Google Chrome OS Cr-48 Notebook Hands-On Preview

Posted: February 10, 2011
Google Chrome OS Cr-48 Notebook Hands-On Preview

Google's Chrome OS Netbook has found its way into Chris Hardwick's hands for Gadget Pr0n, where he'll preview the device, the Chrome operating system and how the Cr-48 Notebook works. The future of cloud computing could be just around the corner!

What You Need To Know

  • The Google C4-48 Chrome OS notebook is a prototype, so we are just giving the device a hands-on preview.
  • The Chrome netbook measures only 1" thick and feels pretty light at 3.5 lbs.
  • The style reminds us of MacBook's uni-body design, with a similar keyboard and touchpad.
  • The chiclet keyboard is easy to type on, though it's not backlit.
  • The notebook also offers new shortcut keys on the top, like Back, Forward, Reload and Full Screen.
  • The caps lock key is replaced with a Search key.
  • The touchpad works by pushing down on to click, and it supports multi-touch gestures like two finger scrolling and two finger right clicking.
  • There is no pinch and zoom, though.
  • The Chrome notebook is all Flash memory based, and it only takes about 15 seconds to start and if you're on standby mode, it's almost instantly on.
  • The most interesting feature about Chrome OS is that it's entirely browser based, so you'll never see icons, folders or anything like that.
  • First, you connect to the Internet with the built-in Wi-fi or 3G and you need a Google login.
  • Once in, all you see is a Chrome browser.
  • Chrome will support the latest version of Flash and anything else you can find ont he web, but the netbook itself is underpowered.
  • Sites with streaming HD video run slow and choppy.
  • Google also has their Chrome web store, which lets you get different apps for Chrome OS, which did add to the functionality to the netbook.
  • The Google web store is really starting to fill out with a lot of different web apps, so you shouldn't have too much trouble finding an app for any task.
  • These "apps" are actually just bookmarks of web pages designed specifically for Chrome.
  • Even though we know cloud computing is on the way, it's kind of disconcerting not being able to run an application off your hard drive.
  • For other normal computer functions, you can open documents easily with Google Docs.
  • Uploading pictures is a little more difficult, since some USB drives are not supported by Chrome OS yet and there's no way to troubleshoot these kinds of problems, either.
  • Google needs to work on a better touchpad with pinch and zoom, expanded driver support for a mouse, USB drives, SD cards and their devices you'd use with a netbook.
  • We also hope they work on a file system and faster hardware.

If you want to test the Chrome notebook for yourself, apply to Google's pilot program here!

Want something reviewed on Gadget Pr0n? Email us your suggestions to gadgetpron@g4tv.com.


Comments are Closed

  • surfthetechwave

    Here is a youtube video on cloud computing.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch ?v=flYZTVpFy7o

    Posted: April 17, 2011 7:44 PM
  • pspmodel2001

    Uploading pictures is a little more difficult, since some USB drives are not supported by Chrome OS yet and there's no way to troubleshoot these kinds of problems, either.
    Google needs to work on a better touchpad with pinch and zoom, expanded driver support for a mouse, USB drives, SD cards and their devices you'd use with a netbook.

    ......... All my flash drives works and all my keyboards and mouses works. I know this is just a test laptop but I love it. Though when I upload pictures to my facebook, it locks up right at the end of the first photo. Oh well, I rarely upload pictures anyway.

    Anyway, this is a great laptop, just need to fix a few things and its pretty much perfect. (For me anyway, don't know about anybody else)

    Posted: February 14, 2011 12:34 PM
  • AndroidSithLord

    I have a CR-48 and it is an alright netbook. To me, it seems like a great computer for students and people looking for something for simple web browsing. It is a prototype and hell it was free and yes it is still full of bugs like a mattress in a New York motel room, but there is no way this is a final product ready for consumer use so all these harsh reviews really aren't warranted. Google is trying something new and they have taken beta testing to another level. On the Chrome Pilot Program form I said I was going to use to browse the web and use Twitter and they sent me one, so it shows they are looking for information from regular everyday people, not the uber tech geeks. Not sure what Chris was doing but a wired and wireless mouse plugged into the USB worked for me without any problems, also I've been able to download music, documents and pictures but with the songs I had to e-mail the to myself to play them on another computer or my phone. At this point in time my Dell Streak with Android has more functionality then the CR-48 but Google is taking everybody's input and working out the kinks. I'd prefer the CR-48 running Android OS just like all the Android based tablets that are flooding the market. I mean seriously the Google may not even release their own notebook running Chrome OS, this is just a test.

