Back in December, Google unveiled its Cr-48, the notebook that introduced its long-awaited Chrome OS. Google shrouded the Cr-48 in secrecy and exclusivity, promising models only to hand-chosen industry professionals and various lucky others who filled out forms online and were deemed worthy of giving the 12-inch notebook a test drive. The Cr-48 wasn’t given an official launch date, and now we’re finally hearing from product management Sundar Pichai that Google has shipped the remaining remodels, “for now.”
Pichai tweeted on March 8 that Google was out of available units and that “we will have partner devices out mid-year.” So if you were hoping to get yourself a gifted model, no such luck. According to PC Mag, this was confirmed by a Google spokeswoman. “The response to the Pilot program over the past few months has been fantastic, and interest in piloting Chrome notebooks has greatly surpassed our expectations. At this time we are no longer accepting new applications for the Pilot program and no longer shipping units. We are looking forward to our partner devices later this year.”
Acer announced a partnership with Google all the way back in 2009, and according to recent reports we could see consumer ready devices from the PC maker as well as Samsung by this summer.
The Cr-48 has debuted to mixed reviews. Generally it’s been praised for its build quality, which features a rubber-like, matte black chassis that has been compared to the original MacBook Pros. It’s minimal without alienating users – although the lack of a caps lock, function controls, and lack of right click take some getting used to. But from most reviews, those aren’t anything to take issue with. The most halting quality of the Cr-48 is its entire dependence on cloud computing – iTunes syncing to iOS devices is impossible and uploading photos directly into a Web app is unfamiliar.
But if Google and its production partners meet their soft summer deadline for mass marketed devices, we’ll soon find out what adjustments the Cr-48 is looking at.