≡ Menu

A Mac user’s view of the Chromebook Pixel

I’ve been a Mac user since 1986, and edited a Mac magazine for a couple of years. I’ve contributed to MacGasm, MacFormat, and pretty-much anything that has the word “Mac” in its title. I attended more Steve Jobs keynotes than is healthy, and suffered the epic 3 hour Gil Amelio keynote which reduced even the hardest-bitten hacks to weeping babies. If there is such a thing as Mac spurs, I’ve earned them.

But as a technology writer, I’ve also always kept an open mind about other options. I’ve used Windows in anger (back in the days when a tablet PC meant Tablet PC, not an iPad). I’ve had Android phones. I’ve used my own cash to buy Android tablets (and boy, did I regret that one).

And in the past couple of years, anyone that follows me will know that I’ve also long been interested in the Google’s Chromebook concept. The idea of a machine which reflects how I actually work (mostly online) is attractive. It’s secure, fast enough, and I never have to worry about where any of my data lives. Almost all the software that I use on a day-to-day basis is web-based, and my browser is the application I use most often. Sometimes two of them.

But… I’m also a hardware snob. And although the crop of Chromebooks that Google’s partners have released over the years have been interesting (and lord knows, I’ve had a few of them), when you’re used to the build quality of something like a MacBook Air, it’s really hard to trade down to something that’s more plasticky and cheap-feeling. And that’s leaving aside features like the retina displays on the current MacBook Pros, which – once experienced – are really hard to live without.

Google clearly thinks there are enough people out there like me to make it worth building a high-end Chromebook, and that’s exactly what the Chromebook Pixel is: a laptop with excellent build quality and the kind of attention to detail that previously you’d only usually see on an Apple machine. Add in a retina-class screen which is actually touch-enabled and you’ve got something that’s very interesting.

But, it has to be said, expensive: over £1000 in the UK, which is a hefty price to pay for any laptop these days. But when you look at the numbers, that’s about £200 cheaper than a 13in Retina MacBook Pro, which is its nearest equivalent. So if you’re basically doing everything on the web anyway (or could do) and you’re considering a retina MBP, it starts to look like good value.

Google was kind enough to invite me along to the UK launch, and at the end of it I picked up a loan Pixel to play with. What I’m going to do over the month that I have it is use it as my main machine, replacing my trusty recent-vintage MacBook Air for everything I can. Unlike the other Chromebooks, this is very much meant to be someone’s main personal computer. The question is, for a Mac user (who uses Web apps a lot), can it actually do the job? These, effectively, are my first impressions after a few days use.

The hardware

I’m not even going to pretend otherwise: I love hardware. That’s one of the biggest reasons that I’ve always been a Mac user – the quality of Apple’s hardware design and build is simply streets ahead of everyone else. I’ve never found a Windows laptop that comes close.

What sets Apple apart is its attention to detail. You know, when you push the Lightening cable into an iPad, that someone has spent a lot of time listening to the sound of its “click” over and over again, adjusting the port until it’s just so. This is something that other computer makers cut corners on, and it always shows.

The Chromebook Pixel is the first non-Apple laptop I’ve ever used that’s actually taken the same approach. It’s clear that Google has worked really, really hard on the details. It doesn’t get everything right (the power plug, while pretty, is inelegant) but it gets all the big, important things right in a way that almost no PC makers do.

Take the trackpad. Once you’ve used a Mac trackpad, made of coated glass, everything else feels cheap. Google has made a trackpad that actually feels better than the one on my MacBook Air, by sweating the detail of what, exactly, the optimum patterning on the glass should be. It feels great, a world away from the cheap trackpads that you get on most laptops.

A second detail: as with most Chromebooks, there’s a row of dedicated function keys above the main keyboard. As you’d expect, these are a different shape to the main keys. But they also require much more pressure on them to invoke the function. Why? Because it makes them harder to accidentally hit and activate if you’re typing fast or reaching for the screen (and I’ll come back to why that’s important later). That’s something that most people will never notice – until they accidentally hit one and it doesn’t screw up their work.

It’s worth mentioning, too, that the keyboard itself is excellent. Keyboards are very personal things, and everyone likes a different action, but to my old fingers, the Pixel’s feels about perfect. It’s firm, but not so firm it requires you to hammer the keys. There’s a good positive action to it. And, of course, it’s backlit.

