Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Google's Chrome Cr-48 Notebook - The Future Now?

An Ultra Affordable Computer For Everyone?

Having been chosen as a Google "lab rat" for testing the new Google notebook computer, the Chrome Cr-48 I've been using has served well so far, as an auxiliary to my primary laptop. I've found it very handy for taking portable around town and even to the backyard for use from the lawn chair.

Click On Video Above (Testing the video capabilities of the Chrome notebook at the Hendry Courthouse in LaBelle, Florida.)

The black three and one-half pound rubber-covered notebook with it's 12 inch screen is the first "cloud" based personal computer, turning on in 15 seconds, and instantly if in the sleep mode. It syncs and updates with my other computers automatically and wirelessly each time it's used.

Programs and data are stored on the "cloud" and not stored on the computer, reached via Google's servers, where applications like Google Docs, Google Mail, and Google Voice store it all securely. Storing data on the "cloud," meaning other than on the computer itself, allows a very simple computer to access my programs and information without having a large hard drive and expensive processor on my computer.

The notebook uses an Intel Atom N455 processor operating at a speed of 1.66 Ghz, and has a 16 GB flash drive, plenty of storage since all one's data and programs are stored remotely on Google's (or other cloud cloud computing provider's) servers. Google, and others update programs on their servers, so no downloads are necessary to keep the computer up to date.

What this means is cloud computing devices like the Chrome Cr-48 can be built and sold at unbelievably low prices. Although Google will not be selling until this summer, my best guess is that they will be a few hundred dollars. And who knows, maybe almost free! The Google computers will be manufactured by Acer and Samsung.

Which brings up an interesting idea - a swappable computer. Because all of your individual settings and data between computers and data stored on the cloud are synched at all times, a lost or damaged Cr-48 computer is not an issue. Just open the lid on a new one, sign in, and your data and programs are just as you left them.

I did accidentally drop mine, with no damage fortunately, but if it were DOA , I'd still have all my data stored on Google's servers.

Interestingly, there's no screws on the Chrome computer case. It's not built to be opened for repair or adding anything. It's as if Google is saying, this computer will be so affordable you can just get a new one anytime, don't bother repairing or upgrading a Cr-48 cloud computer.

So, far it's working well for me...a lightweight notebook easy to carry anywhere, goes on and on for 7-8 hours, make videos stored on the "cloud," and no need to download security updates, program updates, or even have any concerns about losing data even it's ever stolen, damaged or lost.

To be continued....


  1. Nice review. I've had exactly the same experience with the Cr-48 as you have had. I can see buying more of these in the future.

  2. I like the concept which would make a Cr-48 an ideal "spare" computer if my main computer crashed.

    Much will depend on the price because any computer can connect to "the cloud." If the Google PC costs much more than $300, it would make more sense to just buy a low-end Acer, Dell, or perhaps an iPad.