All Laptops Should Be Like Google's Stark Naked Notebook

Illustration for article titled All Laptops Should Be Like Google's Stark Naked Notebook

"Is that the Google notebook? Wow, I really like it!" That's what everybody's who's seen the Cr-48 Chrome prototype says. It's not because they love the software.

The Cr-48 is what notebooks should be like: Spare. There are no residue-streaking stickers. No stamps. No logos, no badges, no labels. Nothing shiny or blinking or twinkling. No swooshes or frivolous textures. It's pure, unbroken matte black skin.


The most remarkable design is so subtle you don't realize that it is design. And that's the Cr-48. There's nothing unnecessary here (even if it doesn't have some things that some people might say are necessary). Superfluous keys are deleted to make room for more useful ones, like search and screenshot. The trackpad is buttonless, so there's more tracking surface. It's plastic and lightweight, but sturdy. There are curves and edges exactly where they should be. Functional, beautiful minimalism. It's like a ThinkPad designed for someone under the age of 30.

Compare: Rows of laptops at Best Buy, more tattooed than flamed out rockstars. NVIDIA GTX 483958 graphics, INTEL INSIDE, MCAFEE PCONDOM, HP RECOMMENDS WINDOWS 7 HOME PREMIUM ULTIMATE AWESOME EDITION. And it's worse when you actually turn them on.

A blank slate of a laptop, the Cr-48 makes sense coming from Google, which isn't trying to sell you a bundle of parts or software. It doesn't matter who built the laptop, or what's inside. Just that your eyeballs are firmly affixed to the internet, undistracted—and the ads Google serves up. The Cr-48 is just a prototype only a few of us (like you!) will get to use, but don't be surprised if, like the Skywalkers, there is another.


It's just unfortunate that Google might be the only company that could give us this kind of laptop, because it's the kind of machine that some people clearly want: One that lets us just focus on what's in front of us.

Share This Story

Get our `newsletter`


Nothing to See Here!

A lot of the stuff you described this laptop as would be the same as a MacBook.

I know I'm definitely going to get people say "Oh you trolling fanboy, it's a laptop and so is a mb. chill out for once"

But I'm being serious. This looks a whole lot like a MacBook. And you described it as if Google were the first to make a design like this.

"The trackpad is buttonless"

"There are no residue-streaking stickers. No stamps."

"Nothing shiny or blinking or twinkling."

"No swooshes or frivolous textures."

This is still a prototype, most prototypes are going to have a lot missing. It's probably going to have a lot more stuff to it. But really, right now this thing seriously is taken straight from a MacBook. I hate to constantly go on about how a lot of design seems to be copied off Apple, and people have got to stop acting as if it's a normal thing. All the laptops I've owned have been nothing like a MacBook, they've had loads of rough edges and all. A MacBook is unique, now a lot of people are starting to take the designs.