Friday, December 31, 2010

CR-48 Thoughts

I figured I would start 2011 in the same fashion as I did July of 2010, by posting every day. I'm planning another 31 days of not so though provoking fun and frivolity. I decided to throw in one catch this time. I'm going to post from my new laptop.

Earlier in the month, I signed up for Google's Chrome OS pilot program with no expectation at all. I pleaded my case with Google stating that I am a citizen of the clouds and to carry out my patriotic duty I need a device to complete that experience. Someone in Mountain View must have either found great pity on me or agreed that I needed this laptop. On the afternoon of the 14th, one was on my doorstep waiting for me.

I'm still thrilled to have this laptop. There's been a lot said about the Chrome OS, what it lacks, and where it shines. Here's Google's take on their operating system:

So what's my initial take on Chrome OS? My first reaction was to the speed. I'm browsing within 15 seconds even from a cold boot. I have Chrome set to sync with my desktop browser, so everything flows together. I close my browser at work or on my desktop at home, turn on my laptop and it's all right there. I am really enjoying this experience.

The hardware is basic in the most basic sense of the term basic. The keyboard is great, nicely spaced out, I don't miss the caps lock key, but I do miss my delete key. The computer comes with a USB slot, a quasi working SD slot, a VGA port, and a very simple built in webcam. The screen is bright and a comfortable size.

Over time I think I've come to understand the point of Google sending out this laptop free to a set number of developers and enthusiasts. The goal is to show this operating system as a complete work outside the box. I don't see the CR-48 as a laptop, I see it as a portable browser. I don't see me picking up a physical device, I see me picking up the physical internet. With a connection, I am carrying the full web with me. Whether I'm using WiFi or the enabled 3G, I can get online quickly and seamlessly.

Some would think it stinks to be me when I'm not around the an access point. My phone tethers. I'm hardly ever away from an access point. Getting out of the range of T-Mobile's cell towers, that's another story, but rarely is my laptop not functional. I'm actually yet to be away from a connection.

I look forward to software or driver enhancements that give me more access to the solid state hard drive, but until then I can enjoy the benefits of this new and fun machine. I also look forward to sharing my thoughts about it on it and with it over the next 31 days.