Friday, December 10, 2010

Chrome Notebook: At First Glance

Now that we've taken our friend out of the box, let's take a closer look! This is all about the physical layout.

You, sir, are a fine looking piece of matte black machinery. Yes indeed. 

This Chrome notebook (Cr-48) measures 11.75" x 8.75" x 0.875" and weighs 3 pounds, 10 ounces. The screen width is 10.25", and the width of just the keyboard itself is 11".

Right side view of the Chrome notebook. 

Close up of right side view. From left, a pop-out SD port, headphone jack, USB port (the ONLY one), and power port.

The left side view of the notebook. The only thing of note here is the VGA port. Yep, still VGA. Where's the HDMI? Not that I'm complaining.

An overhead view of the keyboard. I tried not to drool on it as I took this picture.

Close up of keyboard from left. Notice the top row of keys: There are no function keys! Instead we have, from left: Esc, Back, Forward, Reload, Full Screen, Next Window, Decrease Brightness, Increase Brightness, Mute, Volume down, Volume up, Summon Pokemon, and Power button.

Just kidding about the Summon Pokemon key.

I'm glad they did away with the function keys. I look forward to becoming more familiar with actual time-saving keys at the top of the keyboard instead of obscure and risky keys. 

Also, as previously rumored, there is no Caps Lock key. (Insert AOL joke here.) In its place there is a Quick Search key, which opens a quick web search in a new tab. However, Google does concede that there may be a use for a Caps Lock key, and so provides a way to turn the Quick Search key into a Caps Lock key in the system settings.

Close up of keyboard from right. Not much to say about this. But while we're on the subject of keyboards, there is a really nifty little keyboard shortcut utility built in. Press Ctrl-Alt-? and you see a screen overlay of the keyboard; when you hold Control, Alt or Shift you see keyboard shortcuts for those modifiers. In all, I count 61 keyboard shortcuts!

Regarding the keyboard: It is comfortable to use and the tactility is good. The keys feel solid and yet springy, not at all sluggish. There are wide spaces between keys not unlike (I'm told) Mac keyboards. I'm used to the squished keyboard of my netbook, so this keyboard feels luxurious. 

Ready to turn this magic box on? Then go to the next post!

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