Google is very much a software and hardware company and last year they got into the laptop market with the debut of their Chromebooks which run ChromeOS, a very minimal operating system that relies heavily off of "the cloud" and has services integrated that we've grown to be familiar with. Being that it's about time for an upgrade, Google announced a new Chromebook as well as the first Chromebox which is for desktop use.
Performance has come a long way since the days of the CR-48 which was a developer version and one that the tech giant gave away to thousands of people to help test and provide feedback on. The new Chromebook which will be manufactured by Samsung, is based on Intel's Sandy Bridge processors so performance is said to be about three times faster compared to the previous model. The same is true for the Chromebox.
There's also a multi-touch trackpad, support for hardware accelerated graphics, and an open source firmware stack which all leads to better performance. Bootup time stands at a blazing fast seven seconds. Both the Chromebook and Chromebox feature a newly designed user interface which allows you to easily find and launch apps and use them side by side, as well as pin commonly used apps similar to how you can in Windows 7, and more.
Google Drive is also said to be more deeply integrated and the full list of improvements and new features can be read on the Official Google Blog. All in all, it looks like a very nice improvement and with the Chromebook priced at $450 and the Chromebox priced at $330, it's priced very competitively. Since a lot of use nowadays is online, ChromeOS is very enticing to those who do mostly spend their time online.