Happy new year! So I was lucky enough to get into Google’s CR-48 beta program and this post is going to describe my last month of using it as a day to day computer where I only used my desktop to really only play games and watch hulu.
It’s slick. 12 inch screen, SSD HD, full Mac-esc chicklet keyboard, wrieless 802.11, 3G radio and web cam all wrapped in a solid matte plastic finish. I do have one gripe with the machine though. Maybe it’s just drivers or something, but the touch pad sucks. I’ve long since turned off tap to click, but still find clicking somewhat inaccurate and I definitely miss the right corner right click from my mbp. Boots in 15 seconds. Wakes in less than 3. The webcam is less than par, but you have to remember this is a proof of concept machine more than a production one.
I made the change from firefox to Chrome a long time ago usage is pretty simple. What you basically get is Chrome browser + wi fi/3g manager. Chrome can do it? Chrome OS can probably do it too. Here I have many more gripes than the hardware. First up is the terminal. It can be recahed via ctrl+alt+t, but it’s way limited with just a few simple diagnostic tools like top and network diagnostic. Next would be the lack of hardware acceleration for flash. One youtube video is fine, but 1+ yt videos or heaven forbid hulu and you’re crawling. And netflix? Forget about it. No silverlight support. Seeing as I’d use the machine for mostly internet and media and I can’t use two of the three main media sources I use daily that sucks. Interestingly I’m not really missing the filesystem browser you get in a standard OS. Lets face it. I’ve been living in the cloud for years now with gmail and google apps and taking away my 1TB hard drive won’t end my world. How about games? Well if its on flash not so much. The inclusion of ssh is nice though because for work I can ssh into another more powerful server and do all my development there as I do now.
It’s a step in the right direction and in a few years from now I can totally see myself only needing a machine like the cr-48 for standard daily use. Seeing as I’m a gamer I’ll always have a desktop though. Maybe its just me, but Chrome OS is too seamless. I feel like its a bit too much of a traditional computer stripped away. I secretly find myself wondering how hard it is to install another OS such as ubuntu and gain my normal applications while also still being able to use chrome. The beta is still early so who knows? We’ll see in 6 months. Look at Droid. At first it was just the Nexus 1 and there’s no one who can say that it isn’t booming and robust now. Here’s hoping Chrome OS has a similar future.