The Chrome Cr-48 netbook might just be a reference design – as in, most folks won’t ever be able to use it – but it is what Google thinks a Chrome laptop should be. And it has some pretty nice touches.
Here are some quick impressions on the hardware and software that we gleaned from about an hour’s worth of usage.
• Plain matte finish both inside and outside the lid feels nice – the antithesis of shiny MacBooks.
• The trackpad really does not like having two fingers on it at once. It’s not multitouch, but you can use two fingers for right clicking.
• Window switching with Alt+Tab is fast, and feels like switching workspaces (Spaces on OS X)
• Fairly light and fairly thin.
• The keyboard keys are separated like MacBook and Envy, so I’m definitely used to typing on it.
• No function keys, instead, you have actually web-useful keys like back, forward, reload, fullscreen, next window and several standard laptop keys.
• Shutdown and resume really is almost instant.
• The screen doesn’t get incredibly bright, but it gets bright enough for indoor use.
• Gmail calling works! It’s only slightly laggy, and I sound like I’m in a closet, but otherwise, it works.
• It’s definitely still a netbook – there’s an Atom processor inside – so heavy duty computing is out of the question.
• YouTube is limited to 480p, even on 1080p videos. There’s just no option to select the higher quality.
• Hulu is choppy, but it’s not unwatchable.
• Gmail noticeably is slower than on a MacBook Pro.
• There’s only one USB port.
We’ll be doing more impressions and posts throughout the day.