Just a few days after Google unveiled the Cr-48 Chrome OS notebook, the company has begun sending out demo units to a select group of beta testers. Ben Kessler received one about an hour ago, and posed the first unboxing photos on Flickr.

Kessler reports that the build quality seems to be good, and the case has a rubberized plastic feel, but the battery doesn’t sit flush with the bottom of the laptop.

The Cr-48 has a 12.1 inch display, 802.11bn WiFi, a Gobi 3G wireless chip, and an 8 hour battery. The keyboard has been optimized for Google Chrome, replacing the Caps Lock key, for instance, with a Search key — although you can change the settings to enable Caps Lock if you really need that function.

Google is sending the laptop out free of charge to testers. Only about 60,000 units will be made available. Acer, Samsung, and other PC companies are expected to produce consumer-oriented Chrome OS laptops which will go on sale in mid-2011.

You can find some more photos at TechCrunch, as well as Engadget, which appears to have received its shots from a different Cr-48 recipient.

Update: Engadget’s Paul Miller has received a Cr-48 laptop as well.

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3 replies on “Google’s Cr-48 Chrome notebook now shipping (and arriving) to beta testers”

  1. Facepalm overdoes his lamentation. I have used off-site storage, provided free of charge by the university where I taught before retirement, for at least twenty years. This appears to be the major component of cloud computing that upsets Facepalm. The principal other component is software. To me Microsoft seems no more benevolent than Google. In light of the Wikileaks attacks on major Internet users, I concede that any reliance on the Internet involves risk. All anybody can do is to understand and minimize the risk. If you are concerned about privacy, stay off the Internet entirely.

  2. This is junk for idiots. Why is it being covered here? I can’t think of anything you’ve posted to Liliputing over the years that is less compact than this.

    I would highly recommend that you take the rest of the day off and carefully contemplate what compact computing really means. If you think that this computer qualifies then I see no reason to keep visiting here. I don’t think that a computer that’s dependent on an Internet Service Provider’s infrastructure to be functional, requires me to connect to a server farm just to access my data, and relies on a professionally managed IT deployment in order for me to run basic software qualifies as compact act all. Obviously, this is intended to lock dopes into vendors and out of our their computers, which is what life was like before the PC. It’s a return to the low point of computing. It’s a tactic to take everything from us we currently own and then charge us access fees to get it back. The cloud is little more than a scam, but more than anything else, it’s the opposite of compact. This is an absolutely huge and inefficient device that relies on thousands of computers and watts of electricity to be functional. How is that compact? Do you really believe that Google and Verizon are tiny computer companies? If you really want to give it your time, then create another website called Gigantorputing. Otherwise, there won’t be much point for your loyal readers to return as this latest project from Google is junk that’s meant to hurt your average moron who doesn’t understand computing. I believe that you think more highly of us than that. Or maybe you don’t.

    1. Sounds more like you don’t think highly of everyone else. I’m not a big fan of the Cloud either, but only because I know it’s not ready for the masses yet. The reality is the Cloud is just the natural evolution of the Internet and you’ll have to denounce the Internet to really denounce the Cloud.

      If you really want to get into semantics then the fact is you already are using the Cloud. Every time you read a web page, post a comment, watch a Flash video, download software, update your OS, use email, etc for pretty much anything dealing with the Internet and accessing something not on your system.

      Really, how do you think a service like Youtube is even possible without the Cloud?

      The reality is there is benefit from running things from the cloud, just like everything else we already do on the Internet it lets us do things without having to have everything on our system and carry everything we need with us at all times. So it really does make things more compact for end users.

      You may not like the way Google is marketing the service but it’s hardly like we don’t have any choices and in the end having choices is better than having none, regardless of whether you like what other people choose.

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