ChromeBook CR-48 On Vacation

The CR-48 is the pilot program for Google’s new Chrome initiative ChromeBook. CR-48 is a basic non-branded ChromeBook handed out to a lot of Googlers as a Beta program. I brought mine on vacation last week to Asia to experience what life would be like with a ChromeBook as my primary computer (and admittedly I didn’t want to risk bringing a $2,000 MacBook).


  • Instant On – Forget booting in 8 seconds, the best thing about ChromeBooks is their instant on. You never shut them down so you’ll never have to boot them. Flip the lid and you’re on the web instantly.
  • Full Keyboard – Having a full keyboard (say over your mobile or a tablet) is an absolute must for a primary computer. I despise cranking out full emails or doing heavy duty web surfing on tablets.
  • Shareable – With guest mode, the CR-48 was easily shareable with my girlfriend. Open up the laptop, click on guest mode, and she has a blank slate to work with. I can imagine it being a communal device as opposed to the your iPad which is very personal.


  • Web Limited – I need to import some .RW2 formatted files while I was on vacation and unfortunately no image services I could find accepted them. (Not Picasa, not Flickr, not Imageshack, etc). I ended up going to the hotel’s business center and downloaded a simple shareware program.
  • Needs more Horsepower – The CR-48 just couldn’t keep up in some cases (eg. full screen HD YouTube). This is something that can be fixed as components become cheaper. However, the newest ChromeBooks announced from Samsung are pushing the upper price ceiling.

The canonical question is of course, how is the ChromeBook better than a netbook? My answer is that it’s not. A better question to ask is, “Is there room for another device in a world of desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones?”