20110205

CR-48 Chrome OS Notebook - 1st Review

Guess what? I came inside from the shoveling snow on Thursday and found a little present from the tooth google fairy! A free laptop! Sooooooo pretty. Google is beta testing their new Chrome OS with thousands of people and now I'm one of them.

I think I'll post a few of these after I've used this laptop for different lengths of time to share my impressions. I've had this laptop for 2 days now (got it Thursday afternoon)

(+)
  • fast start-up time!!!!!!! Definitely my favorite feature.
  • light weight laptop, but still feels full-size with the full keyboard and widescreen display (that doesn't have pixels eaten up by extraneous taskbars)
  • the keyboard is super comfy. I think I may like it better than my desktop's wireless keyboard.
  • sleek and sexy and label-less.
  • google chat is always on top, but still easily minimizable.
  • the screen works ;) (if you know anything about my last laptop and its infamous "sweet spot" that's been trying to die on me for ages now you'll understand why I appreciate this "feature" so much)
  • two-finger scrolling works really well on the trackpad
  • *amazing* battery life. I wish the battery indicator had a time estimate though rather than just the 3/4 full, 1/2 full picture.
  • LOTS of handy shortcuts that are easily findable using: CTRL + ALT + ?
(-)
  • slow. But the pilot program is really to test the software, not the hardware so it makes sense that google would put the cheapest processor that they could get by with inside. likewise, the speakers are pretty crappy
  • no netflix :(
  • the video feature on google chat is super glitchy. I've tired it 4 times now with my sister and each time have had a major problem. But I haven't tried a skype app yet (nor have I looked to see if such a thing exists)
  • sometimes it seems to freeze up. And I don't know if it's just the trackpad or the whole 'puter. And I don't know how to fix it. It seems to fix itself in less than 1 minute though.
  • can't change the picture for the person listed as "owner". When you turn on the laptop for the very first time, it asks you to take a picture to be used as your account picture. I did a quick snap-shot of my unshowered, snowed-in self assuming I could change it later, but nope, I'm stuck with it.
  • no delete button. this is really messing up because I use "delete" far more frequently than backspace and relearning that has been interesting
  • I just took some pictures of my cr-48 to put in the post and uploading them was far more difficult than I expected: I thought I could just plug in with a USB and something would pop-up. Then I tried putting the SD card directly in. (Hilariously I darn near lost the dummy card in the process because it has quite the spring-loaded eject) Now I'm trying Picnik, google's web-based photo editor and found the files on the camera but now still wont upload one of them. I'm giving up for now and will try again tomorrow.
That's all for now! Maybe in another week I'll come up with a few more interesting tidbits and observations.

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