Technology

First Chromebook on sale in US

The first laptop running Google's Chrome operating system has gone on sale in the United States.

The Samsung machine replaces installed software with browser-based apps which store files online.

Google claims that the technology enables a new way of computing, removing the need for features such as anti-virus software or optical drives.

However, many applications available for Windows, Mac and Linux do not yet exist for Chrome.

The Chromebook is available in WiFi only and WiFi and 3G models for $429 (£266) and $499 (£310) respectively.

It is expected to sell for between £349 and £399 when launched in the UK in August.

Samsung Chrome laptop
Samsung's laptop is the first Chrome powered PC to be released onto the market

A second Chromebook, made by Acer is due to start shipping soon.

Sundar Pichai, senior vice president for Chrome, said at the launch last month: "Most people spend all their time on the web, and for the first time we have distilled the entire computing experience to be about nothing but the web.

"End-to-end, I think your computing experience will be far simpler, safer and faster."

Some early reviews of Google's Chrome OS have criticised the system for its poor usability when offline.

Ruper Goodwins from ZDNet said: "For all the things that are on the web browser, this works really well - better than anything else. But for all the stuff you do on the desktop, it doesn't do very well at all.

"The idea that this doesn't matter - that you're always connected and always online - isn't quite true yet. The idea is very good but it's a little premature."

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