What's in the Mysterious Black Chrome OS Box?

December 8, 2010: 1:48 PM ET

Chrome OS Cr-48 laptop dissected.

That anonymous black netbook that Google (GOOG) announced yesterday doesn't have any labels or specs attached to it.  That doesn't mean the web isn't already taking it apart.

Digitimes says it is produced by Inventec and 60,000 of them are making their way to beta testers.  It will likely be based on an Intel Atom N550 platform which runs at 1.5GHz with 1GB L2 cache.  RAM and storage aren't known at this time but if Google wants to keep hackers from re-purposing the machines as Windows or Mac OS laptops (and keep prices down), the storage will be pretty minimal (16-32GB?).  RAM demands won't be as high as a traditional netbook because Chrome cuts out so much of the traditional OS, but they don't want to skimp on web windows.  I expect 1-2GB of RAM (the max on the N550 platform is 2GB).

Google's Cr-48 site is pretty skimpy on information but the gallery points to a VGA port (old school!), a headphone /mic port, a power port, SD card and a single USB port.  Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs must appreciate the I/O simplicity, which is similar to the MacBook Air... More

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