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Sony Chromebook coming sometime soon?

All signs point toward Sony releasing a tiny laptop that runs the Google Chrome operating system.

An image unearthed from the FCC Web site reveals Sony's Chromebook.
Screenshot by Christopher MacManus/CNET

A recently declassified document on the FCC Web site reveals Sony's first Chromebook.

The legend of the Sony Chromebook stretches back to March of 2011, when Sony Insider first leaked news of its existence with specifications. The rumored features included a 1.2GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 (T25) dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor; an 11.6-inch (1,366x768) LCD; 1GB of DDR2 RAM; 16GB of flash storage; eight-hour battery life; and more.

A section of the user manual for this laptop describes how to use Chrome OS. (Click to enlarge.) Screenshot by Christopher MacManus/CNET

A year later, new FCC documents for the Sony VCC111 laptop contain an assortment of photos, showing the device from multiple angles. You may notice the lack of a Windows button on the keyboard.

CNET also showed the images to a trusted source familiar with the matter, who confirmed the slim, ultraportable Sony laptop uses Google's Chrome OS. The final nail in the rumor coffin lies in the actual user manual for the Sony laptop, which clearly discusses how to turn on and operate Chrome OS.

Furthermore, many of the specifications in the documents line up with those earlier rumors, and now we learn a little more. Wireless test pages in the FCC confirm 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 3G radio, and Bluetooth implementation. The pictures show several ports, such as a SD card reader, HDMI port, two USB 2.0 ports, and inputs for a headphone and microphone. We even spotted a separate color, meaning Sony may offer black and white color options.

Multi-angle perspective of Sony's minimalist Chromebook. (Click to enlarge.) Screenshot by Christopher MacManus/CNET

There's no word yet regarding the price (or release date) of the Sony Chromebook, but alternatives by other companies range from $299 to $419. With the flurry of tablet, ultrabook, and supersized phone releases, do you think the Chromebook still make sense?

(Via Laptop Review)