I honestly think it’s close.
Last night, we arrived at home after a 2 day road trip, to find an unexpected package on the front doorstep. What was it? A fancy new Google ChromeOS netbook, called the CR-48. Deanna and I were quite excited to open an inconspicuous box, to find a notebook inside. (I was more excited.)
I quickly busted out my camera, and went about the documentation of the unboxing. Those photos are here for your perusal.
Cool thing, once I pulled it out of the box and plugged it in I opened the lid to take a photo of it. I figured it would be off for this photo. Before I even had the camera to my eye, it was on. The thing turned on faster than I could have imagined! Presto! On!
Over the next few hours I signed in, played around, and set up my standard tabbed environment. Oh, I guess I should mention that if you’re already using any Google products, especially Google Chrome, you’re already half way to using a ChromeOS netbook. Yeah, I was prompted to sign in, and it loaded up all my stuff. Even my browser theme from Chrome on my iMac.
What’s the verdict? How’s it gonna work out?
Other than this machine’s inability to process my photos, I may use this for everything else. We have a Dell Mini, running Ubuntu, and it’s been a decent machine. The smaller screen, and a couple of keyboard issues, are the only problems with it. It is reliable, and just works. It needs nothing special to join our Apple Airport powered WiFi or to print to our Canon WiFi printer. It just works. Dropbox installs, and everything just works.
This Google ChromeOS just works, too.
I foresee a few issues though, however they’re mostly hardware issues at this point. One thing about Apple hardware, they never have ugly monitors/video. That’s one area they just do well. This CR-48 is a test unit. It is a beta product. I get that. That’s why I’m not disappointed or let down. (Also I didn’t pay for it, so I have nothing to complain about.) But the screen is kinda weak. The viewing angle is quite limited. Not to worry, I just bend the screen to fit my angle.
I’ve read that others are complaining about the touchpad. I understand why, but haven’t really had any of the same problems. It works fine for me. I’m not drawing any artwork here, nor am I going to be doing much file browsing/moving (since there’s no real file browser).
In case you didn’t know, the CR-48 ChromeOS is a cloud-based, browser only experience. What does this mean? It has nothing else in the operating system other than a browser, Google’s own Chrome. There’s no icon to launch the browser, it IS the OS.
The first few “apps” I installed are:
I also installed a few plugins right away.
I’ll post some more of my reaction in the coming weeks and months, I hope. If you’re interested in begging Google to give you a shot at breaking their new OS, then you can still fill out the application. Go to the CR-48 Pilot Program website.
Go see the slideshow!