Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Google Operating Systems Portables Hardware

Hands-On With Google's Cr-48 158

Posted by Soulskill
from the portal-to-the-tubes dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "While Google has made it clear that Cr-48 is nothing more than a test prototype, it was interesting to see the machine Google used to demonstrate Chrome OS. Out of the box, the Cr-48 conjures images of the Black Apple MacBook, from the plain, rubberized chassis to what looks like the same chiclet-style keyboard. The 12-inch notebook weighs about 3.8lbs and comes with a clickpad which recognizes one finger as a left click, while a two-finger tap triggers a right-click function. The laptop obviously contains a hard drive for storing backup data, but the capacity is unknown. The notebook comes with a lone USB port on the right side, which has limited functionaly. For now, thumb drives, hard drives, cameras, printers and other USB peripherals do not work with Cr-48. Google is working on getting its Chrome OS to recognize storage drives, but it's a work in progress. Once Chrome OS does recognize storage drives, users can probably install other OSes on Cr-48 for fun. Video playback seems to struggle with Hulu videos, while YouTube clips were okay. The device operates at a 1,280x800 resolution, which means the Cr-48 can theoretically support 720p video playback, but the videos were capped at 480p." Engadget posted photos a Cr-48 teardown if you'd like a look at its guts. An article at InfoWorld suggests Google needs to work on the cloud offerings underpinning the device.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Hands-On With Google's Cr-48

Comments Filter:
  • Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

    by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@@@gmail...com> on Monday December 13, 2010 @04:30PM (#34538490) Homepage

    Unknown capacity? I checked the about:system logs, although I have a hard time reading them, it seems to indicate sda1 is 16gb in size. Correct me if I'm wrong though.

    Also I think I was able to get 720p; I'm not sure. But it's easy to check, I'm sure you can try lowering your desktop res and seeing if YouTube caps the resolution. But I doube it.

  • The storage was the biggest mind-bending moment for getting going with the CR-48. I unwrapped it, wondered "how much storage does it have" and then a moment later realized that my thinking had become very un-dude. It doesn't matter how much storage it has!

    • by Nadaka (224565)

      Storage for me is still a factor. To put it in perspective, my phone has more storage than the CR-48.

      • I guess that 16GB is for the OS exclusively, while all personal files are stored on the cloud: [google.com]

        Sound interesting? Please note:

        Chrome OS is for people who live on the web.
        It runs web-based applications, not legacy PC software.

        It's a nice little toy for surfing on the go :-)

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      And thus, they won...
  • by rsborg (111459) on Monday December 13, 2010 @04:33PM (#34538536) Homepage

    Here [ejohn.org]:

    The trackpad is absolutely infuriating. It’s as if Google attempted to create a similar trackpad to the Macbook Pro but just got it all wrong. There is two-finger scrolling (good) but no acceleration. Tap-to-click is frustrating and I disabled it immediately. There is no three-finger swipe-to-go-back gesture (which I miss a lot). Performing text selection is absolutely insane. It seems like any combination of having two fingers on the mouse pad simultaneously throws the laptop into “scroll” mode. It’s so bad that it makes me not want to write things on the laptop until it is fixed. As mentioned before there appears to be physical way of doing a right click – but I can’t find a single place in the UI where right-clicking has an effect.

    I found this almost exact issue with the cheap netbook trackpads. Too bad Google didn't put a bit more effort into their prototype there.

    The keyboard is easily the best part of the Cr-48 hardware. Replacing Capslock with a “New Tab” button is truly inspired. I’ve found myself already starting to rely upon it very heavily. The keyboard feels good to type on and the large Ctrl + Alt keys make for easy key combinations (important when using screen).

    Sounds great.

    Right now my ideal laptop would be: Take a 13 Macbook Pro, replace the HD with an SSD, replace the DVD drive with more battery, add 3G. I would use that laptop until the end of time.

    This is pretty much my setup (external battery unfortunately, and USB 3G card).

    • by RobertM1968 (951074) on Monday December 13, 2010 @06:34PM (#34540218) Homepage Journal

      Hmmm... I know you in particular weren't really complaining, but numerous of these reviews are. And I can't figure out why...

