While most users and businesses will have to go through the application process to petition for a Google netbook, some major tech bloggers have already received their own Google Cr-48 Notebook — the Chrome OS system that Google announced officially earlier this month.
The report from Search Engine Land gives us some unique insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the system. First, though, it elaborates on the release process that Google will be using.
The Chromium OS will be open release, meaning that any company that feels like releasing a Chrome-powered netbook can do so without issue. The Cr-48 is intended exclusively for the pilot program. (On an interesting side note, the title of this pre-beta netbook comes from several consecutive plays on words; the Chromium OS was named both after the Chrome browser and the periodic element, while Cr-48 is an isotope of that element.) The actual hardware being produced for public release will be coming from Acer and Samsung, with the possibility of others being added to that list.
As a netbook, important factors include the system’s size, weight, and battery life. The reviewer from Search Engine Land compared it to his MacBook Air, the slimmest system around, and stated that the Cr-48 was about twice as thick and twice as heavy. The official weight listed on the Cr-48 spec site is 3.8 pounds, and its expected battery life is about eight hours.
Initial reviews also confirm that the system is just as fast as Google claimed it would be. The boot up process happened “within seconds,” and setup was a process that took just a couple minutes, including searching for updates and connecting to WiFi.
Early problems were also spotted, however, and these will be covered in Part 2 of our netbook review report.