Oh you pretty things

The showstopper feature of the Pixel, and the inspiration for its name, is the screen. And what a screen. I was fortunate enough to test the first retina MacBook Pro, and the screen on the Pixel gave me the same kind of feeling: that we’re finally at the future of computing I imagined 20 years ago, with screens that have the definition of vividness of high-quality paper, where pixels are something you know exist in theory, but never actually see. The next-cheapest machine with a screen this good (the 13in Retina MacBook Pro) will cost you £200 more. I have to get about three inches away before I see pixels.

What difference does a screen like this make, though? Although there’s a lot of talk about how important it is for images, the biggest difference for me is on type. Words look how they’re supposed to look. Fonts which otherwise are horrible on screen absolutely sing. And the great bit is that unless you’re the kind of web developer who puts text in JPGs “to make it look right” (you fool), you get this improvement for free, because Chrome itself is retina-ready. If you love type, you really want a screen this good.

Unlike virtually every laptop on the market these days, the Pixel shuns widescreen and uses a decidedly old-fashioned 3:2 aspect ratio. This makes me a very happy bunny: I hate 16:9 screens, which make movies look great, but make the web look rubbish as it’s mostly designed vertically, rather than horizontally. Why laptop makers think widescreen is a good idea is something that I’ve never been able to work out. Unless you’re watching video – not the main thing I do on a laptop – it just makes everything feel cramped.

Touch me, I’m sick

Of course, what the Pixel has that the retina MacBook Pro’s don’t have is probably its most controversial feature: it’s multi-touch enabled. This is a bit of a weird one. In theory, when you have a really good trackpad, there’s no reason to have touch on screen as well. But in practice, I’ve found myself reaching out every now than then to do something on the screen itself: tapping a button, closing a tab, occasionally scrolling. I’ve been surprised, already, by the amount of times that I’ve used it.

I suspect that one of the key factors that’s made me naturally start to use touch is that I use my iPad a lot. I’ve almost become trained to expect that a screen can be touched, that you can manipulate things on screen using your fingers, to such an extent that I know there have been times that I’ve tried to touch objects on the screen of my MacBook Air.

Will I use it a lot? Probably not. Is touch a feature that’s really nice to have, and that leads to a more “natural” computing experience. Yes, I think it is. I wouldn’t buy a laptop (or reject one) solely on the basis of touch being part of the package, but overall I’m sold on it.

The rest of the hardware mostly exudes good design practice, marrying a really rather beautiful case with lots of attention to detail. Compared to a MacBook Air, it feels a little chunky, but compared to a retina MacBook Pro, it’s pretty svelte. You certainly wouldn’t be ashamed to be seen around with it in public. The ports (all arranged along the sides) are minimal but give you pretty-much everything you could want, with two USB 2, Mini-DisplayPort, headphone/mic jack and SD/MMC card slot. The absence of USB 3 or Thunderbolt doesn’t really strike me as much of an omission, given that they are most useful for high-speed storage, which is one thing the Pixel doesn’t really need.

I could talk about the dual-core Intel 1.8GHz Core i5 chip, 4GB of DDR3 RAM and 32GB SSD, but to be honest the specs are actually not really all that relevant. What they mean, basically, is that the Pixel is fast. Subjectively, the old Samsung 550 with its less-than-beefy Celeron felt fast, because ChromeOS cuts out all the cruft that usually slows your machine down. The specs on the Pixel just mean it’s damn quick at everything it does: your connection speed is usually going to be a greater drag on performance than the machine’s specs.

One thing that I found, though, was that it was easy to get the Pixel to run pretty hot – not lap-burningly hot, but definitely warm to the touch underneath. This isn’t a super-cool machine, despite it’s super-cool looks, and I found that the fans kicked in far more often than they do on my old MacBook Pro – and make more noise, too. Pixel may be strong, but it’s definitely not the silent type.

Burning Chrome(OS)

To say that ChromeOS isn’t like other operating systems is understating it. ChromeOS abstracts away almost all of the operating system as we know it, and presenting you with a window on the web – and nothing but the web. There are no local applications to install: everything runs in the browser. That means you’re limited, when you don’t have a net connection to whatever features your HTML-based applications can do locally.

It does have a local file system (and the 32GB SSD built-in to the Pixel lets you view lots of different file formats, even without a net connection) but if you’re like me, you’ll probably find you don’t use it much. Instead, your files are stored online, and Google includes three years’ worth of 1Tb of online Google Drive storage to get you started with that. Let me say that again: Google includes 1Tb of online storage, yours for free for three years. That’s around £1200’s worth of storage, which effectively means that if you’re looking to buy that anyway, you can pay up front and get a very nice free laptop – and a bit of a discount.

