Kogan announced the launch of a Chromium OS laptop a few days ago, which comes with an open source version of Google's Chrome OS but also lacks some of the distinctive hardware features of real Chrome OS laptops like dedicated keys, hardware encryption and an onboard 3G modem.
So we looked into the building blocks that are necessary to build a Chromium laptop and surprisingly enough, you'd be able to build you own Chromium computer for under £200 by going through the following steps.
First, buy this Hannspree 12 HANNSbook laptop; it is currently on sale for £190 at Misco; granted it is a refurbished model but it comes with a full 12 months warranty and is in pristine condition.
The laptop boasts a superior set of components compared to the CR-48, the two official Chrome OS laptops or the Kogan model (ed: you will have to get a 32GB SSD like the OCZ Technology 32GB Onyx at £47 [dabs.com (opens in new tab)] for an enhanced Chromium experience). There's a dual core Intel Pentium SU4100 model runninng at 1.3GHz with 2MB cache, there's also 2GB DDR3 memory, a 1.3-megapixel camera, a 12.1-inch WSVGA screen, Wi-Fi, 802.11 WiFi, HDMI, three USB ports, a 5200mAh battery with a six hour battery life and much more.
Then, start up the laptop, download the latest USB image here (opens in new tab) and follow the instructions here (opens in new tab) to download and install Chromium OS on a USB key (you can get a 512MB SD card from Morgan for £2 including free delivery (opens in new tab)). Getting the OS to install on the laptop takes less than 30 minutes but may request a change in the boot sequence (from HDD to the USB drive).
(ed: Another alternative laptop is the Asus UL30A (opens in new tab) which comes with a higher price tag at £300 but also 50 per cent more memory, an even better hard disk drive, an integrated 3G modem as well as Asus's one year global hardware warranty).