Google’s Own Computer in Test

Google CR-48 is the world’s first device with Chrome OS. It shows, unfortunately. But for online-junkies can Google’s computer still seem like a promising step forward.

Google envisions a future where you live your entire digital life online, saves all data in the cloud and using the Web-apps instead of traditional software on the hard disk. The solution is Chrome OS, a lightweight, Linux-based operating system which more or less only consists of a Web browser. Internetgiganten is already fully engaged with a huge project where technology and theses are tested. It is made in the first round with Google’s CR-48 netbook of its own – the first and only machine with Chrome OS. Mobile has got hold of a copy.

CR-48 is similar to spontaneously at first an ordinary netbook. It is gutted from logos, is made of soft black plastic and fitted with a 12.1 inch big screen. The heart is the Intel Atom proessor, who is joined by two gigabytes of memory and 16 gigabytes of storage space. The design is minimalist and functional, and we are fond of the keyboard is spacious and comfortable to type on. There is no Caps Lock key, it has Google instead made into a find button, which opens a new tab in Chrome. CR-48 also has a big trackpad, but the quality of it is nothing on, so we quickly looked up Microsoft’s Arc mouse and pressed the transmitter in one of the CR-48 ‘s USB ports.

Quick start

It takes around 10 seconds for the machine to start up and then it’s another few seconds to log in with your Google account. The first time you log in, you will be asked to take a photo with the built-in webcam, after which you will be introduced to something resembling a normal Chrome browser. The machine wakes up in seconds from sleep mode. Have you already tried the Chrome browser, you’ll feel completely at home in Chrome OS, and bookmarks, add-ons and settings are automatically synchronized.

The difference, of course, that you don’t like starting point has access to the file system and can use other software such as Photoshop, Word, Outlook, Messenger or Skype. Instead, Google suggests that you use Web apps like Google Docs, Picnic and Gmail. Are you in advance large users of online services, it feels easy and natural. But it still requires a certain degree of habituation to use the simplified versions, called Chrome extensions, such as Messenger, Evernote and Dropbox.

Feels like a straitjacket

We’re not going around the fact that Chrome OS and CR-48 currently offers a very limited user experience in comparison with Windows and Mac OS x. You can download files from the Internet and upload them again, but you can not, for example, rooting with a large photo collection, and documents and spreadsheets must be handled through Google Docs. We are also not so impressed by the lethargic Atom processor, which often coughs and hacks when Chrome gets too heavy and advanced Web pages to life, especially those with a lot of Flash content.

You don’t have to either not escape to be constantly connected. CR-48 has built-in wifi and 3 g modem, but you find yourself, for example, on a plane for several hours without internet access is the CR-48 is not worth much. Google indicates that it will expand the possibilities to use Chrome OS offline. CR-48 is an experimental machine. They want to be able to use their computer while offline is probably an important conclusion, but the whole idea of the platform is that it is a window into the opportunities online, and there is probably also a strength. For those who want documents and other things in the cloud services like Google, Evernote and Dropbox are these Crome-computers will go on sale this year, probably a very exciting option.

Question & answers

CR-48 will ever be able to be purchased?

No, not in regular stores. It’s really a test machine, that Google delivers to people who participate in the beta test of Google’s operating system Chrome OS. Now in 2011, including Samsung and Asus with computers running Chrome OS, even to regular stores.


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