DISCLAIMER: While my daughter did happen to be in a Google Chrome Notebook Commercial (4:38) she had nothing to do with how I received a free Google Chrome Notebook and I am receiving no compensation for this review other than, well, this free Google Chrome Notebook.

It all began about a month ago when a friend of mine, Landon Whitsitt, tweeted an offer from Google’s Cr-48 Chrome Notebook Pilot Program to get a new laptop in exchange for some feedback.  Like a million other people, I thought, “I’m already a Chrome user and a FREE notebook would be cool, so sure why not.” I figured my chances were slim, after all, geeky Bay Area bloggers are a dime a dozen, so imagine my surprise that without warning, it arrived.

Sweet.

I am in no way going to be able to give an in-depth technological assessment of this machine.  But, along with my eldest daughter, over the next few weeks we will give you some general observations about Google’s entry into the notebook world in terms of use.  I am including my Eldest in this journey because she is wise and pretty excited about the possibility that this may become her computer some day. Her first words were, “Dad, do you REALLY need TWO laptops?” and since I really do not, I figure I’ll share 😉

A few of my initial reactions:

  • The Cr-48 is going to have a hard time winning my love because I am currently using a MacBook Air and I love it.  I get the sense is that the two computers are similar in their purpose, so the differences for me may be slight and will mostly be about habits of use and software needs.
  • It is a little bigger than my Air, but it is a nice looking and feeling machine.  I love the matte black finish and it surface has a nice grippy feel about it. I know some people think it’s ugly, but I like the simple look and sturdy feel.
  • It is pretty quick to start up and the fact that google kind of owns my life already, shifting over to use the Cr-48 is pretty seamless.  Syncing of Chrome across computers is a really nice feature.
  • While I am 75% invested in cloud-based technology, I have not made that transition with my photos and music.  At this point these to types of files, plus any other docs that I still have on my hard drive are the only things that I can see making the transition a little rough.
  • What I do not know yet is how I would survive without a few other software programs that I use.  I have not yet tried get it connected to 1password, evernote or dropbox all software that I use pretty regularly.  I’ll take some time to add those and then see how it goes.
  • The biggest plus is that it in no way feels like a Windows machine. *shiver*

Here are some thoughts from Eldest’s first few hours of use.

The first thing you notice about the Google Chrome Notebook is that it’s very simple, no extra buttons to accidentally push. It’s very simple, very good for the technologically challenged. The touch pad gets a little getting used too, but the keyboard is basically the same as any other, easy to operate. The speed it pretty good, and the quick start-ups are definitely a plus. It is a little heavier and clunkier that some of the other models out there, but it seems like it would be more durable. Oh, and you can’t watch Netflix streaming.

So there you have it, a few initial thoughts.  We will post another review in a week or so after we get to use it a little more. I found a few good suggestions from 7 Initial Things to do with your Chrome Notebook (Cr48) that should help good use from the machine.  I plan on taking it for a few days as my primary computer and we are going to let Eldest pretend it’s her for a bit for school and social networking. After we spend a little more time on it we should have a better sense of long term usability the machine.

Until then, have a great day!

 

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