Nov 1, 2011

My cr-48 review

It has been almost 10 months since I started this crazy thing. I think it is time to revise and publish!

About a week ten months ago, I was surprised to come home and find a Google Chrome OS laptop (henceforth called cr-48, or Carl) waiting for me by my door. In my excitement I failed to make an "unboxing" video or even snap pictures of it in its case. All attempts to coax Carl back into his shipping box failed, so you'll have to use your imagination.

Let's start first with a breakdown of the hardware. On the outside, Carl is striking. Carl is matte black, with NO logos anywhere. Included in the box was a business card letting me know Intel was inside. Google also included "stickers" to decorate Carl. It gives him a bit of flair, but even without, I'm drawn to the simple, sleek style. I wish all laptops looked like this.

As far as the keyboard is concerned, it's one of the better Chiclet style keyboards I've used. Initially, while typing, I found my palms rested right on the trackpad caused it to activate, but after tweaking the sensitivity, it seems to have improved. The functions keys have been replaced by Chrome OS specific keys, such as forward, back, reload, mute, volume up/down, full screen, and brightness controls. The one button that

gdgt has a great breakdown of what's inside Carl. I'll give you a minute to read it...don't worry, I'll wait.

Great job huh? Anyway, as you can see, the hardware isn't Alienware crazy hardware, but a pretty decent year old netbook. I didn't realize there was bluetooth, as there isn't any indication of how to use it in the settings menu. Perhaps in a future system update, but for now I can't seem to make it work.

I've been using Carl as my main machine at home, and as my travel machine at work. For that approach, this is

Here are the notes I took while using the Carl:

  • Sound static issue is a problem UPDATE: sound fixed!!

  • No Java Support

  • No way to change profile picture now you can!!

  • No backlight on keyboard

  • No local storage to store pictures/videos

  • Flash video playback is choppy UPDATE: flash is better, but still choppy

  • Laggy performance

  • Google Docs, opening document not as instantaneous as on win7 laptop

  • While on lap, accidental touch pad activation a concern.

  • So Now I’m writing with my hands near the touch pad...seems to be better.


  • Super Fast boot time

  • Browser Sync

  • Automatic (and quiet) updates

  • Decent keyboard feel

  • Great battery life (~ 6-7 hours of use)

  • Great integration with google products (expected, but nice)

  • Screen flip button

  • Ctrl+n to open a new window. Dedicated key to switch (where f5 is) between screens. Great way to solve the side-by-side window use in Other OSes. Very quick. Always goes to the right, use shift to the left. Great!

  • Sleek design.

  • Lack of any Logos makes it really appealing

  • web app store has good selection of apps/links to offset lack of local apps.

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