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Hands-On With Google's Cr-48

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the portal-to-the-tubes dept.

Google 158

adeelarshad82 writes "While Google has made it clear that Cr-48 is nothing more than a test prototype, it was interesting to see the machine Google used to demonstrate Chrome OS. Out of the box, the Cr-48 conjures images of the Black Apple MacBook, from the plain, rubberized chassis to what looks like the same chiclet-style keyboard. The 12-inch notebook weighs about 3.8lbs and comes with a clickpad which recognizes one finger as a left click, while a two-finger tap triggers a right-click function. The laptop obviously contains a hard drive for storing backup data, but the capacity is unknown. The notebook comes with a lone USB port on the right side, which has limited functionaly. For now, thumb drives, hard drives, cameras, printers and other USB peripherals do not work with Cr-48. Google is working on getting its Chrome OS to recognize storage drives, but it's a work in progress. Once Chrome OS does recognize storage drives, users can probably install other OSes on Cr-48 for fun. Video playback seems to struggle with Hulu videos, while YouTube clips were okay. The device operates at a 1,280x800 resolution, which means the Cr-48 can theoretically support 720p video playback, but the videos were capped at 480p." Engadget posted photos a Cr-48 teardown if you'd like a look at its guts. An article at InfoWorld suggests Google needs to work on the cloud offerings underpinning the device.

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Huh? (4, Informative)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34538490)

Unknown capacity? I checked the about:system logs, although I have a hard time reading them, it seems to indicate sda1 is 16gb in size. Correct me if I'm wrong though.

Also I think I was able to get 720p; I'm not sure. But it's easy to check, I'm sure you can try lowering your desktop res and seeing if YouTube caps the resolution. But I doube it.

A B-52 dropping an atomic cock bomb (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34538492)

It airbusts 20,000 feet over adeelarshad82's house, showering him with radioactive, glowing dongs. One penetrates his open mouth and fixes him there on the ground, deepthroated.

How much storage isn't what you should ask... (2)

Salamanders (323277) | more than 3 years ago | (#34538524)

The storage was the biggest mind-bending moment for getting going with the CR-48. I unwrapped it, wondered "how much storage does it have" and then a moment later realized that my thinking had become very un-dude. It doesn't matter how much storage it has!

Re:How much storage isn't what you should ask... (2)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34538756)

Storage for me is still a factor. To put it in perspective, my phone has more storage than the CR-48.

Re:How much storage isn't what you should ask... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34539142)

My phone has 26GBs of storage space (16GB removable) but it's only using 1GB stock, and 1GB for installed apps. CrOS will likely be larger, but the apps will take substantially less space... and most of that (cache allocated) app space could be safely purged and redownloaded.

Re:How much storage isn't what you should ask... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34539196)

I think that you aren't the target market for this device.

Re:How much storage isn't what you should ask... (1)

insnprsn (1202137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34540664)

It sounds to me as though your perspective for the usage of this device is skewed. Google's made it clear that everything about this device is web centric, including storage of files

I found John Resig's review to be interesting (3, Interesting)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#34538536)

Here [ejohn.org]:

The trackpad is absolutely infuriating. It’s as if Google attempted to create a similar trackpad to the Macbook Pro but just got it all wrong. There is two-finger scrolling (good) but no acceleration. Tap-to-click is frustrating and I disabled it immediately. There is no three-finger swipe-to-go-back gesture (which I miss a lot). Performing text selection is absolutely insane. It seems like any combination of having two fingers on the mouse pad simultaneously throws the laptop into “scroll” mode. It’s so bad that it makes me not want to write things on the laptop until it is fixed. As mentioned before there appears to be physical way of doing a right click – but I can’t find a single place in the UI where right-clicking has an effect.

I found this almost exact issue with the cheap netbook trackpads. Too bad Google didn't put a bit more effort into their prototype there.

The keyboard is easily the best part of the Cr-48 hardware. Replacing Capslock with a “New Tab” button is truly inspired. I’ve found myself already starting to rely upon it very heavily. The keyboard feels good to type on and the large Ctrl + Alt keys make for easy key combinations (important when using screen).

Sounds great.

Right now my ideal laptop would be: Take a 13 Macbook Pro, replace the HD with an SSD, replace the DVD drive with more battery, add 3G. I would use that laptop until the end of time.

This is pretty much my setup (external battery unfortunately, and USB 3G card).

Re:I found John Resig's review to be interesting (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34538576)

Too bad Google didn't put a bit more effort into their prototype there.

Or maybe they're working around Apple's (purchased) patent.

Re:I found John Resig's review to be interesting (1)

RajivSLK (398494) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539838)

Let be honest here... The lack of a three finger swipe and other problems are almost certainly a result of patent issues..

Re:I found John Resig's review to be interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34539164)

The keyboard is easily the best part of the Cr-48 hardware. Replacing Capslock with a “New Tab” button is truly inspired. I’ve found myself already starting to rely upon it very heavily. The keyboard feels good to type on and the large Ctrl + Alt keys make for easy key combinations (important when using screen).

Sounds great.

Really? Why would there be need for that? The standard "new tab" shortcut (CTRL+T) is already done with the same hand and without having to move it nearly at all and people have gotten used to it. Does one really use THAT much more tabs in it that it's useful to replace such an easy shortcut with even easier one?

Not that I would be a fan of the caps lock. Pretty much anything at all would be more useful (I'm not sure if I've EVER used it) but I somehow fail to see the benefit of a new key just to replace ctrl+t

Re:I found John Resig's review to be interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34539198)

Looks like someone is cranky because it isn't a Mac clone.

Re:I found John Resig's review to be interesting (2, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539490)

Looks like someone's cranky that apple got their trackpad drivers right and can't cope with the idea that apple can produce things that work well.

