I’ve been using the Google’s Cr-48 for about two weeks now, and have to say that I’m mostly impressed. While it’s not a powerful computer, it is a fine web machine. The chiclet-style keyboard works well and responds decently to my typing – though I get the impression that the keyboard on my Lenovo laptop tends to respond a bit faster to my taps. The trackpad is much larger than I’m used to – and ends up being a bit too sensitive for my taste – and my writing style – but I don’t seem to be having some of the scrolling issues that others have reported on their Cr-48 machines.
While I was having some sensitivity issues with the trackpad, they were easily solved by turning off tap-to-click in the settings. Before that, the slightest touch of my hand would move the cursor around and suddenly have me typing over something I had already written – making it a bit frustrating while working with Google docs. With tap-to-click off, however, I haven’t had many issues, and now type quite freely.
When it’s off, the computer powers up in roughly 10 seconds or so. When it’s in its sleep mode – which happens easily just by closing the lid – the Cr-48 is ready to go in less than two or three seconds. I’ve loaded a bunch of free apps from the Web Store into the browser – and most of them work very well. Some extensions, like Awesome Screenshot, don’t work very well however – since extensions can’t install plugins on Chrome OS.
The Chrome OS notebook does have an SD card slot and a USB port – but they don’t seem to be useful for anything yet – other than attaching a USB mouse or charging my cell phone. Even when set to disk mode, the Chrome OS won’t recognize my Android phone – so it limits how much I can use the my phone with the computer (can’t download files to the phone, etc). A quick online search, however, did reveal that some people have had luck accessing the SD card by loading up an online picture editor. I haven’t tried it yet – though I think that might be in my plans for the evening.
Some of the specs that impress me most in the Cr-48 are the 8 hours of battery life, LED screen and a 16GB solid-state hard drive. It is possible to download images and even Mp3s and then send them via my gmail account, so I can imagine using some of that memory, but it’s definitely much more than I could imagine using on a web-optimized machine.
If you’re Linux user or into Ubuntu, you might be interested in the developer switch hidden under black tape in the battery compartment. I haven’t had any reason to fiddle with it – especially since it clears all your settings after you switch it back – but it does seem like Google is encouraging users to hack into this lovely little machine.
If you want to learn more about this computer from Google itself, just follow this link.