Chrome OS Notebook Invasion Planned for Summer 2011: Should You Wait?

The netbook may be taking a hit thanks to the popularity of the iPad 2, but there is set to be an invasion of 10-12″ notebooks this summer powered by the Google Chrome OS. DigiTimes is reporting that we should see Atom or Tegra powered Chrome OS notebooks from Acer, ASUS, Sony and Samsung in the second half of 2011.

The Chrome OS powered notebooks were expected in the first half of 2011, back when Google sent out the Cr-48 notebooks to a group of beta testers, but sources are telling DigiTimes that the actual mass shipment of Chrome powered mini notebooks won’t start until the second half of 2011.

When the invasion of Chrome OS notebooks does start, expect to see some manufacturers using a dual boot system with Windows and Chrome OS to ease consumers into the idea of using a cloud based operating system.

Should you Wait for a Chrome OS Notebook?

The idea of an almost always connected, simple use notebook with built in broadband for $200 to $300 is appealing, but is it really what you should be looking for to fill your computer needs.

If you are a student, or looking for a companion notebook, then the Chrome OS notebooks will likely be a good fit. Because of the reliance on Chrome and the likelihood of integrated broadband at an affordable monthly fee, it should work well as a computer you sync to and use with a full fledged notebook or system.

If you need to access specific applications for business or need to run demanding tasks that can’t be moved to the cloud, then you’ll probably want to stay away from the Chrome OS.

The early Chrome cr-48 notebooks received mixed reviews, but it’s important to keep in mind that these units were essentially beta hardware, known as a prototype, on which Sony, ASUS, Acer and Samsung will base their designs. The key word is base, we expect to see manufacturers differentiate their offerings, just like they do with Windows.

If you see a notebook you want to buy today, like the $399 HP Pavilion dm1z, we suggest you get it and wait to see what Google Chrome OS notebooks actually arrive on the market and how they perform. Until then, you can look into running Chrome OS on your existing hardware.

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