Nice about the portal is that you can add a number of rss feeds. Of course the drag and drop of the different items, mail integration, and ofcourse the google search integration. I watch the news of the Dutch news papers, you can ofcourse watch slashdot and Matt Raibles Spring live blog.
Another interesting application is google talk. You do not need to have skype or msn anymore, you can do everything the google way. http://www.google.com/talk
I was allready using google desktop. Now there is e beta of the second version desktop. This looks very promising. Find everything you have on your pc, including photo's, mails, documents. All from one little bar. You can also find the latest news, your favourites, everything you want. I am curious what google does with all this information. But if you have nothing to hide I guess you don't have any problems http://desktop.google.com
Just for fun have a look at google earth, beware you need a very good internet connection to use it.