Google Cr-48 laptop makes up for beta OS with swanky hardware

You know that Cr-48 development laptop Google shipped its Chrome OS beta on? We talked a little bit about the machine two days ago, but now, the folks at Engadget have posted a full-fledged hands-on preview of it. From what I can tell, this is one of the better-designed netbooks out there.

Engadget points out that the system has a matte plastic finish—no glossy smudge-magnet surfaces here—a "great" keyboard, and a nice, large, multi-touch ClickPad. There’s also a 12.1" display with a magnetic latch, some solid-state storage (Engadget doesn’t say how much), and a removable 58 Wh battery. Google reportedly stuck an Atom processor inside, too, but the report doesn’t go into detail.

Judging by that hands-on video, Chrome OS looks pretty slick despite its beta status. I dig the neat little touches, like how holding the power button makes the full-screen browser window zoom out to reveal the log-in screen, and holding further makes the log-in screen collapse into the black backdrop before the machine shuts down. Apparently, the system takes only 15-20 seconds to boot up, but closing the display puts it in a hibernation mode that the laptop can handle for days.

Too bad this only appears to be a preview machine for testers. I have my fingers crossed about the possibility of a retail system featuring the same chassis and guts, though. There must be be a hardware vendor behind such a slick laptop design.

Comments closed
    • eternalmatt
    • 9 years ago

    I applied for one and got one. Everything is as others have described, although I’ve been having intense problems with it and my home router. I’ve taken it to public places and it works there, but my router is just stubborn for it, even though it works with my other laptop.

    I don’t have a big problem with the lack of showing the user the filesystem or hiding any terminal to the user (unless dev switch is hit). This is what has been intended from the very beginning. Of course, the Chrome OS is only meant to supplement a normal OS like windows/linux/osx. But I definitely will be taking it places more often than my laptop.

      • shiznit
      • 9 years ago

      try assigning the Chrome laptop’s mac address a static ip in the router

    • ronch
    • 9 years ago

    I know Google has half the world’s cash, but I don’t understand why they even have to come up with Chrome OS and ask us to run everything from this stupid cloud thing. I hope it doesn’t take off. Times like this I feel like Microsoft’s my brother.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 9 years ago

      It ought to be entirely obvious why Google, the ‘we know everything about your web use’ datamining company, wants everything to run on -[

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 9 years ago

    *yawn* give me an Acer Aspire One with any Core ULV cpu before this thing that doesn’t dual boot or run Ubunt and/or Windows.

    • shiznit
    • 9 years ago

    I got one yesterday and I like it. I don’t know what people were expecting but google never promised anything but a sleek notebook that runs Chrome and only web apps.

    The keyboard is very nice and the display is above average, it’s matte and has a good resolution (not sure if 1280×800 or 1440×900 yet but I will make sure). The touchpad isn’t as big as a macbook pro but it’s better than any other I have used. I could really use multitouch gestures for manipulating tabs but I’ll look into that later and unfortunately mouse acceleration is enabled and there is no option to disable it.

    • 5150
    • 9 years ago

    Well, I applied, probably won’t get one, but I threw out a good pitch.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 9 years ago

    If they sold that laptop for 300-400 I’d get it.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 9 years ago

    Eh…58w batttery…but they said it only gets 8 hours. I was hoping that was because they used a small one to cheap out on the beta testers. 🙁

      • Shining Arcanine
      • 9 years ago

      It is 8 hours with the 58Whr battery as far as I know. I do not know why you would hope that it is because they used a smaller battery than the one for which the 8 hour rating applied. Having a long battery life with a small battery means that there is plenty of room for a large battery to extend battery life.

      By the way, an 8 hour battery life with a 58Whr battery means that average power consumption is about 7.25 watts, which is impressive for an entire system. The monitor likely uses the lion’s share of that.

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 9 years ago

        There’s no shortage of CULV laptops that equal that, and netbooks running Windows 7 with HDDs that beat it.

        Sorry, but the fact that it doesn’t even match those with a trimmed down OS and what should be a very low power storage system doesn’t exactly fit my definition of impressive.

        If Bobcat laptops actually do get 10 hours out of a 6 cell battery, which isn’t actually an improvement over what’s currently possible, they’re going to make this look incredibly silly when it actually goes on sale 6 months from now.

          • Hattig
          • 9 years ago

          This is only the developer / pre-release version. I seriously hope that come July that most OEMs will be using Zacate and/or Ontario (depending on screen size, etc).

    • Shining Arcanine
    • 9 years ago

    My Dell E1705 laptop running Gentoo Linux boots in 15 seconds. Having a ChromeOS system boot in 15 seconds is not particularly impressive to me.

      • Dashak
      • 9 years ago

      15 seconds is too slow for you? Seems like you just want to argue.

        • mongoosesRawesome
        • 9 years ago

        or brag

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    I’d take one of these and install a real OS – Ubuntu Netbook or Windows, or depending on hardware maybe OS X.

      • nookie
      • 9 years ago

      Yeah except the OS is stored on ROM…

        • Shining Arcanine
        • 9 years ago

        Google plans to do remote updates, so the memory is writable. It uses flash.

        In theory, he can install Gentoo Linux on it. He just cannot use a conventional filesystem, because the filesystem needs to be designed to do wear levelling.

          • DrCR
          • 9 years ago

          Can you put in a real SSD though? I’m only interested if in this device if I can run a “real” OS as well.

    • designerfx
    • 9 years ago

    I usually like google products, but so far this thing sounds like garbage. it’s initially okay, but I just see more wrongs than rights I suppose.

    trying to hide the filesystem while trying to give it to developers/early adopters? That’s so backwards I don’t know where to start. Giving folks the access so *they* can come up with the great uses for the product should be obvious.

    granted, it’s way early and how this could and up is anyone’s guess at this point, so it actually does seem like an okay initial build. If everything is 100% browser based to the point of locking out the obvious underlying system, then my interest ends there.

    • Deanjo
    • 9 years ago

    Looks wise it reminds me a lot of the black macbook.

    • Hattig
    • 9 years ago

    I might lose some hard earned money next year to a Zacate powered ChromeOS netbook…

      • Jigar
      • 9 years ago

      I am sure, it would be worth every penny.

    • Jigar
    • 9 years ago

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