Google has opened a public beta of its Chrome operating system, which it claims is the most secure and web-ready on the market.
Chrome OS is based around the browser and has been designed to run web applications.
Key elements of the operating system are stored in read-only memory, making it impossible to subvert without physically removing the memory. It can also go from standby mode to full operation in a few seconds.
"We are confident that this is the most secure consumer operating system ever shipped," said Google vice president of product management Sundar Pichai.
The first laptops using the operating system have been designed exclusively for the Chrome OS public beta.
The Cr-48 models feature a 12.1in screen, full-size keyboard, 802.11n Wi-Fi and a Verizon 3G modem, and offer a claimed eight hours of operation or eight days on standby from a single charge.
"One change you will see is that there is no Caps Lock on the keyboard, which is us doing our bit to make internet conversations more civilised," Pichai said.
In a major change from other providers, Google is giving Cr-48 users 100MB of data free each month. Additional data can be purchased by the gigabyte, or an unlimited day pass can be bought for $9.99 (£6.35) without signing up to a lengthy contract.
Selected users of Chrome, YouTube and Facebook will get a free Cr-48. Some Chrome users will receive an invitation on their web page, while fans of Chrome's Facebook page have been offered entry into a competition to win one of the new systems.
Google is also running a Chrome OS competition on YouTube, where the best videos explaining why the creators should get a Cr-48 will be invited to take part, or the public can just apply via the Chrome OS site.
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