Hands on with the Cr-48 Chrome Notebook

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Notebooks, netbooks and tablets are all the rage. The big tech companies are all developing products and platforms to control our mobile lives. While they compete, consumers are the beneficiary.

One such product not yet on the market is Google's Notebook and I'm one of the select few that has one. Here are my initial impressions:

  • Design wise, it's pretty slick. It has a matte finish and feels durable.
  • The keyboard has a few tweaks with the letters being in lowercase and the addition of a search button, which opens up a new tab.
  • Initially, you feel like you're living in the browser, then you realize that you ARE living in the Chrome browser. It's a strange feeling to do all your work in the cloud, but you have access to Google docs, Gmail, etc. So in theory, you can be productive with this machine.
  • Performance wise, it boots up very fast and is responsive to basic commands. Some websites are slower than others because of Chome compatibility issues, but overall, the machine is simple and just works.
  • Two drawbacks for me was that Evernote (web-based) didn't load and you can't watch Netflix.

Under the hood, the Cr-48 has:

  • Processor: Intel Atom Processor N455 1.66GHz 512K Cache
  • Chipset: Intel CG82NM10 PCH
  • Motherboard: Tripod Motherboard MARIO – 6050A240910 – MB – A03
  • Ram: Hynix 2GB DDR3 1Rx8 PC3 – 10600S Ram
  • Read Only Memory: ITE IT8500E Flash ROM
  • SSD Drive: SanDisk sdsa4dh-016G 16GB SATA SSD
  • Wireless Wan: Qualcomm Gobi2000 PCI Express Mini Card
  • 3g Adapter: AzureWave 802.11 a/b/g/n PCI-E Half MiniCard
  • Bluetooth: Atheros AR5BBU12 Bluetooth V2.1 EDR

Overall, I love the concept of the Cr-48. While I don't see it replacing my Macbook Pro or even my iPad, I do have a place for it in my tech arsenal — for those times when I just want to surf the web, kill some time and maybe do some basic productivity stuff (email, bills, word processing, etc.).

What do you think about the Cr-48 and the netbook/notebook market?

Article first published as Hands on with the Cr-48 Chrome Notebook on Technorati.