CR-48: The Google Chromebook

23:20 by akylas. Filed under: Hardware

A couple months ago I probably received one of the last CR-48 Chromebooks that Google was distributing to developers for testing their now released Chrome OS platform. I have to say, the hardware is pretty sleek.

CR-48: The Google Chromebook

The entire notebook is matte, with what almost feels like to be simple plastic. It feels cheap, yet nice at the same time. Even though the notebook is almost a matte finish, it certainly does its fair share of collecting fingerprints. I guess you can always expect that with all laptops though.

The laptop itself is rather small; Only slightly bigger than many of the netbooks you see today. The screen is a little on the cheaper side, but it certainly does the job (especially for a free device for that matter). The viewing angle on it is surprisingly limited, but when you’re using it like a notebook and don’t have it propped up anywhere else, it’s perfectly fine.

The keyboard is probably my favorite part of the notebook. The keys are very square and relatively low compared to the bezel. It feels almost as nice as the Macbook Pro keyboard, and pretty much looks just like it, except the letters do not light up.

CR-48 Keyboard

The battery life is fairly excellent, although the device is always either on or in a hibernated state, such that when you open the laptop up, it does its one to two second fast boot and brings you right to the login screen. Due to this, when the laptop is shut, and you decide to not use it for several weeks, it will eventually drain. That’s not really a complaint though because I’d hope you won’t have one and run into this situation. I can imagine this behavior with the battery easily carrying over to all other Chromebooks available now.

The only caveat I’d have to say with these devices is the odd charging problem that they have. When you plug in the power adapter into the unit, you have to plug it in very slowly until you see the orange charging light. Once you do, you can push it in all the way and you’re fine. If you immediately push it in all the way, the device will not charge, but it will be powered. It was quite strange and took me a while to figure out.

All in all, pretty great hardware. Even better since it was free. I certainly prefer this size and design over any other netbook available. Soon I’ll be discussing more about Chrome OS.