since you ask - has considerably reduced its utility.

You can read more later this week when Reg Hardware runs its review of the AC100.

Chrome should be far more suited to keyboard- and mouse-operated devices than the touchscreen-centric Android, so the smartbook may now finally be able to shine.

Or punters may still want tablets instead. Acer, HP, Google and co. seem uncertain - the moles imply the initial launches will be very much market testers. ®

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