Google’s Cr-48 Chrome OS laptop ditches the caps-lock and function keys


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No caps-lock or function keys are to be found on Google’s new Cr-48 Chrome OS laptops.

And no hard drive or Google branding for the blacked-out notebook computers either.

The Cr-48 laptop, unveiled yesterday at All Things Digital’s Dive Into Mobile conference in San Francisco, also won’t be found for sale in any retail stores.


Instead, the computers that look to be built for Darth Vader will be given away as a part of Google’s Chrome operating system pilot program.

The Cr-48 will be built in limited numbers, by Acer, and sent to an even-more-limited number of approved users to test out the ‘work in progress’ Chrome OS and provide feedback to Google on how the Web-based system works.

Anyone over 18 can apply to take part in the pilot program. No word yet on just how many Cr-48s will be made or how big the pilot program will be.

Google product manager Sundar Pichai lightheartedly said that getting rid of the caps-lock keys would improve the quality of comments on the Web.

The top-row function keys have been abandoned in favor of media keys that will handle the playing, pausing, volume and assorted controls for movies, music and other media.

The laptops, named for an isotope of the element Chromium, run Web-based applications and connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi or 3G wireless networks.


Because the Cr-48 will rely on the Internet to run all applications, a traditional hard drive has been ditched in favor of enough flash memory to store the software needed to connect to the Web.

The computers will feature a 12-inch display, weigh 3.8 pounds, hold about an eight-hour battery charge and boot up in 10 seconds or resume from sleep instantly.

A camera above the screen is included, as is one USB-port and a large Apple-esque trackpad.

While the Cr-48 won’t be available to consumers, Acer and Samung will release other Chrome OS laptops next year, though no information has been made as of yet on exact release dates or prices.


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles and Jessica Guynn