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Acer Chromebook 11.6-inch laptop unveiled by Google

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Forget the Google CR-48. The Google Chrome netbook that’s been doing the rounds with developers may still see the light of day as a consumer product, but for something a bit more concrete take a look at Acer’s offering. This is the Acer Chromebook – the cheapest Google Chrome OS-running laptop yet unveiled at Google’s I/O conference.

The 11.6-inch laptop will be available for pre-order in the US from the 15th of June, and will set you back just $349. That’s £213 to us. It’s certainly got the price right, but what are you actually getting for that iPad-undercutting cost?

The Chromebook is, as most Chrome netbooks will be, fairly empty inside. While there will be a token amount of solid state storage, the entirety of the operating system runs online and saves items to the cloud, making it the perfect machine for anyone in need of a simple browsing and word processing machine.

That lack of spec means that the Chromebook can boast an 8 second start up and a hefty 6.5-hour battery life. There’s also a couple of USB ports, an HDMI connection and a webcam. You’ll need a constant internet connection to get the most out of this beast, but it will also be available with inbuilt 3G at a slightly higher – although unknown – cost. There’s currently no word on when the Acer Chromebook will arrive in the UK, but we’ll keep you posted.

Is Google’s cloud-based operating system the way of the future or merely a hindrance? let us know on the Gadget Helpline Twitter feed.