Announced on December 7th, 2010, the Google built CR48 was the first Chromebook released. Five years on it’s starting to show its age, but it’s still pretty current and runs pretty nicely; but all good things come to an end and as of today, the CR48 is no longer eligible to receive updates.
Google extended the support for Chromebooks in May last year, with the Google support page for Chromebooks now stating that support is for ‘5 years for Chrome devices from launch of the hardware’. That date has now come and the CR48 is the first Chromebook to reach the milestone. As a reference platform, the CR48 saw only limited distribution, and most of that in the US, so the impact of this ending of support will be minimal.
According to the list, the first mainstream Chrome OS device, the Samsung built ‘Chromebook Series 5’ will be the next to reach this unenviable milestone in June next year, with the Acer AC700 following soon after in August.
The CR48 was a hell of Chromebook, with a beautiful matte rubberised finish, similar to that which we next saw on Google’s LG-built Nexus 5. The lack of any branding on the device makes it still one of the best looking laptops I’ve ever owned and even after 5 years, it still works. Of course the CR48 will continue to work, it just won’t receive feature or security updates from now on – unless Google changes their mind.
If you’re interested, you can actually still pick up a good deal on the CR48 via eBay, but with no more updates inbound it may be worthwhile looking at newer models.
Chromebooks arrived in Australia back in March 2013, but of late they’ve been increasingly hard to find. JB Hifi no longer carries them in-store or on their website, and nor seemingly does Harvey Norman – though Google still lists only these two suppliers as the ‘official’ partners on their Australian Chrome devices page.
But, Chromebooks, and Chrome OS devices aren’t quite dead in Australia, Dick Smith does still at least list one Chromebook on their website and Dell ships one model to Australia as well. Asus will begin shipping their ChromeBit dongle to Australia this month, and Amazon in the US will ship you a Chromebook, ChromeBox, ChromeBase in no time at all.
If you haven’t yet used a Chrome OS device, it’s well worth your time to jump in and try one out. The ChromeBit will be a good place to start when it launches, but for true convenience and speed, the Chromebook still is a great machine and even though the progenitor of all these wonderful devices has reached the end of its life, there promises to be a lot more to come.