Re:I found John Resig's review to be interesting (1)

teg (97890) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539636)

Looks like someone is cranky because it isn't a Mac clone.

Given that the parent writes of "ctrl+t" rather than "cmd+t", I don't think he uses a mac. "ctrl+t" only works on Windows and Linux.

Re:I found John Resig's review to be interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34539292)

This is pretty much my setup (external battery unfortunately, and USB 3G card).

That is pretty much my setup too only its an Air (SSD and DVD already covered) with a tethered iPhone when I need 3G.

Re:I found John Resig's review to be interesting (5, Insightful)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34540218)

Hmmm... I know you in particular weren't really complaining, but numerous of these reviews are. And I can't figure out why...

(1) it's a prototype

(2) it should be the lowest common denominator - not the highest. Best way to test and tweak things. It's why I know what I download/install/test on my T-Mo G1 (or on an ADP1) will work very well on other hardware.

(3) They (Google) paid for 60,000 of these (in money or other considerations) - did you really expect TEST PROTOTYPE versions to be uber-high end?

(4) A lot of the complaints seem to be about unfinished or untweaked stuff... to that, I have to say "DUH!!!!" - that is, after all, the purpose of this testing. To see what needs to be improved. To see what needs to be replaced/re-written. To allow testing while Google finishes off other parts of the software for these types of devices.

I dunno... that's my opinion on this. Yours may vary. :-)

Weird (2)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 3 years ago | (#34538544)

I've read case studies about product life cycles... watching something go from cutting edge, proprietary and lucrative to being a virtual commodity with low (normal?) profit margins. yet it is weird living through this with the PC. I remember my first PC around '79... very expensive and not able to do much. Today, PCs are way overpowered for what 99% of the population needs. New features are not driving much in the way of additional sales.

Google looks to make the "PC" experience consistent for everyone with much less fussing and fewer options. While I rebel against this myself, I must admit that for most folks, Google's offering seems to make a lot of sense.... most people just want to get on the net, send an email and check out facebook. Google offers this without having to configure anything.

So yeah, we have moved from the wild frontier to the "just another product" category. In some ways I will miss it... in others I think it is overdue. And no, Google isn't the first offering like this.... however it is the first from a company with enough financial, technical and social connections to make it work.

Not really... (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34538934)

Today, PCs are way overpowered for what 99% of the population needs. New features are not driving much in the way of additional sales.

Perhaps, "needs" but not what they want. Take for instance what most people like to play their music with: iTunes. On a PC it is a memory hog, is laggy and needs a lot of power to run correctly. Sure, most people don't "need" iTunes, Foobar2000 does a great job organizing music on Windows, VLC is great at playing music/videos, etc. but most people are familiar with and want to use iTunes. And what about video playback? And forget about gaming without a dedicated video card, etc.

Plus, prices are still stagnant. Despite that generic Leveno netbooks have been out without a spec boost or anything for a year or two now, I don't see any real drop in prices. Bottom-end computers aren't getting any cheaper, despite them essentially doing less and less every year. I'd have no problem buying the Cr-48 if it cost less than a normal netbook (or heck, a bottom-end laptop!) if I'm going to be able to do less with it, the price needs to reflect it. I don't want to pay $300 for a netbook anymore, and if it is only in the "cloud" the price should be around $150 or so.

Re:Not really... (3, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539208)

Today, PCs are way overpowered for what 99% of the population needs. New features are not driving much in the way of additional sales.

Perhaps, "needs" but not what they want. Take for instance what most people like to play their music with: iTunes. On a PC it is a memory hog, is laggy and needs a lot of power to run correctly. Sure, most people don't "need" iTunes, Foobar2000 does a great job organizing music on Windows, VLC is great at playing music/videos, etc. but most people are familiar with and want to use iTunes.

Do they actually want to use iTunes? Or do they use it because it plays nice with their iPod, lets them buy music, and isn't horrifyingly complex? Would they maybe be happier if they could just use an iPod independently? If they could buy their music right on the iPod and never have to touch a computer for their music?

It's been my experience that most people don't really want to use a computer at all... What they want to do is play music, or write a letter, or check their email, or whatever. They've got some task they want to accomplish. Some goal in mind. And right now those tasks typically involve a computer.

But if you had a simple hardware appliance, like the iPod, that enabled them to do their task without ever touching a general-purpose computer? Most of them would be thrilled.

Re:Not really... (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539358)

Most people don't want to learn anything, most people want to use the same thing that they were brought up using. The vast majority of people don't want to advance. And if you show them anything electronic that they aren't pressured in to using because of some outside force, they won't use it. How many older people only learned to use a computer because their boss was throwing away the typewriters and they were forced to use DOS? How many people would still be using DOS if it came pre-shipped on most computers and they used DOS at work? Heck, how many people would rather use XP (or earlier) than deal with Vista or 7? People don't want to learn to use new things unless they are pressured. If they wouldn't be looked down upon by others (and tapes were still sold in stores) how many people would still be using a Walkman? Etc. If they still sold the same phone, how many people do you think would would still be using a simple phone?

I've tried switching people who weren't fans of Windows over to Linux and the vast majority switched back to Windows, why? Because it was different. People don't want to change unless some outside force makes them change. Unless there is a force preventing people from going back, or outside pressure to conform, the vast majority of people won't change.

Re:Not really... (2)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539584)

Or do they use it because it plays nice with their iPod, lets them buy music, and isn't horrifyingly complex?

Why are these not good reasons to want to use something? Playing music in a non-horrifyingly complex way is pretty much exactly what most people want!

Would they maybe be happier if they could just use an iPod independently? If they could buy their music right on the iPod and never have to touch a computer for their music?

