22 December 2010

Chrome OS beta testing program

Well, I just got the brand new Cr-48 laptop sporting the Google Chrome OS delivered to my door. I never got an e-mail saying that I was accepted into the program, so it was quite a shock to receive this.

First Impressions
The machine looks amazing. The package is nice and small and fits almost perfectly into the shipping box they used (having worked at a shipping store before, I can definitely appreciate the rarity of such an event :).

The machine is pretty small and sleek, measuring approximately 11.75" x 8.75" x 0.875". It is completely black with no markings on the outside whatsoever. The battery sits flush on all sides with the machine. It has one USB port, one VGA-out port and a speaker (or mic, I can't tell) port.

From the outside, the machine looks quite good. It's slightly smaller than the IdeaPad u350 that I gave to my parents, but a little heavier as well. However, it is definitely a lot smaller and lighter than my personal Dell Studio 1747.

Setup
Well, the setup process has been interesting. First off, the startup process is absolutely lightning fast. I opened the screen after plugging in the battery and power cord just to check out the screen, and it started up within a few seconds. I didn't hit the power button, so I was quite surprised when this happened, though not unpleasantly so.

Second, I began the registration process. I hit a little bump when I kept typing in the wrong wireless password for my router, but was eventually able to get past that.

At this point, I feel forced to comment on the mouse. I don't know if it's me or the machine, but the trackpad is extremely hard to use. I like to keep my thumb on the left click button as I use my right index finger to move across the trackpad's surface. However, this is impossible to do with this laptop. The trackpad is so sensitive that keeping the thumb on the surface will cause the cursor to continuously "shake." Additionally, clicking the mouse button causes the cursor to move as well, requiring me to click the mouse at the bottom middle using only my nail. Very odd behavior (or maybe I just need to figure out how to reduce the sensitivity).

One quirk I noticed is that the machine saved my wireless password but when it got kicked from the network, it did not automatically reconnect. I had to re-select my network and then it worked.

More to come soon.