The biggest thing you hear about ChromeOS consistently is that it’s “just” a browser, something that’s true, but doesn’t really capture the heart of the OS. Yes, it’s a browser front-and-centre. But underneath that, there’s some pretty amazing technology designed to keep the machine running, updated, and safe from malware of all kinds. ChromeOS tabs are sandboxed, so it’s hard for web pages to do anything nasty, and the OS itself uses a verified boot system which means that it’s hard to write the kind of malware which plagues Windows (and is occasionally an issue on the Mac).

As with all ChromeOS devices, the Pixel auto-updates itself regularly and it’s virtually maintenance-free. In many ways, in this sense, it’s the true Google equivalent of the iPad, a “computer” which doesn’t need the kind of computer-savvy that you’ve needed since the dawn of home machines. I sometimes think of ChromeOS devices as “post PC” in the same sense as the iPad, simply because they’re not machines which require you to tinker in order to make them just work. They just work. They really do.

App-liance or science?

Back in the mists of time – OK, the 1990’s – one of the constant refrains that Mac users heard all the time from their Windows-tolerating brethren was that “the Mac just doesn’t have the programmes available for it”. Ironically, perhaps, this is exactly the same thing that hear from Mac users about ChromeOS.

Of course, now as then, this is bunk: there are huge numbers of web-based applications out there, covering pretty much every kind of task you can imagine. Word processors, spreadsheets, games, finance, project management, photo editing, even video editing all have apps available. The biggest problem I find with the Chrome Web Store (which is meant to curate web apps) isn’t scarcity – it’s wading through all the stuff that’s available. Just as with the Android Play Store, Google really doesn’t do editorial curation very well for Chrome.

What does really matter is whether the applications exist, and whether they are of high-enough quality – and it’s here that Chromebook has some question marks over it. Some web apps are of very high quality: Google’s office suite gets better and better, with less and less reason to dive into MicrosoftLand on that score. Basics like photo management, music and so on are well covered. More demanding applications like video editing are there… just.

The truth is that web apps, like Mac apps in the 1990’s, are “mostly there”, but the quality and breadth of choice mostly isn’t. If you were a Mac user in the 90’s, you’ll find exactly the same level of delight and frustration working with web applications.

Get off-a my cloud

“But wait” I can hear you say, “isn’t it just a paperweight when you don’t have a net connection?”

That sound you hear is me groaning, softly, and hitting my head on the desk.

For a lot of people – me included – any computer without a net connection is pretty-much a paperweight these days. There’s a reason that my iPad has 3G as well as WiFi: while there’s plenty of stuff it can do without a net connection, if I’m actually doing any work, I really really need one.

For the odd moments that I don’t have an internet connection, more and more HTML/JavaScript applications will happily run when not connected to the internet too. Email? Sure. Word processing? Yep. Task manager? Of course. Google has a whole category of offline-capable apps in the Chrome Web Store, if you’d like to actually look at them. I wrote a decent chunk of this article without a net connection, and thanks to Google Drive’s offline support, it didn’t make any difference to how much I could work.

For everyone?

I’ve seen a fair few comments from disappointed existing Chromebook users that the Pixel is somehow a diversion from what they thought Chromebook was actually about: a machine which was cheap, easy to replace, and so on. Some of these comments have been pretty forceful – one commenter even referred to the Pixel’s price as “gouging”.

I think much of this comes from the feelings expressed in the Chromebook marketing campaigns that suggested the device was “for everyone”: a device of the people, for the people, for (literally) everyone. The problem with this campaign, though, is while it expressed the idea of Chromebook as something for everyone to use, the machines themselves were decidedly low-end – and not everyone wants a low-end laptop. Like lots of people, my laptop is my main computer and for my main computer I want something that’s a little more well-built, robust, and high-end than any of the other Chromebooks. Even the Samsung Series 5 550, which isn’t a cheap machine, still doesn’t match the build and features of even one of the cheaper Macs.

The Pixel makes me feel that Google probably took one look around its own campus at the plethora of Macs people were using, despite all of them mostly using web apps, and wondered why there wasn’t a Chromebook which could tempt its own employees to ChromeOS. The Pixel is the answer to that – and also for people like me, who want a good quality machine and are happy to pay a premium price for it.

To buy or not to buy?

Should you buy one? Looking at the machines around the same price point and of equivalent quality, you basically have the 13in MacBook Air (£999) and the 13in Retina MacBook Pro (£1249). If you need to use desktop applications, and haven’t (yet) made a switch to a web-based workflow, either of those will be a better option. Likewise, if you want to play games, either Mac will serve you better. Photoshop? Yeah, get a Mac.

