Google Cr-48 -- It's OK for Typing

So, a couple of weeks ago, after Google's new ChromeOS netbook was announced, I decided for kicks that I would apply to get one. I told them I was a web developer and about some assorted random projects I've worked on, and what I would do with the box – play with it, hack on it, see how it works with various web technologies. Anyway, I didn't expect to get one, so I was surprised when UPS dropped a box off the other day, with a nifty little Cr48 inside.

Plenty of other people have reviewed it, and many of the reviews start the same way as this one – "I never expected to get one!" It's like the Dear Penthouse intro of netbook reviews.

Since it's been covered so well, here are just some random notes:

  • This is maybe the first piece of hardware I've ever received that didn't come with a manual. It has one piece of paper with some very basic instructions ("turn on -- surf") and that's it.
  • To get it into developer mode, you have to toggle a little switch hidden behind a little piece of tape under the battery compartment.
  • The trackpad is just about as awful as everyone else says it is, and I say that as someone who tends to do pretty well with them.

Being a developer, the first thing I wanted to do is set it up to write code. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like there's an easy way to get a code editor onto the system, so for now I'll be using ssh to connect to remote boxes and see how that works.

The OS itself is awesome – if you use Chrome on your computer, then you know Chrome OS inside and out. It's easy to imagine plugging a mouse into this and getting my 85-year old grandfather onto the web on it.

More notes to follow…