Sunday, January 30, 2011

Google's Cr-48: First Impressions

Happy belated new years to all my readers. I know its been a while since I last posted anything here. I haven't been doing much tech stuff lately, so I haven't really had much to talk about. Mostly my focus has been on gaming, I officially joined up with the gameenthus podcast crew and have been helping out with that. I speak to the masses about general gaming news, write game reviews, and am the unofficial general hypeman for the site. How was everyone's holiday? Good? Good. I bought my wife a memory upgrade for her Dell Mini 10 for Christmas, I am still quite intimidated over that install, so it hasn't been installed yet... but when it gets done, it will get properly documented, pictured and posted here. Well anyway, I'm sure you aren't reading this for the background stuff, you're here for my most recent tech endeavor.

Friday January 28th, 2010
I came home from work to see an unmarked ups package on the doorstep. I opened the box to find the fabled exploded-view mouse powered rocket box within. I instantly knew what it was, the Google Cr-48 Netbook. So anyway... after a couple days I am sure that receiving one this late in the game, there have been quite a few updates. Using this new OS/form-factor style netbook is definitely something I could get used to. Its slightly bigger than my wife's Dell Mini 10, but it is flatter and closer to the thin & light style of a Dell Vostro or Macbook Air. The keys are deliberately spaced, square chicklet style... so far pretty easy to adjust to, and very quiet as well. I'm not one to get stabby over the click-clacky of an older style keyboard but the ultra sensitive touch pad grinds my gears. I have long clumsy fingers and I find myself constantly moving the cursor by accident and having to edit/retype things. I suppose I will have to get used to that, not a huge deal.

So far as long as the wifi is there, it runs like a champ and has great battery life. I am curious to know how much they want to price this thing at because its quite stylish but the trade-off for only being usable on wifi is major. The specs are great even if it only has one usb port and no mic-in jack, so it seems like it could be pricey especially with this battery but usability value outside of wifi isn't high. It does have this search button instead of the caps lock key... and I have yet to use it. I know you can change it, but I wish i could change it to a Delete key, because it doesn't have one of those either*. The only other issue i have is that the sound is weird, the speakers are great for its size but I get weird buzzing/squealing when changing audio sources. If I pause the feed and then close and open the lid after a second or two the Cr-48 resets and the sound is fine again. I'm not sure what thats about, it could be a Linux thing, but it seems like something that would be fixed in an update.
I've vented my immediate cons, but overall its stuff that aren't deal-breakers. And outside of that I love my Cr-48, its like a belated Christmas gift from Google. I'm sure all my base are belong to them now, but its an awesome unexpected tech gift.
As always, stay tuned for more (hopefully more frequently).

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*Update: Apparently you can hit Alt-Backspace to pull a Delete key move... I tried it, it does in fact work. Big ups to jeremiah_h for pointing that one out, good lookin bro :)