They can. The music store is available on all iPod touches and iPhones, and doesn't need a computer to provide the music at all – of course it'll automatically back up for you when you plug in –another reason to want iTunes.

But if you had a simple hardware appliance, like an iPod, that enabled them to do their task without ever touching a general-purpose computer? Most of them would be thrilled.

Yep, that's yet another reason why iPods are so popular ;)

Re:Not really... (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539238)

No, most people don't want to use iTunes. iPod owners, and people whose kids are iPod owners. Others just use Windows Media Player, as it comes pre-installed, and is far superior.

Re:Not really... (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539526)

if it is only in the "cloud" the price should be around $150 or so.

If its 'only in the cloud' and/or 'always going to force advertisements at me' then they should be paying you to use it, not you paying them for the privilege.

Re:Weird (1)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539604)

So why not just get an iPad? This device has less capability and power than an iPad for what? I can browse the internet on an iPad, it's instant on with a long battery life and lot's of storage. Plus it hosts a lot of applications that are as simple to install and maintain and use as you can possibly get. If you don't need the power of a full PC (including netbooks) why would you want this instead of an iPad? It has the disadvantages of a laptop (e.g. form factor) and none of the advantages.

Re:Weird (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539990)

Since when is the form factor of a laptop a disadvantage? except that it doesn't have a proper mouse? The form factor of an iPad is even more disadvantageous as it lacks both a proper mouse and a proper keyboard.

Re:Weird (1)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34540096)

You only need "a proper mouse and a proper keyboard" if you need a PC and this isn't a PC at all. You can use a "proper keyboard" with an iPad if you like and I do if I have a lot of typing to do and I'm not using my PC. The problem with the laptop form factor - though it's fine for PCs - is that it is more prone to damage and is less "portable" than a pad form factor. With a pad form factor there is nothing to open or close. You just use it directly. You don't have to have a lap or a table or be sitting down. So, tell me why this device is better than a PC type laptop or an iPad type device? It is less powerful than either one.

Re:Weird (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34540340)

I won't argue for the cr-48, I do think its pretty useless.

How is your tablet more portable if you have to bring your external keyboard as well to match the same functionality?

How is a laptop form factor make it less portable and more easily damaged because it folds? the fold protects the screen from damage and provides the keyboard in one unit so that you don't have to carry it separately.

You do not need a lap or table or be sitting down to use a laptop either, especially so for the ones with touch screens that are available now. My old stylus based laptop from about 7 years ago only lacked multi touch and battery life in comparison to the iPad and had better hardware, more storage and a dvd drive.

Re:Weird (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34541132)

You only need "a proper mouse and a proper keyboard" if you need a PC and this isn't a PC at all.

I need a proper keyboard to do substantial document editing, email, etc., all of which can, via various web apps (many of which are Google web apps), be done on this device, without a PC-style OS.

So, no, its not at all true that needing a keyboard to get the best use of a device also means needing all the things that a PC-style OS like Ubuntu/Windows/OSX has that this doesn't.

You can use a "proper keyboard" with an iPad if you like and I do if I have a lot of typing to do and I'm not using my PC.

Sure, you can buy an add-on keyboard to use with an iPad, at which point you've turned it into a very expensive netbook with a smaller screen than a Cr-48. Unless the Cr-48 is at least twice as expensive as you'd expect given its apparent hardware specs, the iPad isn't going to be price competitive.

The problem with the laptop form factor - though it's fine for PCs - is that it is more prone to damage and is less "portable" than a pad form factor.

Sure, if you mostly use your device for things for which you don't want a keyboard, a netbook is less portable than an iPad. If you mostly use it for tasks that do work best with a physical keyboard, the clamshell is much more convenient -- both to carry and to set up -- than a tablet + separate keyboard + stand that will hold the device at a convenient angle for using a keyboard.

You don't have to have a lap or a table or be sitting down.

I don't need that for my existing 11.6" netbook, since its pretty much the perfect size to hold open in my left hand and use the keyboard or trackpad with my right. Though, sure, if I had to use a computing device a lot when I was standing up, I'd prefer a tablet -- probably a smaller one than an iPad -- or a smartphone.

So, tell me why this device is better than a PC type laptop or an iPad type device?

It'll be better than a laptop/netbook running a full PC-style OS for many users because it is simpler to use in practice.

It'll be better than an iPad for many users because it has a keyboard.

It'll be better than an iPad for many users because it will likely be substantially less expensive.

For some users, the iPad will be better. For some users, a traditional laptop will be better. For some users, something else will be better.

   

Re:Weird (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34540390)

Price? The iPad is still $458. If they can sell this for $250 or less, it's a good advantage, especially for some market segments.

Re:Weird (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34540982)

If you don't need the power of a full PC (including netbooks) why would you want this instead of an iPad?

Because it has a built-in keyboard, and your usage is typing heavy?

Because, judging by prices of netbooks with comparable hardware that include a non-zero additional cost for Windows, the likely retail price for a 3G-enabled ChromeOS netbook equipped similarly to the Cr-48 is significantly lower than the cost of the iPad?

Because it has a bigger screen than an iPad?

Because -- by the time the retail version is available -- you can directly attach USB devices, unlike the iPad?

It has the disadvantages of a laptop (e.g. form factor) and none of the advantages.

Several of the advantages of laptops over tablets relate to the form factor -- the keyboard, for one thing.

I was disappointed by Google... (2, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#34538600)

...and here's why:

While the Cr-48's big event recently could be seen worldwide over the internet infrastructure that Google itself supports, testing of this device was only limited to those residing in the US!

This was unfair to those outside the United States. Making things even worse was the fact that at registration, one only came to this realization after being asked about what the U.S. State of residence is. This would be after asking for all other information!

