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Hands on with the CR-48

I’ve been spending the last couple hours getting acquainted with my CR-48, and it’s definitely been a fun experience.

I was extremely excited as I dug into the box with the cutesy illustration of a rocket powered mouse wheel to get at the computer.

This excitement was unfortunately short lived. I popped the battery into the laptop and got… nothing. Just one light on the power button. I spent quite a while fiddling around with this and that, before resigning to using it only with an external monitor.

At this point it was all I could do to keep the whole experience from being tarnished. I wanted so badly to just enjoy the laptop for what it was, but I was hindered by this horrendous oversight of an issue. I spent about an hour replying to emails and tweets and such, and catching up on some RSS feeds. The only negative part about this was staring at the monitor connected via VGA and thinking how fuzzy it looked, while trying to balance the laptop on one leg while the two cables pulled against it. Luckily, I spent a bit of time googling and asking my Twitter followers to help, and decided to pop it open and reseat the display cable. Success!

The laptop feels great. Pictures don’t do it justice for just how slim it is, or for the incredible texture of the plastic. In particular, the touchpad is amazing. I’ve read a few complaints about responsiveness, and while I can see where they are coming from, that’s something that I’m sure will get better. But the sheer size of the thing! I’ve never been an Apple person, so my time on Macbooks with their big glass touchpads has been limited. I’ve personally never liked them; the slippery glass just never felt comfortable to me.

But on here, it’s clear that Google took some cues from Apple in terms of taking the good bits and then making them better. Both keyboard and touchpad are fantastic. If this is what Google is instructing the future manufacturer, then I applaud them. It’s that good. Same for the great matte screen. It’s not a mind blowing display, but just being matte and 16:10 (1280×800, I believe) makes it much better then most comparable screens.

Enough about the hardware for now, let’s talk about the OS itself. My goal in this experience is to go slow in experiencing it. Thus, as of yet, I’ve done basic internet tasks. Emails, tweets, browsing, and writing this blog post. All of these have gone remarkably smoothly. In particular, suspend and resume is smooth as butter. When has suspend ever worked well for anything Linux related? Now it does, on Chrome OS.

Once I am a bit more acquainted with the machine, I will have to review it in more depth. I have, after all, only been using it for a bare few hours. Stay tuned in here for tags posted ChromeOS, and also follow my twitter and ChromeOS blog for more pictures and thoughts.