Testing Google’s Chrome OS Laptop

Update (Dec 21 evening, heh): The screen has auto-adjusting brightness. Which means it automatically turns brighter in a bright environment and auto-dims in darker environments.

A couple weeks ago, Google announced that they were giving away some laptops for people to test out their Chrome OS. This weekend, I received an unmarked package (suspicious, right?) and didn’t recall ordering anything recently. I had no idea what it was, but since it was addressed to me, I opened it up anyways. Inside, I found a box that had a diagram of a mouse and its rocket wheel invention?
Google Chrome Laptop Box

Anyhoo, inside was my free laptop! It’s Google’s Cr-48 Chrome notebook. I even tweeted about it and how it’s probably harvesting all my info and sending it back to the mother ship.

It almost looks like a macbook, but it’s black and has a soft rubberize exterior. I like it better than the slippery mac surfaces. Specs or boasted functionality?

  • 12″ display
  • 10 second boot time
  • instant on from standby/sleep
  • full-sized keyboard (with no caps lock key)
  • built-in wi-fi and Verizon 3G (free 100mb per month for 2 yrs.)
  • webcam
  • mic
  • 3.8 lbs
  • 8+ hrs of battery life

Here are some more pictures:
Google Chrome Laptop

The search key that replaced the caps lock key:
search key
Google Chrome laptop keyboard

I haven’t used it that much yet, but here are my initial thoughts:

Likes:

  • Super-fast
  • Simplicity-clean black design, soft rubber coating
  • Browser keys along the top of the keyboard

Dislikes:

  • Mousepad is REALLY hard to use–a challenge to right-click and impossible to drag-and-drop
  • Webcam quality is pretty poor
  • The power button is used to turn the machine off or switch users, but I can never get it to work properly. I always end up turning the computer off
  • No LED on keyboard keys (I guess that’s not too different from my Alienware)

There’s still time to get in on this if you don’t mind being a guinea pig. You have until 11:59:59 PM PST on December 21, 2010 to sign up.