      (1) it's a prototype

      (2) it should be the lowest common denominator - not the highest. Best way to test and tweak things. It's why I know what I download/install/test on my T-Mo G1 (or on an ADP1) will work very well on other hardware.

      (3) They (Google) paid for 60,000 of these (in money or other considerations) - did you really expect TEST PROTOTYPE versions to be uber-high end?

      (4) A lot of the complaints seem to be about unfinished or untweaked stuff... to that, I have to say "DUH!!!!" - that is, after all, the purpose of this testing. To see what needs to be improved. To see what needs to be replaced/re-written. To allow testing while Google finishes off other parts of the software for these types of devices.

      I dunno... that's my opinion on this. Yours may vary. :-)

      • You make an argument once again for the idea that one should never, ever release a beta of anything to the general public. It doesn't matter how much you say that this is a prototype or a test unit, people will judge it as if it the finished product. And that will be their first important impression.
        • by dudpixel (1429789)

          well, true if you're apple. but google (and now microsoft with win7 rc) have been releasing beta stuff to the public for quite some years now and I for one am fine with it. the other downside is that it gives your competitors more opportunity to see what you're doing and better it...but that doesn't seem to be hurting google much these days either.

  • by MyLongNickName (822545) on Monday December 13, 2010 @04:33PM (#34538544) Journal

    I've read case studies about product life cycles... watching something go from cutting edge, proprietary and lucrative to being a virtual commodity with low (normal?) profit margins. yet it is weird living through this with the PC. I remember my first PC around '79... very expensive and not able to do much. Today, PCs are way overpowered for what 99% of the population needs. New features are not driving much in the way of additional sales.

    Google looks to make the "PC" experience consistent for everyone with much less fussing and fewer options. While I rebel against this myself, I must admit that for most folks, Google's offering seems to make a lot of sense.... most people just want to get on the net, send an email and check out facebook. Google offers this without having to configure anything.

    So yeah, we have moved from the wild frontier to the "just another product" category. In some ways I will miss it... in others I think it is overdue. And no, Google isn't the first offering like this.... however it is the first from a company with enough financial, technical and social connections to make it work.

    • Not really... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Darkness404 (1287218)

      Today, PCs are way overpowered for what 99% of the population needs. New features are not driving much in the way of additional sales.

      Perhaps, "needs" but not what they want. Take for instance what most people like to play their music with: iTunes. On a PC it is a memory hog, is laggy and needs a lot of power to run correctly. Sure, most people don't "need" iTunes, Foobar2000 does a great job organizing music on Windows, VLC is great at playing music/videos, etc. but most people are familiar with and want to use iTunes. And what about video playback? And forget about gaming without a dedicated video card, etc.

      Plus, prices are still

      • Re:Not really... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Ephemeriis (315124) on Monday December 13, 2010 @05:19PM (#34539208) Homepage

        Today, PCs are way overpowered for what 99% of the population needs. New features are not driving much in the way of additional sales.

        Perhaps, "needs" but not what they want. Take for instance what most people like to play their music with: iTunes. On a PC it is a memory hog, is laggy and needs a lot of power to run correctly. Sure, most people don't "need" iTunes, Foobar2000 does a great job organizing music on Windows, VLC is great at playing music/videos, etc. but most people are familiar with and want to use iTunes.

        Do they actually want to use iTunes? Or do they use it because it plays nice with their iPod, lets them buy music, and isn't horrifyingly complex? Would they maybe be happier if they could just use an iPod independently? If they could buy their music right on the iPod and never have to touch a computer for their music?

        It's been my experience that most people don't really want to use a computer at all... What they want to do is play music, or write a letter, or check their email, or whatever. They've got some task they want to accomplish. Some goal in mind. And right now those tasks typically involve a computer.

        But if you had a simple hardware appliance, like the iPod, that enabled them to do their task without ever touching a general-purpose computer? Most of them would be thrilled.

        • Most people don't want to learn anything, most people want to use the same thing that they were brought up using. The vast majority of people don't want to advance. And if you show them anything electronic that they aren't pressured in to using because of some outside force, they won't use it. How many older people only learned to use a computer because their boss was throwing away the typewriters and they were forced to use DOS? How many people would still be using DOS if it came pre-shipped on most comput
          • Most people don't want to learn anything, most people want to use the same thing that they were brought up using. The vast majority of people don't want to advance

            I like to learn. However, I don't want to waste what energy/time I have into learning another #$(* gadget. If you can show me how it is going to improve my life, make me more productive, etc, I don't have time.

