Google Chromebooks now on sale from Acer, Samsung

Google today announced the release of the first Chromebook netbooks from official partners Samsung and Acer, more than a week after Australian upstart Kogan cheekily sneaked out a portable PC based on the Chrome operating system, priced at just £269.

In a post today on the company's official Chrome blog, Google revealed that WiFi-only and 3G variants of the new Acer Chromia and Samsung Series 5 Chromebooks were available to order online by US customers from Amazon and BestBuy.com, starting at $379.99 and $429.99, respectively.

Tech news website ITProPortal reports that the Samsung Series 5 has tipped up on the website of UK retailer Dixons, which is now taking pre-orders for the device for £399.

The Series 5 features a 1.66GHz dual-core Intel Atom N570 processor, 2GB RAM and a 16GB SSD as well as as a card reader, Bluetooth, webcam and 12.1in 1280x800 resolution screen. As yet, there's no sign of the Acer making appearance this side of the Atlantic.

With features of the browser-based Chrome OS such as its 10 second boot-up time and hardware encryption, Google hopes to deliver a shot in the arm to the dwindling netbook market, and take a chunk out of the sales of arch-rival Apple's iPad 2 tablet.

For details of local stockists throughout the world, visit google.com/chromebook.