Early Reports Mixed
Google's CR-48 is one hot piece of unbuyable tech. Black rubberized body? No branding whatsoever? No caps lock? A physical jailbreaking button? I can't say 'YES' to all of that fast enough.
Chrome OS is focused on speed, so it should come as no surprise that Google hasn't wasted time in over-nighting their first shipment of netbooks. Some 60,000 were ordered, which means those of you who signed up online and haven't heard back still have a chance. You can see some unboxing pictures on TechCrunch. Or you can check out LaptopMag's review.
They give big ups on the design, but note that video is a major issue. Colors seem fine, but playback is "jittery" and nothing over 480p seems to work. They also noted that the netbook got extremely hot, extremely fast.
Boot-time is as good as we've been promised, 14 seconds plus another ten to log in. When hibernating, the system wakes back up "almost instantly". Flash complaints are pretty rampant, but we're still well ahead of the consumer launch. Some users report sites like YouTube and Hulu failing to work entirely.
Larry Dignan of CNET had a complaint that I think will be common among many "power users". He felt the OS was "almost too simple". For the generation that has grown up with the Internet as the focus of their computer use, Chrome OS will be perfect. For those of us used to being able to do more non-browser focused tasks, Google's new OS will have to feel confining. At least at first.
While we have no official launch dates for any Chrome OS products, Digitimes reports that a Toshiba tablet packing the Google OS is due in Q1 2011. It will be one of three devices- two with 10.1" displays and one with an 11.6" display. The other slates will pack Windows 7 and Android.
That good news may allay some of the disappointment from Acer's killed Chrome OS netbook. The keyboard that leaked out ahead of the Chrome OS media event belonged to the Acer AOG761. This silver-and-champagne beauty was apparently canceled when Acer heard the OS wouldn't be ready until 2011.