Google Chrome Review – First Impressions

by Martin Malden

I installed Google Chrome and took it for a trial run today.  I wouldn’t call it a test drive, I need longer for that.  Just a trial run to get a feel for what it’s all about.

Here are my impressions:

Installation:  Quick and easy, it imports your bookmarks and settings from either IE or Firefox (select from a drop down menu).  I installed it on my work PC which is running on the LAN, using a proxy, and all this was dealt with absolutely seamlessly (a lot better than FF 3.0 when I installed that a while ago).

First Impressions: A clean, minimalist UI.  There’s no permanent status bar at the bottom of the screen.  A neat little temporary status bar appears when you hover over a link and remains there if you click it until the page is fully loaded.  Then it drops away.

There are not many options you can select in the options tab.  In fact the only option I selected was to display a ‘Home’ page button on the toolbar – a bit surprising to me that this wasn’t there as a default, but I guess that’s in line with their aim of making this as clutter free as possible.

It does seem to be very fast.  At least as fast as Firefox 3.

I checked all my own pages and they render the same as they do in Firefox.  (In IE there are some very small differences which I’ve left as they are, since they don’t detract from the page or the message).

My bookmarks were all imported and installed on the bookmarks tool bar in the same folders and configuration that I have them in Firefox.  This was a definite plus!  It meant that I could continue browsing in Chrome almost without breaking stride.

Overall impression: 8/10.  This is based on ease of installation and ease of use.  The fact that my bookmarks were imported correctly (I have them all set up in different folders) enabling me to continue browsing smoothly was a big plus.

Visually it’s definitely minimalist.  But you get more viewing area than you do with IE or FF.  Everything you need is there, though, except for the ‘Home’ page button – and you can add that as an option.

Would I Use Chrome in Preference to FF Going Forwards? No.  Not because of any problems I experienced (because I didn’t experience any), but because I have a lot of plugins installed in Firefox which offer me functionality that I can’t get (yet) in Chrome.

It will be very interesting to see how Google develop Chrome in the future, because it’s definitely a very strong start!

Have you tried Chrome?  Leave us a comment with your thoughts!

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