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Review: Google's Chrome OS Notebook

Super Fast Boots Into Chrome OS

Upon pressing the power button, we were quickly greeted by a Chrome splash screen, and not long after (we're talking about seconds here) were prompts to connect the machine to a wireless network. This machine breathes the Internet, so being connected is crucial. After entering in our wireless password, we had to log in to our Google account and take a picture of ourselves with the webcam to attach it to the user login.

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Chrome OS draws all of its data from the cloud that is associated with your Google account. It is through your Google account that Chrome OS is able to load your Gmail, your calendar, your synced bookmarks and settings. While there are some offline capabilities to this notebook, it's best to consider it just a terminal to Google's internet services.

After skipping through a few introductory splash pages that explain further some of the features of Chrome OS, we were brought to a screen one would normally see in a full-screened Chrome browser window. There's no dock or taskbar on the bottom; there's no start button in the corner and there are no icons scattered about on a desktop wallpaper.

Instead of icons on a desktop, there are Apps listed in the Chrome home page such as the usual suspects of YouTube, Gmail, Google Talk, Google Maps; there's even a couple of games loaded there too. Of course, there is a link to the Web Store where you can download more Apps.

Right now there is no way to rearrange the order in which the apps are displayed. They will appear in the Chrome OS home page, as well as any of your synced browsers, in the order in which they were installed. We reached out to Google about whether or not more flexibility is in the works and were told that this adding in flexibility to the app page is something that the Chrome OS team is working on.