            Now, reading about new exoplanets, looking up science experiments to do with the kids, that is worth my energy. A new OS... not so much. ye

        • by beelsebob (529313)

          Or do they use it because it plays nice with their iPod, lets them buy music, and isn't horrifyingly complex?

          Why are these not good reasons to want to use something? Playing music in a non-horrifyingly complex way is pretty much exactly what most people want!

          Would they maybe be happier if they could just use an iPod independently? If they could buy their music right on the iPod and never have to touch a computer for their music?

          They can. The music store is available on all iPod touches and iPhones, and doesn't need a computer to provide the music at all – of course it'll automatically back up for you when you plug in –another reason to want iTunes.

          But if you had a simple hardware appliance, like an iPod, that enabled them to do their task without ever touching a general-purpose computer? Most of them would be thrilled.

          Yep, that's yet another reason why iPods are so popular ;)

          • by T-Bone-T (1048702)

            Or do they use it because it plays nice with their iPod, lets them buy music, and isn't horrifyingly complex?

            Why are these not good reasons to want to use something? Playing music in a non-horrifyingly complex way is pretty much exactly what most people want!

            Maybe it is the least objectionable of their options?

        • I use itunes not because its good, but because it plays nice with my ipod shuffle. Thats basically it-- its mind-bogglingly infuriating the way it tries to force me to do things its way.
        • by Damek (515688)

          Not really, to copy the copied subject.

          I use iTunes, and an iPod touch - at the moment - but you're underestimating vendor lock-in. Or, to use a better term, vendor momentum

          I was just thinking of switching to Linux Mint recently. I remembered reading about mt-daapd as an iTunes media server alternative. I have a MacBook to consider, so some compatiability is important. I looked up "home sharing" and found out that mt-daapd is dead, but a "forked-daapd" exists which can be installed on ubuntu with significan

      • by MrHanky (141717)

        No, most people don't want to use iTunes. iPod owners, and people whose kids are iPod owners. Others just use Windows Media Player, as it comes pre-installed, and is far superior.

    • Heh - you said it the detailed way and lived.
      I got too cute going for FirstPost and wound up troll.

    • by Old97 (1341297)
      So why not just get an iPad? This device has less capability and power than an iPad for what? I can browse the internet on an iPad, it's instant on with a long battery life and lot's of storage. Plus it hosts a lot of applications that are as simple to install and maintain and use as you can possibly get. If you don't need the power of a full PC (including netbooks) why would you want this instead of an iPad? It has the disadvantages of a laptop (e.g. form factor) and none of the advantages.
      • by Nadaka (224565)

        Since when is the form factor of a laptop a disadvantage? except that it doesn't have a proper mouse? The form factor of an iPad is even more disadvantageous as it lacks both a proper mouse and a proper keyboard.

        • by Old97 (1341297)
          You only need "a proper mouse and a proper keyboard" if you need a PC and this isn't a PC at all. You can use a "proper keyboard" with an iPad if you like and I do if I have a lot of typing to do and I'm not using my PC. The problem with the laptop form factor - though it's fine for PCs - is that it is more prone to damage and is less "portable" than a pad form factor. With a pad form factor there is nothing to open or close. You just use it directly. You don't have to have a lap or a table or be sitting
          • by Nadaka (224565)

            I won't argue for the cr-48, I do think its pretty useless.

            How is your tablet more portable if you have to bring your external keyboard as well to match the same functionality?

            How is a laptop form factor make it less portable and more easily damaged because it folds? the fold protects the screen from damage and provides the keyboard in one unit so that you don't have to carry it separately.

            You do not need a lap or table or be sitting down to use a laptop either, especially so for the ones with touch screens

          • You only need "a proper mouse and a proper keyboard" if you need a PC and this isn't a PC at all.

            I need a proper keyboard to do substantial document editing, email, etc., all of which can, via various web apps (many of which are Google web apps), be done on this device, without a PC-style OS.

