I’ve recently fallen back in love with my CR-48 Chromebook. I received it last February and have used it intermittently since then. It’s free Verizon 3G connection has saved me a time or two. Clocking in at just 3.8 pounds and with a better pushing 8 hours it becomes an incredible travel companion.
I’ve been using it to write most of all as I love the feel of the keyboard. It has the short, flat keyboard the first Apple MacBooks made popular and I love the feel of it. It is the first laptop keyboard I’ve ever fallen in love with. The trackpad still leaves much to be desired but it gets better with each new stable release of the Chrome OS.
I do not even use a vast collection of apps for it. It is my sleek, little black book where I share my thoughts and best of all, it stays cool to the touch even after hours of use. Something no other laptop I’ve ever used can boast.
I love the Chromebook but it is not without its shortcomings. I’ve been asked if I would purchase one now that they’re for sale. The answer is still no, but it’s not due to the lack of quality of the Chrome OS. ((Chrome browser with a rudimentary file system attached.)) My reluctance is based on the price they’ve set for the devices.
Now, I am sure the finished machines will have a higher build quality than the small machine sitting neatly in my lap, hopping under the pressure of my key presses. I have not seen any of the Chromebooks in person so I cannot judge them for what they are.
I would love the CR-48 if it were not for a few nagging issues.
Back-lit keyboard. Perhaps this is asking too much but I tend to use the machine in bed or in the evenings when I’m not under a bright light and while I’m practically a touch typist, I am not perfect and seeing the keyboard would be nice. Again, nothing a well-placed lamp wouldn’t solve.
The trackpad. It’s luxurious size betrays its flawed function. If it were as solid as the Apple equivalents this machine would shoot to near perfect status.
Random slowdowns. I don’t know exactly what causes them. I am not viewing flash content at the time. It may be that the two dozen or so tabs overwhelms the machine. I have only had to reboot the machine twice when it became unresponsive but it does tend to slowdown at random.
Power port on the right side. This bothers me. Perhaps it’s because I have the left side of the bed, or the couch is not setup for power on the right, or it could just be MacBook ownership for 4 years prior has conditioned me to expect a left-side power port. It bothers me. Totally personal preference but I don’t care for it.
I have never used the VGA port, SD Card slot and rarely use the USB port. I have used the webcam to take a goofy picture of myself for the login screen and for nothing more. I do not video chat so I have no need for it.
I am very curious to see where Google takes this project and this browser/Operating System. I a devout Chrome user since it has stepped into the place Firefox used to hold. ((The sleek, speedy new kid on the block browser.))
I love my CR-48 and hope to get many more years out of it. There is no reason it should not support the newer versions of Chrome OS since it’s nothing more than software. In the age of most things being web-based it is not far-fetched to live solely inside a browser and even though I still miss running multiple applications, there is very little I find lacking. Sure, you’re not going to edit video or perform high-end graphics work on the Chromebook but that is outside their intended use. For the grandparent, parent, teen or employee with modest web-based needs, the Chromebook can serve their needs very easily.
I have fallen back in love with my Chromebook and see a bright future for the fledgling operating system.