We are visiting our daughter and her family this week and we brought two toys with us. One is my wife’s Apple iPad and the other is my Cr-48 test notebook running the Google Chrome OS. Before I begin, let me state that I am not sure if the OS on my Cr-48 will be the same Chrome OS used on the Chromebooks soon to be released. I would venture a guess that they will be fairly close in functionality.

Last evening I let my son-in-law take the Cr-48 for a spin to see what he thought of the Google Chrome OS. Some of his observations were similar to mine about what needs to be improved upon.

Where is the taskbar? Most of us were raised on Windows and by habit, go to the bottom of the screen looking for the taskbar. Google may wish to add this feature in future versions.

What good is the Chromebook without an Internet connection? My thoughts as well. If I can’t work on my Google Docs offline, the Chromebooks will be extremely limited and could affect their popularity as an alternative to Windows.

The built-in file manager Google added needs improvement. I slipped in a memory card, which the system immediately recognized. I tried downloading a file, which worked fine, but I was unable to transfer the downloaded file over to the memory card.

Where is the context menu? We need the ability to right-click and select cut, copy, and paste in Google Docs. The Control C, V keys work OK, but again, for those of us coming from Windows, I am constantly right clicking and expecting to see these commands.

When will Chrome OS get a real app store? The Chrome Web Store, though improved as of late, still lacks the sophistication of Apple iTunes and the apps Apple offers.

All of the above, though some are not directly a part of the Chrome OS itself, will make the Chrome OS experience what it needs to be. It appears to me that Google is going to release the Chromebooks with promises of improvements down the road. This in itself could make the Chromebook a hard sell.

I let my son-in-law try the Apple iPad and make a comparison to the Cr-48. After comparing the two, his opinion was that the Apple iPad was more useful. Useful? I found that statement odd because, for what I do, I find the Cr-48 more useful and the Apple iPad more fun. This proves something that I already knew.

Chromebooks are going to be used mainly by people who need to complete a work task, whether at a business or in a school environment. Apple iPads are more for fun for surfing the Internet and putting work aside. We have all heard the old saying, comparing apples to oranges. This adage holds more truth today since the Apple iPad and Google Chromebooks are complete opposites in function and the tasks they perform best.