            So, no, its not at all true that needing a keyboard to get the best use of a device also means needing all the things that a PC-style OS like Ubuntu/Windows/OSX has that this doesn't.

            You can use a "proper keyboard" wit

      • Price? The iPad is still $458. If they can sell this for $250 or less, it's a good advantage, especially for some market segments.

        • You're assuming these devices will be available for outright sale.

          I'm assuming a locked-down 'cloud' device is targeted towards phone carriers. 100MB/month? Fat chance, your average slashdotter could go through that on a good day.

          Hence it's possible ChromeOS devices will be generally available only on a 2 year plan, thus absorbing the true cost.

      • If you don't need the power of a full PC (including netbooks) why would you want this instead of an iPad?

        Because it has a built-in keyboard, and your usage is typing heavy?

        Because, judging by prices of netbooks with comparable hardware that include a non-zero additional cost for Windows, the likely retail price for a 3G-enabled ChromeOS netbook equipped similarly to the Cr-48 is significantly lower than the cost of the iPad?

        Because it has a bigger screen than an iPad?

        Because -- by the time the retail vers

    • by w0mprat (1317953)
      Netbooks, Tablets, Smartphones, have all served to create new computing niches and enable consumers who would have otherwise been forced to buy and use a desktop computer in the past. Increasingly more computing is done in places and times where finding a desktop would have been inappropriate.
    • by dudpixel (1429789)

      I have to agree. Computers are moving away from being general purpose devices and into specialized appliances that are more streamlined. I think the general purpose computing will stay with us for a long time, but that more 'appliance' style devices will take the place of things once done on the desktop pc.

      It'll make several computing tasks much easier for the average consumer, but having grown up with PC's (and from before the days of windows), I can definitely say I'll miss the early days of IT (I'm inc

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Monday December 13, 2010 @04:37PM (#34538600)

    ...and here's why:

    While the Cr-48's big event recently could be seen worldwide over the internet infrastructure that Google itself supports, testing of this device was only limited to those residing in the US!

    This was unfair to those outside the United States. Making things even worse was the fact that at registration, one only came to this realization after being asked about what the U.S. State of residence is. This would be after asking for all other information!

    Google should have allowed those without a U.S. shipping address to be billed for any expenses if they really wanted to be part of the testing regime. Heck...Google has "Google Checkout", right?

    I was not happy at all. Google being a worldwide company would have benefited a lot from worldwide input.

    How am I wrong?

    • by Ultra64 (318705) on Monday December 13, 2010 @04:53PM (#34538810)

      How dare google not offer free things to everyone in the world!

    • by puto (533470)
      And just where are you in the world? Google is still in early testing stages and I would imagine that since they are a a US based company that they wanted to control who has access to their device in the testing stages. Then they are going to do a larger localized testing rollout in other parts of the world. Which is fairly normal for anything this early in a product development stage.
      • by bogaboga (793279)

        And just where are you in the world?

        Thanks for asking: I am just across the borderline in Welland, Ontario Canada. This small town is less than 50KM from the US border.

        Remember I did not want 'free' stuff and as such, was willing to meet all costs involved in order to be useful in this testing period.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Correct me if I'm wrong, but when doing any sort of LIMITED testing, you generally want to have some constraints on the testing conditions, correct? Wouldn't geographic location seem to be a reasonable constraint then? Or are you one of those people whose first instinct when testing something is to throw as many random variables into the mix all at once?
    • ...and here's why:

      While the Cr-48's big event recently could be seen worldwide over the internet infrastructure that Google itself supports, testing of this device was only limited to those residing in the US!

      This was unfair to those outside the United States. Making things even worse was the fact that at registration, one only came to this realization after being asked about what the U.S. State of residence is. This would be after asking for all other information!

      Google should have allowed those without a U.S. shipping address to be billed for any expenses if they really wanted to be part of the testing regime. Heck...Google has "Google Checkout", right?

      I was not happy at all. Google being a worldwide company would have benefited a lot from worldwide input.

      How am I wrong?

      Perhaps you are wrong by not having read up on this Pilot Program to see that they will be expanding testing to non-US companies in the future. Among other things, I suspect they have deals/agreements to make with wireless/cell carriers in non-US locations (such as the agreement with Verizon, where we get 100MB data per month for free, for two years).

