Cloud printing is a bust for me. At least from my home PC, its shot. I know, I know, I shouldn't expect the old beigeness (HP Laserjet 5MP) to work with the new shiny......well, the new matte, if we're being literal. I did manage to get the testing build of the Chrome browser to stop dying a horrible death every time I fired it up, but cloud printing is still a bust. I will be sure to test with a more modern printer in the near future and report back - or as Google continues to bring more print drivers under its cloud umbrella, perhaps my humble HP will return to usability.
I did want to address the cloud print concept - and I'll address this to Google, in a sense. This machine is for those who are ultra mobile, and need stuff on the go. Imagine, if you will, cloud print services that operate within your local print shop - like the spots where you could have a fax sent back when people still used fax machines. Wait.....people still use fax machines? What is wrong with the world. Anyway, imagine printing your document to a subscribed cloud service of some kind, and then being able to pick it up from your local printing shop. Many big box business stores already cater to similar services, and Google should get in on this.
Now speaking of cool services that Google has provided - 3G is awesome. No doubt about it, this laptop shows its strength. Back when I had 3G service for my Thinkpad, via a Sprint adapter, I used about 150-180mb in an average 2 hour session. I kind of expected to blow through the Google provided 100mb fairly quickly. In the interest of testing, I've used it for the past two days as I would under normal circumstances - running an instant messenger (IMO - Available via the Chrome App Store) and my standard websites. I'm avoiding running any YouTube videos or anything of the sort, but I have not turned off flash ads or image loading. As of this writing, in 2 days and roughly 5 hours on 3G, I've still got 66mb. Its not great, mind you, considering this is day three, but for casual hops between WiFi, it should be more than enough. Power users can opt to turn off more services to save bandwidth or use a web based filter like Skweezer (www.skweezer.com) to decrease bandwidth usage. I do think that the Chrome laptop has an edge over standard netbooks and laptops when it comes to this 3g dilemma. Forgetting to disable a service or program such as a bittorrent client, or having a Windows Update kick off could gobble up 100mb in no time, but with ChromeOS only running what's in the browser, bandwidth usage is vastly decreased
If anyone has any suggestions or requests on things for me to test, please, feel free to drop me a line. I'm always up for trying out a good suggestion - but save anything that has to do with rooting the unit for a bit down the road. Once I sort out my real laptop situation and acquire a fully functional replacement for my aging X41, I'll jailbreak this little box and see what real potential I can unlock. I'll be using it for a month as a normal laptop - and even doing the first two weeks worth of my Psychology homework via the unit when classes restart in the new year. I'll keep reporting regularly during this process - I'll try to keep up daily updates, at least until school gets in the way, so please keep visiting!