GoogleMashable: Google just launched artillery deep into territories held by Microsoft and Apple by making one of the biggest announcements in its history: The reveal of Chrome OS. And in doing so, it has declared war on the traditional desktop model.

5524The Cr-48 Chrome Notebook will be the first official device featuring Chrome OS. Although it’s only being released in a pilot program to beta testers, it’s very much an emissary to consumers (Google’s hopeful allies in the fight). Those of you interested in enlisting can sign up to test the device, but we’re guessing selection will be — well — selective.

Not much is known about the hardware driving Google’s new machine, but here is what we do know:

  • 12-inch LCD display
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and 3G (service provided by Verizon Wireless)
  • Full-sized keyboard with no caps-lock or function keys
  • Oversized clickable touchpad
  • Weighs in at 3.8 pounds
  • Solid state hard drive — capacity unknown
  • Eight hours of active usage with a week of standby power

The Cr-48 Chrome Notebook might not be the most powerful computing device, but that’s not the point. The device is intended for consumption, not raw processing power. Whether it performs as a consumption device remains to be seen, but if Google gets this right, Chrome OS notebooks could put a serious hurt on devices like the MacBook Air.