But what if you really don’t use desktop applications – what if you’ve already made a transition to a wholly web-based workflow? Then the choice becomes a little more difficult.

Both MacBooks run Chrome, very well, so all your web apps are going to work great. The Air is lighter than the Pixel (1.35Kg vs 1.52Kg) and less bulky as a package. It also has significantly better battery life, with Apple rating it at 7 hours (and my own usage suggests that’s pretty much on the money), while you’ll get maybe 5 hours out of the Pixel. That’s a big chunk of working time.

What you don’t get with the Air, of course, is that utterly gorgeous screen. For that, you need to spend £200 more than the Pixel and get a 13in MacBook Pro. And there’s no touch screen option, although the value of a touchscreen on a laptop is moot, in my opinion.
A retina-class screen is a wonderful thing, and your eyes will thank you for having one. But your shoulders will thank you for carrying a lighter computer, and the power sockets of your nearest coffee shop will thank you for the extra couple of hours battery life you’ll get from an Air compared with the Pixel.

Basically, if all the apps you use are on the web, you need to consider whether you’d prefer a lighter machine with better battery life, or a slightly heavier and more power-hungry machine with an incredibly good screen. If you’re spending a thousand pounds, I don’t think either a MacBook Air or a Chromebook Pixel will disappoint you. But which one better meets your needs depends… well… on what your needs really are.

Would I buy one? At the moment, no – but that’s entirely down to the fact that I already have a current-model MacBook Air and I’m not looking to get a new computer for at least another year. And in a year’s time, the situation could be very different: Apple may have brought the retina screen to the MacBook Air, or Google may have hacked a couple of hundred pounds off the price of this year’s Pixel (and that that price, it would be a bargain).

Having said that, I’ve spent the last week using the Chromebook Pixel not because I felt like I had to, but because it’s a joy to use. It’s been the machine that I’ve picked up rather than my MacBook Air, out of choice, because using it with the web services that I use every day is a brilliant experience. I love the feel of its keyboard. I love its pixel-free screen. I love its purity, it’s single-minded devotion to the web and just the web. I don’t love the fans, which just kicked in and (compared to the almost-silent Air) sound like a small but irritating vacuum cleaner being used in the room next door.

But I do love the Pixel. And I am really going to miss it when it goes back.

Conclusions

One of the themes that Sundar Pichai came back to again and again when introducing the Pixel is that it’s almost a statement of intent: a rallying cry to developers to create web apps which are touch-enabled, and that include retina-quality images. These are two things that really bring the web to life, and I think that Sundar is right to highlight them.
But it’s also a statement about Google, too, because it says that Google can do hardware with the same attention to detail and quality that Apple does. It’s not a shot across Apple’s bows, but more putting a flag in the ground that says “Come on Cupertino, we can do hardware – you think you can do services?”

If part of the reason for the Pixel was to prove that Google can create really good hardware design, it’s done its job: The Pixel is the best laptop I’ve used that didn’t have an Apple badge on it (and it’s better than quite a few laptops which did). It’s a different concept, it’s not fussy old Windows, and it’s making me want to be at least occasionally unfaithful to my beloved Mac. For a first attempt at hardware from a software-and-services company, that’s pretty damn good.

Isn’t competition great?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Hardik Panjwani

    Great review. I agree, competition is great. Lets see what google can pull off in the smartphone department, my iPhone 4 is getting long in the tooth :)

    (I did a bit of a double take on reading this line:” I have to get about three inches away before I see pixels.” Then I realized that you meant 3 inches close :D)

  • SockRolid

    Re: “Would I buy one? At the moment, no…”

    Bingo.

  • ChuckO

    For 200 pounds extra you get an awful lot of peace of mind going with the Retina MacBook. Purchasing this thing would be sheer folly.

  • http://twitter.com/marypcbuk Mary Branscombe

    Wait till you go back to your MacBook and get frustrated by all the times you try to touch the screen. Could be enough to drive you to a Surface Pro ;-)

  • http://www.technovia.co.uk Ian Betteridge

    But, as I point out, that’s mainly because I have a current-vintage MacBook Air. I could say the same thing about the retina MacBook Pro at the moment, too…

  • http://www.technovia.co.uk Ian Betteridge

    Not so sure about that. The Pixel – like all Chromebooks – is the most maintenance-free non-tablet (read: non-iPad) I’ve ever used. That adds in a lot of peace of mind.

