Google's new Chrome notebook leaves desktop apps in the dust

The first generation of Google's Chrome notebook, the Cr-48, is a sleek, black, unbranded web-ready device that boots up in just 10 seconds.

It runs on Google's Chrome operating system - which is essentially just a feature-rich version of Google's existing Chrome browser.

The Cr-48 comes with built-in WiFi and 3G for anytime anywhere web browsing, a webcam, a 12 inch LCD display and a full sized keyboard and over-sized touchpad for comfortable web browsing.  

"Chrome notebooks are designed to reach the web instantly," says Google in a December 7 blog post.

They are "easy to share among friends and family, and simply by logging in, all of your apps, bookmarks and other browser settings are there. Setting up a new machine takes less than a minute. And even at this early stage, we feel there is no consumer or business operating system that is more secure."

In Google's vision of the future, laptops (and people) will live on the web. There will be no need for desktop applications because it will be much easier to complete your computing tasks using online web apps.

"Last year, we announced our effort to design an operating system that is built and optimized for the web. Many people already spend all their time in a web browser, and by building an operating system that is essentially a browser, we can make computers faster, much simpler and fundamentally more secure," says Google.

In 2011 users can expect to be inundated with a new range of design conscious, web-centric computers that compromise storage space and superfluous features for portability and connectivity as more users convert to web-based applications and cloud-based storage.

Apple has already given the trend a nod with its latest MacBook Air laptops.

The Google Cr-48 is currently only available to a select group of beta-testers in Google's Pilot program but both Acer and Samsung will have Google Chrome notebooks available for sale within the first half of 2011. No details about pricing have been announced.