I’ve been really busy lately, and it’s been several weeks since I’ve been able to write here (sorry about that). During that time, I received a gift from Google that I’m typing on right now-a Google Chrome CR48 notebook.
WHAT IT IS
The CR48 is a radical new notebook from Google that runs on a Google Chrome Operating System. This means that instead of a typical operating system, everything is controlled through the Google Chrome browser. Everything.
Instead of editing and storing files on a hard-drive, everything is stored and done within “the cloud.” E-mail and document editing is web-based, etc.
So radical, that the notebook is 100% internet dependent.
The good news is that most of the stuff I do can be done online through Chrome. E-mail? Gmail. Documents? Google docs. Blogging? WordPress. Contact with friends? Facebook. Etc, etc.
The bad news is that some things can’t be done yet through Chrome. So far I haven’t been able to use is Skype. Sure I can use Google Talk most of the time, but not when I’m talking with family members that don’t use Gmail.
100% INTERNET DEPENDENCY
The craziest part about the Chrome OS idea is that it makes the notebook 100% internet dependent. Once logged in, all you ever see is the Chrome browser. Nothing else. There’s no desktop or anything else.
One caveat is that without the internet, the notebook is useless.
This happened to me when I came home from a long trip to find the CR48 package (Google mailed them out as a surprise and didn’t let people know that they were coming). It was cool to come home to a free notebook (really cool). The only problem was that I didn’t have internet set up yet.
I had just moved into a new apartment, and internet had yet to be installed. This rendered the notebook nearly useless (as a solution I ended up using most of the free 100 mb per month Verizon cellular internet package that comes with the computer).
I was happy to come home to a free notebook, but the fact that the CR-48 is 100% internet dependent was very obvious.
WHAT I LIKE
What I like so far is how quickly the CR-48 boots up. Logging in for the first time only takes 10 seconds. After that, subsequent logins take approximately 1.12 seconds (that’s the number I’ve seen Google throwing around). Essentially, by using the CR-48, I’m only between 1.12 and 10 seconds away from being online. That takes care of one of my biggest frustrations with Windows – super long bootup times (insert 1 minute plus for Windows).
I also like the overall look and feel. It comes with an all black matte, rubberized exterior. The CR48 is also sleek and simple, similar to a Macbook. It looks pretty good, especially compared to ever other notebook besides Apple’s.
Some people have commented that it looks very similar to the Macbook. That’s a compliment, but Google may want to come up with a design that looks good but also sets them apart from Apple. But maybe not. It looks really good as is.
Something else I like is the battery life. Google claims that the battery can last up to 8 hours. I’m not sure that it’s quite that long with the screen brightness turned all the way up, but the battery life so far has been great. If the Chrome OS is able to extend the battery life extensively, that’s a huge bonus.
WHAT I DON’T LIKE
The one thing that I don’t like so far is the 100% internet dependency. It bothers me that I won’t be able to write something or do anything without being on the internet. This means that if I’m in a conference room without wifi or on a plane, I won’t be able to take notes or write.
This may not be that big of a problem because I’m not sure how often I use a computer without internet connection. There’s also a free 100 mb cellular internet package from Verizon included with the notebook that helps travel from wifi to wifi. I’m interested to see what it’s like to be 100% internet dependent.
WHAT I PLAN TO DO
My plan is to use the CR48 as my primary blogging computer (that’s also what I agreed to do as part of the pilot program). One goal will be to see how useful the Chrome operating system is and what limitations it has. Another goal will be to see whether or not I end up using the CR48 as my primary computer. How much I use something is the number one way I determine how useful it is. I’m curious to see if this notebook will become my primary notebook.
As part of the process, I’ll be taking my blog readers along for the ride. Every week or so I’ll post an update about my experience with the CR48 discussing what I like and dislike. I’ll also offer suggestions for improving the CR48 and Chrome OS.
If you have any questions about the notebook, make sure to leave a comment below. I’ll be happy to answer them.