Google should have allowed those without a U.S. shipping address to be billed for any expenses if they really wanted to be part of the testing regime. Heck...Google has "Google Checkout", right?

I was not happy at all. Google being a worldwide company would have benefited a lot from worldwide input.

How am I wrong?

Re:I was disappointed by Google... (3, Funny)

Ultra64 (318705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34538810)

How dare google not offer free things to everyone in the world!

Re:I was disappointed by Google... (1)

puto (533470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34538862)

And just where are you in the world? Google is still in early testing stages and I would imagine that since they are a a US based company that they wanted to control who has access to their device in the testing stages. Then they are going to do a larger localized testing rollout in other parts of the world. Which is fairly normal for anything this early in a product development stage.

Re:I was disappointed by Google... (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539022)

And just where are you in the world?

Thanks for asking: I am just across the borderline in Welland, Ontario Canada. This small town is less than 50KM from the US border.

Remember I did not want 'free' stuff and as such, was willing to meet all costs involved in order to be useful in this testing period.

Re:I was disappointed by Google... (1)

jmikelittle (1246304) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539868)

I'm not surprised that you're raged, as a fellow Canuck I also pine for the goods available 1 hour and a sensual TSA patdown away, but you really shouldn't be surprised.

Re:I was disappointed by Google... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34538900)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but when doing any sort of LIMITED testing, you generally want to have some constraints on the testing conditions, correct? Wouldn't geographic location seem to be a reasonable constraint then? Or are you one of those people whose first instinct when testing something is to throw as many random variables into the mix all at once?

Re:I was disappointed by Google... (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539070)

...and here's why:

While the Cr-48's big event recently could be seen worldwide over the internet infrastructure that Google itself supports, testing of this device was only limited to those residing in the US!

This was unfair to those outside the United States. Making things even worse was the fact that at registration, one only came to this realization after being asked about what the U.S. State of residence is. This would be after asking for all other information!

Google should have allowed those without a U.S. shipping address to be billed for any expenses if they really wanted to be part of the testing regime. Heck...Google has "Google Checkout", right?

I was not happy at all. Google being a worldwide company would have benefited a lot from worldwide input.

How am I wrong?

Perhaps you are wrong by not having read up on this Pilot Program to see that they will be expanding testing to non-US companies in the future. Among other things, I suspect they have deals/agreements to make with wireless/cell carriers in non-US locations (such as the agreement with Verizon, where we get 100MB data per month for free, for two years).

On top of that, there's differences in hardware that needs to be considered. Most people don't think about that either. But, for the same reason I cannot take my T-Mobile G1 and connect it to Verizon's entirely different network, I would suspect you could not take a device with a cell modem designed for Verizon's network and connect to most other carriers' networks. You're going to be waiting on a device (and drivers, and the agreement part I mentioned above) that supports a carrier in your country.

Regardless, if the CR-48 pages are correct, it will only be a matter of time before it's rolled out in other countries. All of them? Some of them? Two other countries? A dozen? Notta clue... just know that they claim to have that in the plans for the near future.

Re:I was disappointed by Google... (1)

mistapotta (941143) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539670)

In games of chance (which Google giving away fewer laptops than there are requests for one,) different municipalities have different rules for fairness purrposes. Google can't be expected to know the rules for every city, county, parish, province, state, or country. c.f. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skill_testing_question [wikipedia.org]

Re:I was disappointed by Google... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34539790)

Blame your country's government. In addition to (and perhaps larger than) the other reasons given in this thread, it's not exactly easy for a US company to give "free" stuff to people in other countries. Tax laws, tariffs, duties, etc. all can derail the process.

Case in point - I wanted to give a $10 gift certificate as a thank you to survey respondents, but the tax, duty, and shipping requirements meant that each GC would have cost me $26 (in addition to the cost of the card). Needless to say, I had to limit the survey (well, the incentive) to US participants only, regardless of my desires.

Re:I was disappointed by Google... (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 3 years ago | (#34541092)

Not that I don't feel your pain (am a UK resident myself), but honestly now, you've got no grounds to complain.

This isn't a mass market product. It's just a testbed, a proof of concept, a developer device in it's very earliest beta at best. They're a US company. Don't you think it makes sense that they'd have their very early beta testing start out locally, before they (even supposing they do) expand the test globally? Would it be such a crime if they kept their testing local, and the first taste you and I might get will be when the products hit the shelves?

My interpretation was that the device doing the rounds (CR-48) is never meant for mass market- it's generic netbook hardware with ChromeOS loaded and optimised. If you just want to try out ChromeOS on a generic netbook, it's available for download as "ChromiumOS". Go pop it on your own generic netbook and enjoy.

Wouldn't buy one. (1, Informative)

wiredog (43288) | more than 3 years ago | (#34538634)

Too many places I've been where you want a laptop or video viewer, but don't have cloud access.

Re:Wouldn't buy one. (0)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34538864)

Exactly, plus it is far too often paying more (or the same) for less. Yeah, Windows XP or vanilla Ubuntu isn't that great on a 10 inch screen sometimes, but at least you have all the application compatibility that you need.

Re:Wouldn't buy one. (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34538926)

You realize that "cloud" is a marketing term that means even less than "Web 2.0", right? I think you mean "internet access", or maybe even "Internet access" given your UID.

Re:Wouldn't buy one. (1)

dragonhunter21 (1815102) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539034)

It is a handicap, but the 100mb of free 3G a month mitigates that a bit. Or I imagine it would, if I could get the bloody thing to activate.

Now if only they'd allow me to attach that to my phone subscription (unlimited data) or allow me to tether my Droid to it.

