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Review: Google's Chrome OS Notebook

Rejoice for the Massive Battery and Matte Screen

The Cr-48 is a 12.1-inch notebook that has a footprint of 9.8" by 6.1" and is 0.9" thick. It's fairly portable at 3.8 lbs.

The 12.1-inch screen has a pixel resolution of 1280x800, giving it a 16:10 screen resolution that's nearing extinction. Given that this machine is built for scrolling through online content, not having a wider dimension isn't a problem at all. While the LCD panel isn't particularly brilliant (in fact, it's downright low-end, but don't forget that Google is giving these away for free), the matte finish is something we sorely miss, that we're used to in other notebooks. Given that Chrome OS notebooks should be made for on-the-go travel, a matte screen is what works best in the widest range of environments.

A slim sliver of a battery attaches to the bottom of the casing and makes up about half of underside real estate. It sits flush with the rest of the system, and pops off with simple slide of the latch.

Even before powering up the notebook, we knew that there was an Intel processor inside the Cr-48, which was made clear thanks to the "If you cracked this open, you'd find Intel" card inside the box. We appreciate that it was a card, rather than a sticker on the palm rest.

The Intel CPU inside is the Atom N455, which is a single core processor built on on Intel's CG82NM10 PCH. It's believed that the market versions from Acer and Samsung next year will use dual-core Atom N550. For memory and storage there's a 2GB stick of Hynix RAM inside, plus a 16GB SanDisk SSD. Its Verizon 3G chip is the Novatel Gobi2000 PCI Express Mini Card, and the Wi-Fi is handled by the AzureWave Atheros 9280 802.11 a/b/g/n part.