    Posted: February 14, 2011 12:52 AM
  • BobitoZ

    No, just no.

    Posted: February 13, 2011 12:44 PM
  • szir

    Nice to see Chris Hardwick.
    "Load a Chrome browser and that's it"
    So it's a "simplified", "dumbed down" Linux with a Chrome browser, right? (I mean functionality wise)
    (sooo... it's pretty much like Android) You need a google account just to log on? Is the password locally cached? how many times can you log on without internet? Is it like when you are part of a windows domain and try to log in without net? ...

    I'm obviously not the target customer for this. I can see some people buying this... but then don't come to me for help when something goes wrong. :
    - There is no internet!
    - OK, where is the ping command? traceroute? DNS cache ... oh, f* it

    so i would like answers to these questions from a review, so I could help the poor souls who bought Chrome OS netbooks

    "optimized for the web, where you already spend most of your computing time"
    I can see the appeal of cloud computing, but I can see some dangers too
    I use Gmail (web interface), it's great, but when I want to send something private I use Thunderbird and send mails encrypted (and digitally signed). Also great way to browse my Gmail account without net.
    I tried Google docs, but I wouldn't edit confidential corporate documents in it...

    What happens when grandma forgets her password? (or someone steals/hacks it)

    So thanks big brother but I will keep some of my stuff...

    Posted: February 13, 2011 11:31 AM
  • applebook

    This piece of trash would be suitable for senior citizens who just want to Google a recipe and check e-mail.

    This is backwards from a netbook, which is barely useful to 90% of us geeks.

    Posted: February 13, 2011 1:04 AM
  • silentshadow867

    I have had a CR-48 for a while now, and I completely agree with what Chris said. I do believe that Google is working on a cloud media player right now that will be similar to how cloud print works. Hopefully this works better than cloud printing, because I hate cloud printing and so do other users. In case you don't know how it works, cloud printing requires you to be logged into gGogle with the same account as your CR-48 in a chrome browser on the computer connected to the printer (even if it is a wireless printer) I really hope they just include the ability to connect via wifi if you're able to. Basically, cloud media sharing will be similar. You will have your media on your primary computer, and you will be able to view/listen to it over the internet with your CR-48 or any other device. The rough concept actually sounds pretty cool. I think that if people put their skepticism aside and all the flaws are ironed out, cloud computing can work and will be awesome. Devices like the CR-48 need to be cheap though for the lack of what they can do.

    The thing people need to keep in mind is that this is not to substitute a computer, this is simply a browser that you can open up instantly and search whatever you need. If cloud computing is used to its fullest potential, this will be a terminal to access all the files from another computer and the web. I am a nerd and I love this device and use it all the time, and like Chris stated, this is still very much a prototype.

    Posted: February 12, 2011 12:13 PM
  • Poopie McGhee

    I've had one since mid December, and I use it more than my other computers. It's pretty nice to check email and things, and the flash isn't the best, but adobe said they were working on an update to fix it. You can access the file system, which is pretty much just standard linux fs. You can also enable SD card and USB support by hitting the search button to pull up a new tab and typing "about:flags" in the address field. I say, as something that's a ways off of being in production, it's pretty nice. (The hardware is just reference, and the software is not close to 1.0). And, Hey! I didn't have to pay for it, so yeah. Maybe I'm not as objective here as I'd like to think...

