Hands on: Google Chrome OS netbook review

Hands on Google Chrome OS netbook reviewWe first glimpsed the CR-48 prototype Google Chrome OS netbook at CES in January and they’ve finally appeared in the UK courtesy of the Big G.

Our Chrome OS netbook has arrived in the office today, so we’ve ignored the big hot sun to bring you more in-depth thoughts on Google’s Windows basher than we were able to put together in a few minutes on a baking show floor at CES.

First thing’s first, this is still very early kit. Some of the creases we’ll explain here will be ironed out by the time Chrome OS gets into your hands in hardware from many of the usual netbook vendors.

Second thing’s second, Google Chrome OS looks like Chrome the browser because, essentially, that’s exactly what it is. Here’s a few of the different bits. That’s what it is. It’s a browser. There is no desktop. And that in itself takes an awful lot of getting used to. We won’t lie – we’ve been spoilt with fully-fledged operating systems.

Chrome OS does attempt to make up for the limitations of this in many of the ways that phone OSes fail to – there is a (very basic) file browser so you can transfer files between somewhere like Dropbox and Google Docs. Or where you might save an image from the web to upload as your Facebook profile pic.

Chrome OS also comes with the Scratchpad note-taking tool. Of course, you don’t need Chrome OS for this, but it’s a handy tool and can sync with Google Docs.

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