Friday, December 10, 2010

Google Chrome Netbook

I came home today to find a strange looking box with odd shapes on the outside of it. Once I opened it I didn’t expect to find a small netbook there shipped from google. This is the Chrome OS Netbook they shipped to me for free. It’s a nice form factor, not too large and not too small. Once the OS booted up, you just hook it up to wifi, login with your google account, snap a profile picture, and you are off. After some time it upgraded itself, similar to chrome. It required a reboot after the update. It runs very well.

It does a good job with flash and other web media. It took quite a while to get my full extension sync from the PC, but most of my extensions worked without a hitch. The major one which doesn’t work is lastpass, which I really need! I tried many sites on it, and everything looks like it works well. I also installed several “apps” from the store which make for easy access to my google products and other sites I use a lot. It will make a good ipad type tool, something to grab and use. I haven’t setup the broadband yet, but I will soon.

The physical design is nice and very “black” I really like the additional of reload, forward, back, and search buttons. They are handy to have. I would have loved to have a “@” key. There is no need to have caps lock anymore, so it was nice to see it gone. The keyboard keyout is a little “off” for my touch typing, but I will get used to it. The control and alt keys are very large. If you multitouch on the trackpad it scrolls which is pretty handy once you get used to it.

The downsides to the design are the mouse, which allows for left and right click but doesn’t use buttons. It uses the click type pad that the macs use, which is somewhat annoying since I am used to having two hands on the trackpad. One hand for clicking and one hand for moving. If you try to do this with the trackpad it screws it all up. I would love to have page up and page down keys, as well as home/end keys. I am a power user and I use the page up and page down keys even more than the arrow keys when I am using the web.

Overall it’s a cool device and I’m looking forward to using it more extensively.

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