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.