A couple days ago, I got a new laptop. Free. It’s the CR-48 Chrome OS laptop, a test platform for the Chrome operating system from Google. I realized that I need to give some updates on what I’m learning and seeing.
- Working exclusively from a browser feels weird. I’m a messy computer desktop kind of guy. I rightclick and save all the time. I don’t know how to do that.
- I know, of course, that I have to figure out how I’d open some of those files with apps, since the CR-48 only uses apps (not having the applications from another operating system creator). However, Google Docs will convert spreadsheets, jpg files can open in Slideshow, pdf files open fine as well.
- On the other hand, I have been using gmail and google docs for a long time. I have book chapter drafts, conversations with random twitter friends, forms, and spreadsheets. As a result, I make a good test case for this machine and I am very used to working with documents in the cloud.
- I haven’t figured out how to get pictures off my Kodak Ki8 camera. Part of the problem is that I’m used to being able to see thumbnails. I’ll keep working,
- The keyboard is really comfortable. There are some key changes. I never use caplocks, so the shift to a search key in it’s place isn’t a problem. However, not having and pageup and pagedown keys has forced me to learn the keyboard shortcuts. And there are no function keys at all.
- I’m also discovering that I never use the search button. I just open a new browser tab and start typing what I’m searching for, but that’s one of the things about Chrome OS and Chrome as a browser. The address bar is actually a search window too.
- I just discovered Scratchpad today, a notepad application which which will work even when the machine isn’t attached to the internet. When you reconnect, the notes sync with Google docs.
- I’m guessing that some of the hardware issues (only one USB, no hard drive, no printing except through Google cloud printing which I haven’t set up yet, the weird cursor jumps that happen, I think, because I flex the computer while actually using it on my lap) are because the computer is not a production model. It exist, I believe, to give the OS some realworld experience.
- I love the fact that bootup takes way less than a minute. It’s amazing.
- I haven’t tried the 3G capacity of this laptop yet, but will next week.
I have the machine through the pilot program. I applied online, and a couple weeks later the machine showed up. (No email notification, just a cool box.).
I’ll keep you posted as I keep exploring. For now, I’m liking the machine.
Here’s a video of the CR-48 someone else did. Watch that to see what it looks like.