Re:Wouldn't buy one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34539340)

If you meant 'internet' access then that isn't even a 100%-uptime prerequisite for 'cloud' access today. A media player (not even cloud dependent) will either cache itself using HTML5 offline capabilities, or it will be installed locally using Chrome's packaged app support.

Right now everyone is waiting for Google to unveil offline support in its existing web apps, but that doesn't mean it isn't possible right now for 3rd-party developers. There are a small number [google.com] of offline apps if you look hard enough.

Just a Prototype (3, Funny)

Dialecticus (1433989) | more than 3 years ago | (#34538726)

While Google has made it clear that Cr-48 is nothing more than a test prototype...

I'm waiting for the final version, which I presume will be called the C-64. I hope my old "Little Computer People" disk is still viable...

Re:Just a Prototype (3, Funny)

sorak (246725) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539678)

While Google has made it clear that Cr-48 is nothing more than a test prototype...

I'm waiting for the final version, which I presume will be called the C-64. I hope my old "Little Computer People" disk is still viable...

I thought the final version was going to be Cr-48 beta.

Re:Just a Prototype (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539894)

While Google has made it clear that Cr-48 is nothing more than a test prototype...

I'm waiting for the final version, which I presume will be called the C-64. I hope my old "Little Computer People" disk is still viable...

How about HP's offering, the HP-48? There's a model number I enjoyed using 20 years ago. Display technology and storage have improved since then, while UI and capabilities have declined.

Re:Just a Prototype (1)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539914)

I don't think computers and devices come with any little computer people any more. I think they were all replaced with mice sometime back in the early 90s.

        -dZ.

UTTER FAILURE (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34538742)

NO CAPS LOCK KEY.

Isn't this the second nail in the coffin for this thing recently?

Re:UTTER FAILURE (3, Insightful)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34538956)

NO CAPS LOCK KEY.

Isn't this the second nail in the coffin for this thing recently?

I DON'T KNOW, I NEVER USE MY CAPS LOCK KEY. WHAT'S IT FOR?

Seriously though, except for programming/development, or for those who LOVE SHOUTING IN EVERY POST/MSG/ETC BECAUSE THEY DON'T KNOW BETTER (or those who still program in the original MS-DOS BASIC), I don't see it as a big problem.

Heck, even for programmers (I often type those special "certain things" in ALL CAPS), I still find it easier to simply hold down the shift key (which is actually how I did the capitalized section above). Maybe it's all a matter of the keyboard, but I find on my Model M, it's very easy to hold shift with my pinky and type with the remaining fingers relatively normal.

Re:UTTER FAILURE (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539652)

WHAT'S IT FOR?

I still find it easier to simply hold down the shift key (which is actually how I did the capitalized section above).

LOL... some other message boards have been littered with I CAN"T LIVE WITHOUT CAPS LOCK comments, where that tell-tale " exposes their LIES.

Anyway, kudos for managing to get the quote key correct... somehow... (we'll just have to assume you weren't cheating and really using the CAPS LOCK ;-)

Re:UTTER FAILURE (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539794)

Lotsa time using the same keyboard series helps. Makes it seem natural to shift/unshift.

I do a lot of REXX coding (and formerly some C++) and follow IBM's naming conventions for their C++ functions when creating REXX functions (such as VioWrtTTY), so, I've gotten very used to switching shift state pretty quickly and with minimal errors.

Re:UTTER FAILURE (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539774)

And more to the point, it's been pointed out already that they haven't removed the caps lock functionality, just a key dedicated to it. You can still go into CAPS LOCK mode by double taping the shift key or if you are really really adverse to change, go into the settings and change the key back to being caps lock.

Re:UTTER FAILURE (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539814)

And more to the point, it's been pointed out already that they haven't removed the caps lock functionality, just a key dedicated to it. You can still go into CAPS LOCK mode by double taping the shift key or if you are really really adverse to change, go into the settings and change the key back to being caps lock.

Yeah, I guess lately posting FUD is more fun here on slashdot though. I'm getting used to it. Hope you do too. :-)

What? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34538754)

Why on Earth do people care about this thing? You've got a big community that used to be mostly Open-Source advocates, and you can't even install software on this darn netbook. The *only* benefit to the average consumer is its low cost.

Right now we've got a bunch of idiots figuring out what tasks they'll use this for instead of their laptop or their netbook. The answer is none. If you are fortunate to own either of those devices, they'll do everything that this stupid thing will do *and* all of the stuff that they normally do. There is no reason at all for you to want a CR-48, aside from feeling cool that you got to be part of a Google beta program.

Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34538884)

doesntgetit.jpg

Re:What? (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539008)

Ummm... that is the whole idea behind cloud computing. It also leverages Google's Cloud Services, which will surely be a benefit for them. And... it's a growing, increasing trend - even if most people don't recognize it.

With their recent improvements in various of their cloud services (Docs and Calendar, to name a couple), for many users, it will be more than enough for them - in a similar fashion to those who love their iPads or Android Pads. It just means another option for them.

There's also a BIG business market for these. I know. That's one of the sectors we do work for. The market is VERY VERY VERY HUGE - and it's kind of sad that many people out there do not understand the potential for a device such as this one.

Re:What? (3, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539792)

We've done this before, anyone remember thin clients?

Maybe this time 'the cloud' will take off, maybe not.

But either way, yes this has the potential for being big.

Re:What? (2)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539874)

We've done this before, anyone remember thin clients?

Maybe this time 'the cloud' will take off, maybe not.

But either way, yes this has the potential for being big.

Bingo! And there were some companies that made (and still do) extensive use of them. CompUSA used them a lot for various of their systems, all hooked to their own "cloud". The market still exists, if there are people out there willing to fulfill the right needs.

