Remember how Google decided to hold a conference on short order and how many rumored it'd be for a new netbook running Chrome OS? Well, they were all right as Google has officially unveiled the first Chrome OS laptop, the Cr-48. Google will distribute the laptop through its Chrome OS Pilot Program which is kind of like a public beta in that you have to apply for it. There are a limited number of Cr-48 laptops to go around for it, but retail models from Acer and Samsung are expected to launch during the middle of 2011. Google is also doing a number of small promotions to give away the laptop to interested users and businesses which will then provide feedback to Google, but as of now, there is no way to buy the laptop.
Now, on to the nitty gritty, the specifications. The Cr-48 has a 12.1 inch screen, a full sized keyboard, an oversized clickpad, a Qualcomm Gobi 3G chip for data usage on Verizon in the US with your choice of carriers internationally, 802.11n dual-band WiFi, integrated webcam, and flash storage. Google claims the Cr-48 can last over eight hours during usage and last over eight days on standby. The keyboard foregos a Caps Lock key and has a Search key in its place while the Function keys up top have been replaced with various action keys. The action keys control forward and back, the sound, brightness, and whether or not you see one window or several, among others. As for the looks, there are no logos or emblems of any kind on the laptop, it is just solid black. As for the Cr-48 name, well, that refers to an isotope of the element chromium.
I expect we will hear more about this laptop and Chrome OS in general, but consider this laptop a beta test for the finished product. Like I said, we can expect retail Chrome OS laptops from Acer and Samsung during the middle of next year.