Thank you, Google!

Google chrome CR-48 notebook box

I mentioned that I was busy in February. Some of that business was pure fun, thanks to this curious-looking box that arrived in the mail at the beginning of February. I was very confused, until I noticed a very familiar logo on some decals that were included in the larger box this box was shipped in. I suddenly realized that I had been chosen for the Google CR-48 Chrome Notebook pilot program!!!

Product testing has always been my secret (or not-so-secret, depending how well you know me) dream career, so I was thrilled to get picked for this program! A FREE computer to test and keep?!! AND I was picked over Dr. Computer Scientist Mike and all his Dr. Computer Scientist friends! Thank you, Google, for understanding that mamas love their technology, too! =)

Google Chrome CR-48 test notebook

That little heart decal sums up how I feel about this notebook. It is super-slim, super-light (Google says it weighs 3.8 lbs, but it’s only 1600g/just over 3.5lbs according to my kitchen scale). I put it in my diaper bag one day and couldn’t even tell it was in there – even after carrying it for two hours in the soon-to-close-forever Borders bookstore we visited. I love the velvety matte finish of the case – it survived being in the kitchen (with the top down, thankfully!) when I left the lid off my blender. I’m a tired klutz, as well as a technology-loving mama. It fared pretty well, considering it got covered in spinach-strawberry-ice-peach-white grape smoothie.

guess which kid picked the theme?

It has a nice big screen, built-in webcam, no spinning disk, and the keys are lovely – nice finish and SILENT. Perfect for typing in the wee hours without waking up the light sleepers in the family. (Mike would like it backlit to see all the keys when the lights are off.) I do miss the “end” key, which I use a lot for some reason…

Google Chrome CR-48 Keypad and Touchpad

The touch pad is the one area that needs a little work – it doesn’t always do what I want, but I like the size and imagine Google will work out the kinks before releasing it to the general public.

What’s on my wishlist for the final version? Better offline usability. Possibly an “end” key, and a touch swivel screen so that it can convert into a tablet. And some really nice blogging apps, so I can leave the desktop computer to Mike and the kids for good! =)

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

17 thoughts on “Thank you, Google!”

  1. Congrats!
    I draw away till wee hours and hope to sign up for more giveaways. It’s been a while since I was randomly chosen to receive a little suprise in my mailbox….
    Then again, my munchkins suprise me plenty on daily basis! :)
    Enjoy and watch out for those smoothies!

  2. Cool! My company would probably fire me if I signed up for Google laptop giveaway :) I am curious how you feel about ease of use of Chrome operating system. Is there anything you miss?

    1. @Natalie – I miss having a desktop that functions perfectly when the computer is offline the most. Google assumes that you will ALWAYS be online, but for me at least that isn’t always the case. They did bundle free 3G service for two years, but there are simply times when I would prefer to have the computer offline – when my kids are using it, for instance…

  3. Cool!

    I actually had a swivel screen that converted to a tablet and it didn’t last long. I didn’t even use the tablet version that often, but the screen ended up hanging by a wire and falling off! I don’t think it lasted 2 years.

    1. @Jenny – I’ve heard that’s a common problem. Maybe the solution is to make the keyboard part of the case?

  4. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog

    This is SO exciting!!! I’m so excited for you!!!!! :-) Looking forward to your updates on it. Did you use it to write this blog post?

  5. Elisa | blissfulE

    How interesting that you use the end key often… and that it’s missing! I have no idea how often I use the end key, but I imagine I would find out quickly if it wasn’t there. :)

    I was starting to think that our next computer would be a tablet (like an iPad, though I’m not sure if I’m ready to go all Apple), but I hadn’t thought about being forced to be online all the time just to use it. Fortunately our laptop has a lot of life left in it (I hope…).

  6. Hi Maryanne, sorry for not dropping-by for long. Congrats on the super exciting program :-) This Google notebook sounds COOL!

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