Fortunately, Microsoft seems to have given up on their thin client model, and has no idea what cloud computing is. That gives me hope that true cloud computing will find it's place, driven by those who do understand the potentials. Heh, to think that one of the big honchos in Microsoft's Office Online stuff cited their vast "cloud computing" experience as their botched takeover of Hotmail (and subsequent half decade to finally migrate it from Solaris and FreeBSD to Windows) made me laugh my ass off.

Re:What? (2)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539194)

Why on Earth do people care about this thing? You've got a big community that used to be mostly Open-Source advocates

And a demonstration device running what is mostly (entirely?) an open source OS (Chromium OS is open source, not sure if Chrome OS has closed components -- I thoght Flash was, but the popular Chromium OS builds apparently have "full Flash support", so unless they've replaced the built in support with something else...)

I think I might detect a connection...

and you can't even install software on this darn netbook.

So?

of course hulu was slow (2)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#34538830)

it's flash. Youtube was serving up H.264 (or possibly WebM).

Re:of course hulu was slow (2)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34538996)

Hulu doesn't use the newer video acceleration features in Flash, YouTube does.

With the right hardware hooks, you can play back a BluRay rip on a machine that has no hope of dealing with Hulu.

Timing... (2)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34538904)

Well, I am glad I got in my request for one days before this story got posted here. Hopefully that will improve my chances.

Anyway, simple fact is, a lot of things have moved, or will be moving into "the cloud" - especially with the popularity of AndroidOS based phones. I for one never ever ever want to go back to managing and maintaining contacts on a damn cell phone again. Much rather be able to add them "to the cloud" and edit/change them from my PC/phone/whatever from "the cloud" - and replace my phone with another Android based phone (hey, my G1 is definitely up for retirement) and need do nothing but log in. Same goes for a variety of other Google Services.

Whether this laptop is great, sucks, whatever; true cloud computing (ie: forget Microsoft's lame commercials - they understand cloud computing as much as they did/do object oriented programming... inotherwords, not at all)... true cloud computing is going to become a lot more prevalent in this day and age. Jumping on that bandwagon early as it grows is a good thing. If Google doesn't get this right on the first time out, I am sure they will work on improving it.

The "cloud" is worthless (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539166)

For most practical things, the "cloud" is worthless as a primary storage device. Yes the "cloud" can be useful for backing up data off-site as you noted with contacts with Android. There are some big drawbacks to the "cloud" though.

A) Lack of access. There are many places where it is impossible to get any internet connection (or at least anything that you aren't paying out of the ass for), travel is the number one reason I use my laptop on the go. If I'm on a bus that doesn't have wi-fi on it, I have no internet. Yes, you can buy things through cell phone companies that let you use the internet, but they are expensive and now they are even eliminating unlimited data, giving you a tiny amount of usable data at a high price at low speeds.

B) It is more expensive. For the price of two months of cell phone data service, you can get a decent 500 GB - 1 TB HDD. Yes, I know that hard drives fail, but assuming that they don't fail within 2 months of use, you are essentially saving money by storing your things locally and only using the "cloud" for backups on your home internet connection.

C) It isn't secure. The "cloud" is only as secure as your trust for the person or company that has your data. It shouldn't surprise you that the companies who push the "cloud" as a revolution are the same people who make money off of mining your personal data? Sites like Google and Facebook. Now, I'm not saying that either of those sites is 100% untrustworthy, but still, their main source of income is through selling data to advertisers and selling ads. Not to mention that break-ins and the lack of data integrity is possible, not to mention the legal implications as governments have been known to plant evidence, add that plus a willing company and you have potential jail time for doing nothing wrong.

D) Internet connections aren't uniform. Sure, in a big city or an affluent suburb fast, free, wi-fi is prevalent, with enough money you can buy a nearly lag-free 4G modem and use 4G for surfing the web and accessing the "cloud", but lets say you go to visit your obscure relatives for a family reunion in Middleofnowhere, Iowa. Suddenly, your 4G isn't going to work there, you might not get any service at all, and the house you are staying at has no internet beyond dial-up.


Yes, eventually the "cloud" might change the world. But right now, you'd be foolish to buy into this Chrome OS hype.

Re:The "cloud" is worthless (1)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539446)

Just to respond to your arguments about the drawbacks of cloud computing:

A. From my own experience, this is rarely a problem - at least within countries that have a good Internet infrastructure. Most places you can get WiFi somewhere, and even in a country like the U.S., which is spread out, most areas have internet access. The ones that are far in few between (say, the mid-northwest of the U.S.) is the exact reason Google, Apple, and others are building their devices with 3G. Typically cell phone coverage is good enough for basic needs, and you can wait until you get back to a true connection (read: WiFi) for others (watching Netflix or something).

B. Oh, I wouldn't say that. I use most of Google's services, and it's absolutely free to me. Yeah, if I'm paying for a cell phone data plan, that costs me $30 a month, but I'm not paying for that plan JUST to use the cloud. I'm paying it for all the internet access I get (back to part A). So, it's not really comparing apples to apples. And, of course, "backing up things locally" is not good if you truly want to protect your data. Sure, it's great for doing quick transfers or something like that, but if something happens to your home (say, hurricane, flash flood, fire, etc), my guess is that both your PC and your external hard drive are going. Cloud back-up is redundant and off-site. That's definitely a plus.

C. This is a point I semi-agree with. For those of us here who are smarter than the average bear, or have a greater insight into computers, we probably have more secure systems (since we are probably only managing a few) and present a much smaller target than, say, Google. But too many people out there download SuperTrojan or CoolScreeSaver.exe and suddenly find themselves infected. In their case, Google can do a much better job than they can at protecting their syste.m

D. This is really the same argument as A, so...

right now, you'd be foolish to buy into this Chrome OS hype.

