Weekly high-tech product releases: first Chrome OS laptop, Nexus S

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The Independent Tech

High-tech product releases announced the week ending December 8 include the first notebook to run on Google's Chrome OS, the successor to the Nexus One smartphone, a small netbook that makes a big sound, an ultra-slim laptop and a budget Android smartphone.

The first notebook to run Chrome OS
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 and 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. 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.

The first Gingerbread smartphone
The Nexus S is the successor to Google's first in-house developed smartphone, the Nexus One, and will be the first handset to run the latest version of the Android platform, Gingerbread. The Nexus S is manufactured by consumer electronics company Samsung and is the world's first mobile phone to feature a 4 inch contour display. The Nexus S will arrive in the US on December 16 and in the UK on December 20. The handset will be available unlocked and without a contract for $529 or with a two-year contract for $199.

World's first mini laptop with superior sound

Toshiba has given the humble netbook a serious sound makeover, embedding premium 2 watt stereo speakers from Harman/Kardon into its latest netbook, the NB520. The pint-sized laptop has a 10.1 inch 16:9 (1,024 x 600p) display, 3 USB slots, support for WiFi, a webcam and runs on Windows 7 Starter. The NB520 will start shipping to Europe, the Middle East and Africa during the first quarter of 2011. Pricing is still to be confirmed.

An ultra-thin laptop made for portability
Dell's Vostro V130 is a super-slim laptop measuring just 0.65 inches at its thinnest point and weighing 3.5 pounds. It has Hyperbaric Cooling to help it stay quiet and cool, a 13.3 inch HD WLED display, full-sized keyboard, a HDMI port, two USB 2.0 ports and WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. The Vostro V130 is priced from $429 and is available now.

A budget touchscreen Android smartphone

The Acer beTouch E140 is a compact, entry-level Android device for consumers who want smartphone features without the smartphone price. It runs on Android 2.2 (Froyo), has a 2.8 inch QVGA touchscreen display, a 600MHz processor, FM radio, 3.2 megapixel camera and WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. The beTouch E140 will available in January 2011, for €199.