Dec 28 2010

Chrome OS for Personal Use

First off, Engadget’s observations are very much in line with my own. Reading that should give you a good overview of the device. However, I want to explore the effectiveness of Chrome OS for my own personal uses1.

Non-work related things I use the computer for:

  • Email
  • Social Networks
  • Blog
  • Video
  • Chat
  • Starcraft 2
  • The super rare document or spreadsheet

Successes (and not) on the Cr-48:

Gmail is a no duh. I’ve always preferred Gmail’s interface to any desktop email client.

There is Seesmic and Tweetdeck both in the Chrome Web Store, but I’ve been using the New Twitter web interface ever since it came out, and enjoy it over any other app I’ve tried.

Facebook works. Unfortunately.

Tumblr also works. When it’s up.

I usually do all my writing in SimpleNote, and then bother to post it into Tumblr when it’s been editted and fine tuned. In fact, I’m currently writing this on the Cr-48, in the SimpleNote web app. Seamless.

All the video I watch is online. Netflix, Hulu, Youtube. For the most part. it sucks. Especially Flash video. The tiny little processor in this netbook just can’t render all that video on it’s CPU. This makes watching Hulu quite unbareable.2 However, using the Youtube5 extension to watch videos in HTML 5, Youtube is passable. It’s still a little choppy on videos needing a really high framerate.

I actually use Chat much more for work, but I do chat with my brother rather often. And Google Talk feels really good here. The persitent chat windows feel really swell. You can minimize them, too, and that makes them be little tiny slivers at the bottom of the screen, tucked out of the way.

However, I’ve noticed some annoying parts. If you start up Gtalk, and then close the lid and sleep the computer, you just broke Gtalk. The next time you open the laptop, Gtalk will forever say it disconnected, and won’t respond when you click on the Try Again link. Gtalk also doesn’t allow you to talk to AIM buddies, like the Gtalk in Gmail does. Worse, when you try to open a chat window with an AIM buddy in Gmail, it notices you have Gtalk App installed, and launches a window that proceeds to point out it can’t chat with AIM users. Great, thanks.

Naturally, this little netbook is incapable of feeding my Starcraft fix. That’s not much of an issue to me, though. I wouldn’t really want to play Starcraft on any computer besides my beefy desktop, anyways.

When my relatives send me a word document, or I need to do taxes, I already use Google Docs. I can still just as easily use it on my Cr-48.

I absolutely love the instant-on of this notebook, though. From off, it seems to take 10 seconds to be logging in. But from sleep, it’s awake before I’ve finished opening the lid. Honestly, the best use this gets is when I’m in the living room, on the couch, and want to fulfill my internet cravings. Usually I’d pull out my phone to do that, but this notebook is even faster.

Thanks, Google.

  1. I’ll explore what it’s like trying to develop software on this after I explore more options on this thing. 

  2. C’mon Hulu, hurry up and provide HTML5 video support already. 

  • #chrome os
  • #cr-48
  • #google
  • #planet