I disagree. I can think of a number of people who this would work really well for. And, while it is still new and it's a huge disruptive approach to The Way Things Are(tm), I think there is some real potential. Is it going to be perfect? No. Like they demonstrated with Android, Google likes to learn as they go. It sometimes is to their detriment - as it was with Google Wave. It was an amazing idea, but the implementation was poor at best and they did very little to market it and/or sell it correctly (which, coincidentally, I believe is also a problem of theirs with their efforts at a social networking platform). However, if they do this right, Google has the capability of really causing some major waves in how people think and use computers. I, for one, am interested in seeing what happens.

Re:The "cloud" is worthless (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539548)

For most practical things, the "cloud" is worthless as a primary storage device. Yes the "cloud" can be useful for backing up data off-site as you noted with contacts with Android. There are some big drawbacks to the "cloud" though.

Not as many as you allude to... and I find it useful for a lot of other things - collaborative docs (Google Docs) being one. I also have clients that (a) need to move virtually everything into the cloud and (b) want a machine that things CANT be installed onto. The need for this, even if it is not your own need, is still very very large. If this netbook project succeeds, we could potentially sell a few thousand in a year - without trying very hard - and just in our area.

A) Lack of access. There are many places where it is impossible to get any internet connection (or at least anything that you aren't paying out of the ass for), travel is the number one reason I use my laptop on the go. If I'm on a bus that doesn't have wi-fi on it, I have no internet. Yes, you can buy things through cell phone companies that let you use the internet, but they are expensive and now they are even eliminating unlimited data, giving you a tiny amount of usable data at a high price at low speeds.

Hmmm... my data plan is flat rate, unlimited (yeah, unlike Verizon). And I've got access almost anywhere to a cell data signal. Sorry you are getting ass-raped by your carrier.

And as the popularity of other devices have shown, there are plenty of people willing to pay a bunch for a data plan.

B) It is more expensive. For the price of two months of cell phone data service, you can get a decent 500 GB - 1 TB HDD. Yes, I know that hard drives fail, but assuming that they don't fail within 2 months of use, you are essentially saving money by storing your things locally and only using the "cloud" for backups on your home internet connection.

Sorry you have a pricey cell carrier. Also, the cloud isn't about "backing up data"

C) It isn't secure. The "cloud" is only as secure as your trust for the person or company that has your data. It shouldn't surprise you that the companies who push the "cloud" as a revolution are the same people who make money off of mining your personal data? Sites like Google and Facebook. Now, I'm not saying that either of those sites is 100% untrustworthy, but still, their main source of income is through selling data to advertisers and selling ads. Not to mention that break-ins and the lack of data integrity is possible, not to mention the legal implications as governments have been known to plant evidence, add that plus a willing company and you have potential jail time for doing nothing wrong.

Common misconception. We plan on expanding our cloud services onto these types of devices. Our cloud services are very secure. Our next implementation will be at the client's and under their control - and will only be as insecure as they decide they want it.

You have to remember, the cloud doesn't mean using someone else's services. It means having a centralized app/file/platform serving location.

D) Internet connections aren't uniform. Sure, in a big city or an affluent suburb fast, free, wi-fi is prevalent, with enough money you can buy a nearly lag-free 4G modem and use 4G for surfing the web and accessing the "cloud", but lets say you go to visit your obscure relatives for a family reunion in Middleofnowhere, Iowa. Suddenly, your 4G isn't going to work there, you might not get any service at all, and the house you are staying at has no internet beyond dial-up.

I might get.... hmmm... 3G in Middleofnowhere. Been there, done that. And Wifi nearby too. That's in a tiny city in upstate New York with a population of a few hundred. So small, there's no fast food places, no 7-11's, no Starbucks, and only 3 local restaurants and a local grocery store and a Stewarts.

Yes, eventually the "cloud" might change the world. But right now, you'd be foolish to buy into this Chrome OS hype.

Or foolish to NOT jump on the bandwagon early to make sure you don't have a big learning curve and to make sure you know how to capitalize on something that will soon become a big market.

I wrote a video service once... used it for a few of our own projects... toyed with the idea of opening it to "the public" (eventually opened it to our customers). Kinda sad, that I didnt stick with it (this was back in 2001, years before YouTube existed). This time around, I plan on running through the door as soon as it opens, and staying for the whole ride.

Re:The "cloud" is worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34539892)

By this logic, everybody would need a huge track just because, once a year they might possibly need to haul a new fridge home from the shop.

Oh wait...

Re:The "cloud" is worthless (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34540118)

you mean truck? Personally I do think that most households should have a truck, at least a small one. Most people could get by with mini truck like a hi-jet, but a s-10/dakota/frontier/etc light truck is easier to register and license for highway use in most states.

Re:Timing... (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539484)

Why anyone would jump at the chance to give away every bit of personal data over to one corporation, and exposed over the internet, is beyond me. There is no added convenience when your own personal, locked down, devices all sync with each other.

Re:Timing... (1)

jittles (1613415) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539668)

I for one never ever ever want to go back to managing and maintaining contacts on a damn cell phone again. Much rather be able to add them "to the cloud" and edit/change them from my PC/phone/whatever from "the cloud" - and replace my phone with another Android based phone (hey, my G1 is definitely up for retirement) and need do nothing but log in. Same goes for a variety of other Google Services.

I like the cloud for contacts and calendar, too. But, I dont' want to give Google any more info on me than they already have.... so I am running a Zimbra server that lets me push stuff to my phone. Giving Google full control over all my info, documents, and apps, does not sound like a good time to me.