      On top of that, there's differences in hardware that needs to be considered. Most people don't think about that either. But, for the same reason I cannot take

    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      Not that I don't feel your pain (am a UK resident myself), but honestly now, you've got no grounds to complain.

      This isn't a mass market product. It's just a testbed, a proof of concept, a developer device in it's very earliest beta at best. They're a US company. Don't you think it makes sense that they'd have their very early beta testing start out locally, before they (even supposing they do) expand the test globally? Would it be such a crime if they kept their testing local, and the first taste you and I

    • by Damek (515688)

      Yet more argument for reducing or eliminating border restrictions - for both people and things.

      Forgive me, I'm an anarchist, and think people are more important than things or power. Oh well.

    • by Nyder (754090)

      ...and here's why:

      While the Cr-48's big event recently could be seen worldwide over the internet infrastructure that Google itself supports, testing of this device was only limited to those residing in the US!

      This was unfair to those outside the United States. Making things even worse was the fact that at registration, one only came to this realization after being asked about what the U.S. State of residence is. This would be after asking for all other information!

      Google should have allowed those without a U.S. shipping address to be billed for any expenses if they really wanted to be part of the testing regime. Heck...Google has "Google Checkout", right?

      I was not happy at all. Google being a worldwide company would have benefited a lot from worldwide input.

      How am I wrong?

      You are wrong because you are just thinking of yourself.

      Business do crap like this all the time for their home country. Why should they bare the expense of sending these across the globe, just so you can be happy?

      They are busy testing these. They paid for them, they are incurring the expense. Part of it, I'm sure, is we can do 60k of these if we limit the testing to the USA, or we can test 30k across the globe.

      Seems you'd get better numbers from the 60k at home, then 30k across the globe.

      But lets look

  • Wouldn't buy one. (Score:2, Informative)

    by wiredog (43288)

    Too many places I've been where you want a laptop or video viewer, but don't have cloud access.

    • You realize that "cloud" is a marketing term that means even less than "Web 2.0", right? I think you mean "internet access", or maybe even "Internet access" given your UID.

  • by Dialecticus (1433989) on Monday December 13, 2010 @04:45PM (#34538726)

    While Google has made it clear that Cr-48 is nothing more than a test prototype...

    I'm waiting for the final version, which I presume will be called the C-64. I hope my old "Little Computer People" disk is still viable...

    • by sorak (246725) on Monday December 13, 2010 @05:49PM (#34539678)

      While Google has made it clear that Cr-48 is nothing more than a test prototype...

      I'm waiting for the final version, which I presume will be called the C-64. I hope my old "Little Computer People" disk is still viable...

      I thought the final version was going to be Cr-48 beta.

    • by vlm (69642)

      While Google has made it clear that Cr-48 is nothing more than a test prototype...

      I'm waiting for the final version, which I presume will be called the C-64. I hope my old "Little Computer People" disk is still viable...

      How about HP's offering, the HP-48? There's a model number I enjoyed using 20 years ago. Display technology and storage have improved since then, while UI and capabilities have declined.

    • by dzfoo (772245)

      I don't think computers and devices come with any little computer people any more. I think they were all replaced with mice sometime back in the early 90s.

              -dZ.

  • What? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 13, 2010 @04:48PM (#34538754)

    Why on Earth do people care about this thing? You've got a big community that used to be mostly Open-Source advocates, and you can't even install software on this darn netbook. The *only* benefit to the average consumer is its low cost.

    Right now we've got a bunch of idiots figuring out what tasks they'll use this for instead of their laptop or their netbook. The answer is none. If you are fortunate to own either of those devices, they'll do everything that this stupid thing will do *and* all of the stuff that they normally do. There is no reason at all for you to want a CR-48, aside from feeling cool that you got to be part of a Google beta program.

    • Ummm... that is the whole idea behind cloud computing. It also leverages Google's Cloud Services, which will surely be a benefit for them. And... it's a growing, increasing trend - even if most people don't recognize it.

      With their recent improvements in various of their cloud services (Docs and Calendar, to name a couple), for many users, it will be more than enough for them - in a similar fashion to those who love their iPads or Android Pads. It just means another option for them.