    Posted: February 11, 2011 6:16 PM
  • belatedconformr

    All about the jolicloud :)

    Posted: February 11, 2011 4:48 PM
  • LaVey

    Cloud computing is in the wrong direction all together. Sure it's something different, and people are very intrigued by "something different" but in a plain honest blurt, it's an absolute terrible idea and it's only taking a gigantic step back. Why get something that a standard machine/laptop/netbook can't already do and more? "Should I get the Google Chrome OS-based machine with a notion of keeping my files and other settings on a server miles and miles away and, if anything, I'm screwed? Or should I get this other machine that has Google chrome ON it and has a fully functioning desktop environment as well as keeping my files locally amongst many many other things? Hmmm.". If they wish to push this cloud computing crap forward, they need to AT LEAST make the built in browser entirely exclusive and have something amazing to offer that normal machines can't get their hands on so, from a marketing perspective, others may want it. In a nutshell, if you're going to try this cloud computing garbage (I'm talking to you Google), then offer something fantastic that windows or any other OS can't provide and if your NOT going to use cloud computing, then FANTASTIC! Make it a standard desktop environment that has both excessive eye candy WHILE making the standard user 200% more productive (Not like I have any ideas *wink wink*) as well as possibly having an exclusive file system structure seen on Windows, Mac and Linux machines that will, not only give the user a familiarity, but set a standard if all goes well. You have your title shot Goggle, don't screw it up and don't get intimidated in trying new things. .........other than cloud computing.

    Posted: February 11, 2011 2:56 PM
  • iKickYourBucket

    WOW. Lets pray to God that Google saw this. Cuz......... Damn!

    Posted: February 11, 2011 1:32 PM
  • Aerindel_Prime

    So...its a heavy, ugly slow version of a Mac Air that only runs a web browser.....yeah...I don't think apple is worried.

    Posted: February 11, 2011 1:20 PM
  • hahyun92

    Misconceptions... Sheesh. You COULD edit audio. YOU cOUld edit pictures. YES there are offline apps. Scratchpad, for example, syncs when your online with google docs while offline you could save to your local cache. There are quite of bit of apps like these, including read later in which you could cache websites for offline view. Also, the New york times app also can be accessed offline. You seriously have not looked into these chrome apps.

    Posted: February 11, 2011 1:17 PM
  • DominoDoug

    G4 should be ashamed of themselves for showing how little they know about this piece of hardware, the OS, and its functionality.

    Posted: February 11, 2011 12:55 PM
  • Sally Wong

    I have "Chrome" as one of my many browsers on my iMac, and its pretty plain looking, but it is really super fast.

    Love and Kisses: Sally Wong :

    Posted: February 11, 2011 12:17 PM
  • zherry

    I just got a chrome laptop in the mail and this review doesn't give it justice. I tried a wired and wireless optical mouse and both of them worked with out a problem. You can also use a usb thumb drive and a san disk to upload photos, you just need an app like piknik. In the about:flags section, they plans on allow you to do all that with out the apps. They also have a media player you can enable.

    This isn't a laptop for every one. If you want to play high end games, get a maxed out pc. If you want to edit and create HD video web series, get the newest mac. If you just want to use the web, with a quick start up, no virus threats, and very simple design, where you're not going to lose all your files if it's destroyed to stolen, and at a very low cost, then the Chrome os is perfect for you.

    This might be a shock to every one at G4 but not every one is a computer nerd that will shell out 5000 bucks for an alienware just to check and mail and look at lolcats. Just think about this as a quick disposable comp. It's perfect for Offices, teenagers, women, older people, and anyone that just wants a back up to use when they're defraging their hard drive.

    Posted: February 11, 2011 8:09 AM
  • Shortlife

    Just a complete waste of time. I understand that it's just "prototype". But if you really wanted to impress me, do something that hasn't already been done. There was nothing to this that set this Netbook apart from any other besides the fact that it completely sucked. A large majority of the people connected to G4 are not High School girls who only use their computers for facebook, pictures, etc. We want more power, better gaming experiences, and the mobility to do it in the back seat of your grandma's car. Now the Razer Switchblade, which is a prototype, is something very impressive. Who wouldn't want to play an MMO like World of Warcraft in the palm of their hands? Well, besides the girls who live on facebook and refuse to leave their internest.

    Check out the Razer Switchblade, it's just amazing. http://www2.razerzone.com/swit chblade/intel

    Posted: February 11, 2011 6:50 AM
  • ilikeboobies

    ilikeboobies's comment is abusive and has been removed.

    Posted: February 10, 2011 11:47 PM
  • jbthomas01

    This preview was totally unnecessary. Clearly this is no where near ready for sale and what they showed will not be close to what the final product will look like. I'm surprised google o.k.ed this considering how little there actually is to say at this point that you can't qualify with "it's a prototype"

    Posted: February 10, 2011 10:21 PM