Last week brought reports that Google may charge a monthly subscription fee for using Chrome OS, ranging between $10 to $20. Although unconfirmed, it's believed that the subscription may be the result of a subsidizing plan to make the laptops more affordable for consumers. The plan reportedly covers laptop upgrades and the replacement of faulty hardware.
But now details of Acer's Chrome OS ZGB laptop have surfaced. Originally called the ZGA, the company started and then canceled the project last year. Now it's been re-launched as the ZGB, appearing in Chrome OS bug reports as of March 10. Unfortunately, details surrounding the hardware are slim at best.
According to the last line of the bug report, the Acer ZGB laptop will feature a display resolution of 1366 x 768. There's also mention of a LVDS to HDMI encoder by Chrontel, indicating that the notebook will be based on Intel's Atom processor-- AMD's Fusion platform natively supports HDMI, and doesn't need an external encoder chip. LVDS is the signal understood by LCD panels in notebooks.
"The CH7036 is specifically designed for Consumer Electronics Devices and Personal Computers that require High Definition (HD) Content video playback on the external displays," the report reads. "This IC implements an advanced LVDS receiver, a powerful video encoder, a flexible scaling engine and easy-to-configure audio interfaces which can seamlessly convert the LVDS signal source into HDMI /DVI formats as well as the analog RGB legacy display."
Chrome OS notebooks are expected to arrive in the June/July 2011 window, and will be sold in the same manner as Google's Android-based devices. Given the software's web-based roots, the rumored subscription fee may be a requirement for using the notebook outside the home network. Additional details should be revealed in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.