      There's also a BIG busin

      • Re:What? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Chyeld (713439) <chyeld@gmai l . c om> on Monday December 13, 2010 @05:57PM (#34539792)

        We've done this before, anyone remember thin clients?

        Maybe this time 'the cloud' will take off, maybe not.

        But either way, yes this has the potential for being big.

        • We've done this before, anyone remember thin clients?

          Maybe this time 'the cloud' will take off, maybe not.

          But either way, yes this has the potential for being big.

          Bingo! And there were some companies that made (and still do) extensive use of them. CompUSA used them a lot for various of their systems, all hooked to their own "cloud". The market still exists, if there are people out there willing to fulfill the right needs.

          Fortunately, Microsoft seems to have given up on their thin client model, and has no idea what cloud computing is. That gives me hope that true cloud computing will find it's place, driven by those who do understand the potentials. Heh, to think tha

          • "The network is the computer" wasn't wrong it was just too early. I'm not sure Google isn't too early themselves, but they've certainly got the brains for it.

    • Why on Earth do people care about this thing? You've got a big community that used to be mostly Open-Source advocates

      And a demonstration device running what is mostly (entirely?) an open source OS (Chromium OS is open source, not sure if Chrome OS has closed components -- I thoght Flash was, but the popular Chromium OS builds apparently have "full Flash support", so unless they've replaced the built in support with something else...)

      I think I might detect a connection...

      and you can't even install software o

    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      The intended selling points of the ChromeOS netbooks (but not the CR-48, which it has been made relatively clear is never intended for mass market sale) seem to be:

      1) Dirt cheap (if I don't see these going for less than £100 I'll want to know why).
      2) Colossal battery life (ARM plus minimal on board hardware? the screen should be pretty much the only thing drawing a current).
      3) Small/light form factor (minimal hardware should allow a form factor to rival Macbook Air).
      4) High degree of optimisation (no

    • by Eil (82413)

      AC is just angry he didn't get one.

    • by w0mprat (1317953)
      We'll fix that, it is Linux after all. Chrome OS is based on Debian. The Chrome OS x86 build I've had a play with reccently was pulling down and installing .deb packages. I don't know how much it has changed since then, but just like Android has been modded to all hell, so will Chrome.

      Based on that alone, I can't wait :)
  • it's flash. Youtube was serving up H.264 (or possibly WebM).
    • by jedidiah (1196)

      Hulu doesn't use the newer video acceleration features in Flash, YouTube does.

      With the right hardware hooks, you can play back a BluRay rip on a machine that has no hope of dealing with Hulu.

  • by RobertM1968 (951074) on Monday December 13, 2010 @04:59PM (#34538904) Homepage Journal

    Well, I am glad I got in my request for one days before this story got posted here. Hopefully that will improve my chances.

    Anyway, simple fact is, a lot of things have moved, or will be moving into "the cloud" - especially with the popularity of AndroidOS based phones. I for one never ever ever want to go back to managing and maintaining contacts on a damn cell phone again. Much rather be able to add them "to the cloud" and edit/change them from my PC/phone/whatever from "the cloud" - and replace my phone with another Android based phone (hey, my G1 is definitely up for retirement) and need do nothing but log in. Same goes for a variety of other Google Services.

    Whether this laptop is great, sucks, whatever; true cloud computing (ie: forget Microsoft's lame commercials - they understand cloud computing as much as they did/do object oriented programming... inotherwords, not at all)... true cloud computing is going to become a lot more prevalent in this day and age. Jumping on that bandwagon early as it grows is a good thing. If Google doesn't get this right on the first time out, I am sure they will work on improving it.

    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday December 13, 2010 @05:17PM (#34539166)
      For most practical things, the "cloud" is worthless as a primary storage device. Yes the "cloud" can be useful for backing up data off-site as you noted with contacts with Android. There are some big drawbacks to the "cloud" though.

      A) Lack of access. There are many places where it is impossible to get any internet connection (or at least anything that you aren't paying out of the ass for), travel is the number one reason I use my laptop on the go. If I'm on a bus that doesn't have wi-fi on it, I have no internet. Yes, you can buy things through cell phone companies that let you use the internet, but they are expensive and now they are even eliminating unlimited data, giving you a tiny amount of usable data at a high price at low speeds.

