Chrome OS fine, Cr-48 not so much

For a minute I thought Chrome OS was going to be a game changer. The public tech announcements always get me over excited about the product. Unfortunately, so far Chrome OS hasn’t lived up to the hype I first gave it.

Want a laptop that ONLY surfs the web? That should work perfectly fine for me. As I said it my last post, the reason they even sent me the notebook is because everything I do is on the web. But it’s in the 2010 web. The web that needs a fast processor running behind it and hardware that doesn’t suck. Sadly, I don’t think I’m getting the full Chrome OS experience because of the brick that it’s running on.

The first few reviews of the Cr-48 that I have come across are actually surprisingly good. Check them out for yourself as they are making me go back and take a second look at what I’m using. From the experiences I’ve had so far, and here’s a run down of what has been frustrating:

  • Battery life isn’t really as long as it says (probably more like 4 hours instead of 7)
  • Good luck typing in the dark – the keys are dark letters on dark keys, so you better know your finger placement on the small keyboard.
  • Quiet tinny speakers, less than stellar screen (well duh)
  • Unresponsive trackpad – can be hard to scroll or even control the mouse at times
  • Slooooow processor – Hulu videos are choppy, Gmail takes a while to refresh, can I even video chat?
  • Problems with Wifi? Every now and then I just lose my connection, then it takes a minute to reconnect
  • Still can’t figure out CloudPrint, but hopefully that will work soon.
  • No local storage. I found that the computer has 16gb SSH, but I have NO idea how to access it. I’ll have to try putting an SD card in the reader and see what the UX is for saving files.

There is my rant about the hardware. I still like the idea of Chrome, but right now I’m getting too frustrated by the slowness of the notebook compared to my MacBook Pro (although that’s not really a fair comparison 🙂 So how ’bout that operating system? Well I love the Chrome browser, so that’s all good. It’s really hard to tell the value of this OS until we start to see hardware and the pricing. I wouldn’t pay more than $200 for a Chrome notebook. Something like the iPad seems so much more versatile. It’s still possible to do most of your work in the cloud and the extra functionality and toys make it more worthy of spending money.

That’s my two cents for now, more on the actual software coming soon. How much money would you pay for a simple web browsing notebook? Does that seem like a practical addition to your gadget repertoire?

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