I'm an early adapter of Google's new $35 Chromecast product.

I ordered it as soon as I read about it, but not because I wanted the product. I wanted to test my powers of pattern recognition. I do that sometimes. If you live long enough, you can predict which sorts of things won't work even before you try them. In this case, it seemed unlikely to me that I could scroll through content on my phone and tell the Internet to send it seamlessly to my Chromecast dongle so it could display on my TV. Too many hand-offs and synchronization problems, I thought. It just feels like the sort of thing that looks good on paper but never works when you get it home.

So here's my review of the Chromecast:

1. Looks good on paper.

2. Doesn't work when you get it home.

Okay, some details.

The set-up only has a few steps, but the on-screen directions for one of the steps was so oddly worded that I predict no more than 20% of the general public would be able to decipher it. I stared at it for a few minutes and considered quitting. Eventually I took a guess at what the directions meant and it worked out. Most of the readers of this blog would have guessed right too. To put it in perspective, if you are the type who can buy a wireless router and set it up without help, Chromecast would be easy enough to set up. Otherwise you might need to ask for help.

To be fair, the setup is just one poorly-worded instruction away from being genius. And I'm sure by now someone has posted a YouTube video of how to do it.
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