      B) It is more expensive. For the price of two months of cell phone data service, you can get a decent 500 GB - 1 TB HDD. Yes, I know that hard drives fail, but assuming that they don't fail within 2 months of use, you are essentially saving money by storing your things locally and only using the "cloud" for backups on your home internet connection.

      C) It isn't secure. The "cloud" is only as secure as your trust for the person or company that has your data. It shouldn't surprise you that the companies who push the "cloud" as a revolution are the same people who make money off of mining your personal data? Sites like Google and Facebook. Now, I'm not saying that either of those sites is 100% untrustworthy, but still, their main source of income is through selling data to advertisers and selling ads. Not to mention that break-ins and the lack of data integrity is possible, not to mention the legal implications as governments have been known to plant evidence, add that plus a willing company and you have potential jail time for doing nothing wrong.

      D) Internet connections aren't uniform. Sure, in a big city or an affluent suburb fast, free, wi-fi is prevalent, with enough money you can buy a nearly lag-free 4G modem and use 4G for surfing the web and accessing the "cloud", but lets say you go to visit your obscure relatives for a family reunion in Middleofnowhere, Iowa. Suddenly, your 4G isn't going to work there, you might not get any service at all, and the house you are staying at has no internet beyond dial-up.


      Yes, eventually the "cloud" might change the world. But right now, you'd be foolish to buy into this Chrome OS hype.
      • by D Ninja (825055)

        Just to respond to your arguments about the drawbacks of cloud computing:

        A. From my own experience, this is rarely a problem - at least within countries that have a good Internet infrastructure. Most places you can get WiFi somewhere, and even in a country like the U.S., which is spread out, most areas have internet access. The ones that are far in few between (say, the mid-northwest of the U.S.) is the exact reason Google, Apple, and others are building their devices with 3G. Typically cell phone coverage

      • For most practical things, the "cloud" is worthless as a primary storage device. Yes the "cloud" can be useful for backing up data off-site as you noted with contacts with Android. There are some big drawbacks to the "cloud" though.

        Not as many as you allude to... and I find it useful for a lot of other things - collaborative docs (Google Docs) being one. I also have clients that (a) need to move virtually everything into the cloud and (b) want a machine that things CANT be installed onto. The need for this, even if it is not your own need, is still very very large. If this netbook project succeeds, we could potentially sell a few thousand in a year - without trying very hard - and just in our area.

        A) Lack of access. There are many places where it is impossible to get any internet connection (or at least anything that you aren't paying out of the ass for), travel is the number one reason I use my laptop on the go. If I'm on a bus that doesn't have wi-fi on it, I have no internet. Yes, you can buy things through cell phone companies that let you use the internet, but they are expensive and now they are even eliminating unlimited data, giving you a tiny amount of usable data at a high price at low speeds.

        Hmmm... my data plan is flat rate

      • A) Caching
        B) Wifi
        C) Encryption
        D) Who cares? You've got everything you're likely to need stored on your device already.

        Don't think of it as "my stuff lives in the cloud", think of it as "my stuff is synced with the cloud". With some local storage for caching, you only need a net connection occasionally for syncing & updating. That way, you only connect to the net when & how you want to (wifi, tethered 3G, whatever).

        Some people are fine with cheap, thin clients needing more frequent net access, but al

    • Why anyone would jump at the chance to give away every bit of personal data over to one corporation, and exposed over the internet, is beyond me. There is no added convenience when your own personal, locked down, devices all sync with each other.

    • by jittles (1613415)

      I for one never ever ever want to go back to managing and maintaining contacts on a damn cell phone again. Much rather be able to add them "to the cloud" and edit/change them from my PC/phone/whatever from "the cloud" - and replace my phone with another Android based phone (hey, my G1 is definitely up for retirement) and need do nothing but log in. Same goes for a variety of other Google Services.

      I like the cloud for contacts and calendar, too. But, I dont' want to give Google any more info on me than they already have.... so I am running a Zimbra server that lets me push stuff to my phone. Giving Google full control over all my info, documents, and apps, does not sound like a good time to me.

