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Google unveils Cr-48, the first Chrome OS laptop

We’ve had plenty of pre-knowledge on this, but surprisingly this is our first actual glimpse of Google’s new unbranded “Cr-48,” the very first Chrome OS laptop. Google will distribute the laptop through its Chrome OS Pilot Program, in a sort of public beta. You actually have to apply to join the program, and there are going to be a limited number of the laptops available — retail Chrome OS models from Acer and Samsung will be available in the middle of 2011 for the masses. Google’s doing a number of little promotions to give away the devices to interested users and businesses which will provide feedback, and it looks like there’s no way to actually pay money for one right now. Now, for the specs:

  • 12.1-inch screen.
  • Full size keyboard.
  • Oversized clickpad.
  • Qualcomm Gobi 3G chip for Verizon data in the US, your carrier of choice internationally.
  • 802.11n dual-band WiFi.
  • 8+ hours of active use.
  • 8+ days of standby.
  • Webcam.
  • Flash storage.

The keyboard is the one we uncovered last week, with no function keys, but a full row of Apple Keyboard-style actions. The caps lock key has been replaced with a search button, which will enrage internet trolls and screenwriters alike. Branding-wise… there is none. The “Cr-48” refers to an isotope of the material chromium, there’s no logo and no design frills on the laptop itself, and it only comes in black. It seems Google is going out of its way to make it clear that this isn’t a mass market device, with Chrome OS still in the beta stage, and no apparent intentions to compete with third parties in the hardware space. Still, we gotta say: we wish more manufacturers would take a page out of this no-frills book. The murdered out Cr-48 looks like pure sex to us.


How-To: Install the Android 2.3 Gingerbread keyboard on your rooted device

Want to check out some new Gingerbread goodness, like… now? Well you’re in luck, as Peter Alfonso, creator and maintainer of the infamous custom ROM, “Bugless Beast”, has gotten it all tucked away in a nice, flashable zip file – the keyboard, that is. Thanks to Peter, you can now install the Gingerbread keyboard on your rooted Android device through recovery, and it’s very easy to do. Just hit the break to find out how!

  1. Download the zip file here
  2. Put the zip file on your sd card, preferrably on the root of the card
  3. Boot into recovery and flash the file like you would any other zip
  4. Reboot. When you get to a text field (i.e. – messages or email), press and hold the text input box, choose “input method” and then “Android Keyboard”

And that’s it! You’ll be loving on some 2.3 keyboard goodness. As always, it’s a good idea to backup your current default Android keyboard. It’s as easy as renaming the LatinIME.apk in /system/app, which can be done via ADB or something like Root Explorer. I like to rename these types of things to something like “LatinIME.apk.bak” to make it easily findable again.

As always, a few warnings.

  • You should be running a 2.2 based custom ROM
  • Auto correct is not yet fully functional
  • Will not work on a 2.1 based ROM due to voice search issues
  • If you are using a DROID X, be sure to go to mounts > storage > mount system and then back to install the zip file

Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below! As always, TalkAndroid cannot be held liable for any possible damage to your device.

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