Re:Timing... (3, Informative)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34540334)

I for one never ever ever want to go back to managing and maintaining contacts on a damn cell phone again. Much rather be able to add them "to the cloud" and edit/change them from my PC/phone/whatever from "the cloud" - and replace my phone with another Android based phone (hey, my G1 is definitely up for retirement) and need do nothing but log in. Same goes for a variety of other Google Services.

I like the cloud for contacts and calendar, too. But, I dont' want to give Google any more info on me than they already have.... so I am running a Zimbra server that lets me push stuff to my phone. Giving Google full control over all my info, documents, and apps, does not sound like a good time to me.

And why can't you use your own cloud servers? I'm only a half decent programmer, but I know how to use both dedicated/our own cloud servers AND link what data I need/want to through Google's services for where there's overlap (like contacts, maps, docs, picasa, etc). It's very very easy. All the APIs are in place. Anyone with just a little programming skill can do it.

Heck, you can even run your own versions of Google's services to "disconnect" from them yet still run the same services solely for you and/or your customers.

ChromeOS is for fucking bastards (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34538974)

If you buy a chromeos device you might as well chop off your penis.

Re:ChromeOS is for fucking bastards (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 3 years ago | (#34540352)

If you buy a chromeos device you might as well chop off your penis.

Instead, how about when I buy a ChromeOS device, I chop off your penis, since you seem to have a thing for such oddities.

Just one USB? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34539138)

When Apple put only one USB in the Macbook Air, all the Slashdot-nerds were jumping up and down, but now when Google does it it's Innovation and Divine in fourteen ways, or at least acceptable.

Double standards eh? Who would've guessed...

Re:Just one USB? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34539272)

What are you talking about?

1. USB devices for the most part don't work on this. Why would you need another port?
2. Most reviewers are unhappy about it regardless of point 1.
3. This isn't final hardware. How many ports it has doesn't mean anything in the long run.

Re:Just one USB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34539402)

Where do I buy one of these at retail that has only one USB port?

That is what I thought.

Are you retarded?

Two-finger right click.... (0)

yuje (1892616) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539148)

The 12-inch notebook weighs about 3.8lbs and comes with a clickpad which recognizes one finger as a left click, while a two-finger tap triggers a right-click function.

I have only one finger, you insensitive clod!

Re:Two-finger right click.... (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539236)

I have only one finger, you insensitive clod!

When the only finger you have is the middle one, everyone looks like a clod.

Um. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34539226)

2GB RAM and a 16GB SSD with an Atom processor... Multitouch trackpad.. If I got sent one I'd wipe ChromeOS for Ubuntu 11.04 within 24 hours.

Color (3, Funny)

ISoldat53 (977164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539246)

Why isn't it a silvery metallic color?

Re:Color (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34539306)

>Why isn't it a silvery metallic color?

Or better yet, why doesn't it have chrome plating or look like it (like a metallic mirror finish). /ADD

Re:Color (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34540156)

wild guess? chrome is too expensive for beta hardware? They probably could have sprung for mylar though.

Re:Color (1)

JayRott (1524587) | more than 3 years ago | (#34540348)

You know, I've wondered that myself. I guess it is because it is pre-production beta. I would have thought it would at least be white. Eh, beggars can't be choosers.

storage devices, how odd... (2)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539290)

Iirc, earlier chromeos builds had storage devices show up as "tab" on the bottom of the screen. Much in the same way that they have IM sessions show up right now. I wonder if this proved to cumbersome for users once the devices started containing large numbers of files and directories.

More the pity (3, Insightful)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539404)

Out of the box, the Cr-48 conjures images of the Black Apple MacBook, from the plain, rubberized chassis to what looks like the same chiclet-style keyboard. The 12-inch notebook weighs about 3.8lbs and comes with a clickpad which recognizes one finger as a left click, while a two-finger tap triggers a right-click function.

From what I've seen, the design of this prototype is quite nice and does conjure thoughts of other elegant notebook designs such as the MacBook or ThinkPad. However, by the time this thing reaches production it will be marred by horrible beveled designs in cheap plastic, substandard parts, and a plethora of ugly stickers announcing the system internals. I understand that the need to cut costs means that not every notebook can be visually pleasing to the eye, but is there such a need to make them ass ugly?

chromium 48? (2)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539694)

chromium 48 has a half life of 21.6 hours. so this laptop won't last very long

give google time to do 4 version revisions, to chromium 52. that version is a stable isotope, i mean operating system

wait, what?

Cr-Os (2)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34541000)

Apparently the chromium-osmium alloy is pretty hard (thought I'm not sure about the exact applications) so that would be a nice name for a stable version.

mo3 do3n (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34539706)

before playing to be any fucking 0blisgated to care survival prospects

Shouldn't that be "CR-49"? (2)

jamrock (863246) | more than 3 years ago | (#34539886)

I mean, isn't that the accepted leetspeak spelling for "crap"?

Re:Shouldn't that be "CR-49"? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34540188)

Its still in beta, it has at least one more version to go before it is as good as CR49.

Do Not Want! (1, Informative)

Hartree (191324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34540800)

Yes, it's secure. It reloads the original OS if it detects a change. It only lets a limited selection of apps to run.

It stores everything on servers, so I have to connect to the net to access my data. (Anyone remember the SideKick fiasco?)

Meaning, that much of the time I won't have access because I'm down in the basement of some old building on the edge of town, etc, etc, lather, rinse, wish it had a dialup as it'd be more useful than this dreck.

If I want freedom and mobility like that, I can just handcuff myself to a steel post.

Running Knoppix off a CD in a real netbook would be a dream compared to this, and secure as well.

If I were the Big Brother from the old Apple commercial and wanted to control my minions utterly, this would be my wet dream.

(It'd be useful for some corporate situations where usefulness should be limited to a small set of operations. I assume it has a way to put an allowed site list or some such, but maybe not even that.)

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