      • Re:Timing... (Score:4, Informative)

        by RobertM1968 (951074) on Monday December 13, 2010 @06:44PM (#34540334) Homepage Journal

        I for one never ever ever want to go back to managing and maintaining contacts on a damn cell phone again. Much rather be able to add them "to the cloud" and edit/change them from my PC/phone/whatever from "the cloud" - and replace my phone with another Android based phone (hey, my G1 is definitely up for retirement) and need do nothing but log in. Same goes for a variety of other Google Services.

        I like the cloud for contacts and calendar, too. But, I dont' want to give Google any more info on me than they already have.... so I am running a Zimbra server that lets me push stuff to my phone. Giving Google full control over all my info, documents, and apps, does not sound like a good time to me.

        And why can't you use your own cloud servers? I'm only a half decent programmer, but I know how to use both dedicated/our own cloud servers AND link what data I need/want to through Google's services for where there's overlap (like contacts, maps, docs, picasa, etc). It's very very easy. All the APIs are in place. Anyone with just a little programming skill can do it.

        Heck, you can even run your own versions of Google's services to "disconnect" from them yet still run the same services solely for you and/or your customers.

  • Color (Score:4, Funny)

    by ISoldat53 (977164) on Monday December 13, 2010 @05:22PM (#34539246)
    Why isn't it a silvery metallic color?
  • by hitmark (640295) on Monday December 13, 2010 @05:24PM (#34539290) Journal

    Iirc, earlier chromeos builds had storage devices show up as "tab" on the bottom of the screen. Much in the same way that they have IM sessions show up right now. I wonder if this proved to cumbersome for users once the devices started containing large numbers of files and directories.

  • More the pity (Score:4, Insightful)

    by alvinrod (889928) on Monday December 13, 2010 @05:32PM (#34539404)

    Out of the box, the Cr-48 conjures images of the Black Apple MacBook, from the plain, rubberized chassis to what looks like the same chiclet-style keyboard. The 12-inch notebook weighs about 3.8lbs and comes with a clickpad which recognizes one finger as a left click, while a two-finger tap triggers a right-click function.

    From what I've seen, the design of this prototype is quite nice and does conjure thoughts of other elegant notebook designs such as the MacBook or ThinkPad. However, by the time this thing reaches production it will be marred by horrible beveled designs in cheap plastic, substandard parts, and a plethora of ugly stickers announcing the system internals. I understand that the need to cut costs means that not every notebook can be visually pleasing to the eye, but is there such a need to make them ass ugly?

    • Any laptop which doesn't have a nipple can't be compared to a Thinkpad. That single feature alone already puts thinkpads far and above their competitors.
      • Any laptop which doesn't have a nipple can't be compared to a Thinkpad. That single feature alone already puts thinkpads far and above their competitors.

        We always referred to it as a "keyboard clit", implying much more fun for fingering than a mere "keyboard nipple".

  • chromium 48 has a half life of 21.6 hours. so this laptop won't last very long

    give google time to do 4 version revisions, to chromium 52. that version is a stable isotope, i mean operating system

    wait, what?

  • by jamrock (863246) on Monday December 13, 2010 @06:03PM (#34539886)
    I mean, isn't that the accepted leetspeak spelling for "crap"?
    • by Nadaka (224565)

      Its still in beta, it has at least one more version to go before it is as good as CR49.

  • Do Not Want! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Hartree (191324)

    Yes, it's secure. It reloads the original OS if it detects a change. It only lets a limited selection of apps to run.

    It stores everything on servers, so I have to connect to the net to access my data. (Anyone remember the SideKick fiasco?)

    Meaning, that much of the time I won't have access because I'm down in the basement of some old building on the edge of town, etc, etc, lather, rinse, wish it had a dialup as it'd be more useful than this dreck.

    If I want freedom and mobility like that, I can just handcuff

  • My experiences trying to turn off Google Instant, the fade-in effects and the hidden redirection links on the search page have turned me against Google. I certainly wouldn't want to use a device where they controlled the OS.
  • OT, but has to be said: the pcmag image slideshow functionality is pretty painful. more images at http://www.google.com/chromeos/pilot-program-cr48.html [google.com]

This place just isn't big enough for all of us. We've got to find a way off this planet.

Working...