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TheStreet Open House

Google Drops the Neutron Bomb: $249 Laptop

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- At the same moment that Google (GOOG) accidentally posted its quarterly earnings release, Google also unveiled its technology broadside against Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL): The $249 Chromebook laptop. This is a very significant threat to Microsoft, Apple and -- as I will describe in more detail below -- Intel (INTC) and AMD (AMD).

Google's $249 Samsung laptop

Google's Chromebook, made by Samsung, looks almost identical to an Apple MacBook Air 11.6 inch. However, while the Apple laptop starts at $999, the Google/Samsung laptop is 75% less expensive.

>>Also see: $249 Google Laptop vs. $499+ Windows 8: Fight!

It may also be the first volume-manufactured laptop to not have a fan, because it runs so cool. It is therefore as quiet and cool as any smartphone or tablet. No noisy fan which draws power and blows hot air out of the laptop.

Enabling this industry-first fan-less laptop, is a Samsung chip that is among the first to be based on ARM's A15 architecture. This is basically the kind of chip that is just now starting to hit the highest-end smartphones in the market.

Google is able to run an entire laptop (and soon also other desktop PCs) based on this cell phone chip because its software is so much "lighter" (or "more efficient" if you will) than any laptops running Apple or Microsoft operating systems. This makes for Google, with Samsung's help, to sell a laptop for significantly less than the competition.

In addition, because the $249 Google laptop also runs cool, it will not feel like a hot potato in your lap, regardless of whether you are wearing shorts, jeans or whatever. Think of it as an Apple MacBook Air, but as cool in your lap as the iPad. In other words, this is the holy grail of computing, folks.

The Google/Samsung $249 laptop manages to squeeze at least 6.5 hours of battery life, while weighing only 2.5 lbs. It's only 0.8 inches thick. These specs mean that it is not only visually similar to the 11.6 MacBook Air, but that it also performs like a champ. However, for every MacBook Air you buy, you can get four Google laptops.

The Google laptop will be available to buy either from Google directly online, or from Best Buy (BBY) and Amazon (AMZN) -- among other places -- Steve Jobs'-style "shipping on Monday," Oct. 22.

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