  • http://www.technovia.co.uk Ian Betteridge

    Funnily enough, there have been times with my Air that I’ve reached out and wanted to touch the screen…

  • ChuckO

    Sorry, that’s absurd. All you need to do is find one app you have to have that isn’t on the web and your up the creek. To save to 200 quid??!! Buy a Macbook Retina and install Chrome – problem solved. You can live in the web all you want and have peace of mind.

  • http://twitter.com/chiefted Ted Ellis

    I always come back to the price on the Pixel, and for that much I would rather spend a bit more and get a low end MacBook Air.

    Having said that, the $249 (US) Samsung Chromebook that I picked up last week is solidly build, though yes it is a plastic case and I really enjoy using it since my MacBook Pro is now basically a desktop. Offline, as you said, hasn’t been an issue. I can pair it to the iPhone or when I am on the subway with no signal it works just fine in the off line mode. 100 Gigs of storage for free for two years.

    The only complaint I have is with the track pad and the way it feels after using a Mac (that glass feeling) other wise both machines, the Samsung and the Pixel, are solid machines. 

    Are the for everyone no. Is any computer for everyone of course not. 

  • r00fus

    So the design is nice, and usability is good, but the OS still doesn’t run a lot of software that I use on a daily basis.

    I’m not even talking about “business software” but basic text editors and tiling windows that I expect of anything larger than a tablet.  I need to be able to see two screens of text/data at once and compare/edit/etc .

    So ChromeOS is truly an OS without windows – it’s simply got tabs.

  • http://www.technovia.co.uk Ian Betteridge

    “All you need to do is find one app you have to have that isn’t on the Mac and you’re up the creek.

  • http://www.technovia.co.uk Ian Betteridge

    No – ChromeOS has windows, and has had for a few releases. Basic text editors are also pretty plentiful (I use TextDown for writing Markdown, but there’s many other options).

  • http://twitter.com/shaunkirkwong Shaun Kirk Wong

    Why exactly to you prefer 3:2 over 16:9 aspect ratio? The 3:2 apect ratio reminds of the era of CRTs. Most apps and websites are being optimized for 16:9, so it sort of feels like a step backwards. 

    If the Pixel was ~1000 and included an easy way to run linux commands without boot installing something like Cr OS Linux I think it would stand a chance (not that I’m happy about OS X command line tools requiring XCode)…

  • http://www.technovia.co.uk Ian Betteridge

    The web is still mostly taller than it’s wide, especially web apps.

  • Herding_sheep

    I’m not trying to discredit Googles hardware-building capabilities here….but it’s a little bit easier building Apple quality hardware when you have a good lead to follow. It’s quite evident that Google borrowed more than a few design cues from Apple, and followed the guidelines of their attention to detail. Yes, they can build a trackpad made of glass with smooth travel, but only because they’ve seen what that’s like and have a reference to base off of. Apple on the other hand forged ahead on that little detail alone, and had nothing to reference to when optimizing the friction patterns on the glass to make it feel just right.

    The same can be said for all of the little details on the Pixel. Building a solid aluminum unibody….really hard to figure out every detail alone, much easier after someone’s already done it and given you a reference.

    I’m not discrediting Google. There’s something to be said that they seem to be the only other ones able to MATCH Apples quality. But when the exceed Apple, and discover new processes, techniques, and details that Apple hasn’t ALREADY pioneered….then I’ll be impressed. But until then, Jony Ive and team seem to be the only ones with the obsessiveness to develop new techniques on the scale of the original unibody and glass trackpad.

  • Pingback: reviews on chromebook pixel and surface pro by mac users « his randomness

  • SuperMatt

    The idea of Chromebook is that computers are hard to use, so it just uses the web only.  This fails miserably when compared to Macs in my opinion because Macs aren’t hard to use.  Even Windows is so much easier than it ever used to be.  And there are applications for Mac and Windows that are vastly better and easier to use than any web app.  I guess I don’t see a single good reason why you’d want a computer that can ONLY browse the web and do nothing else, unless it’s going to be drastically cheaper than a “full” computer.  Actually, for a kiosk device, this type of thing would make perfect sense.  But not for an individual’s personal computer…

  • healeydave

    Absolutely spot on, couldn’t have put it better myself.
    I can believe someone would buy a pixel fr the sake of £200 more, and we are talking a significant bump for that £200 too 32gb SSD pah!

  • healeydave

    Really?

  • healeydave

    Haha, did you read his piece about how he likes quality hardware ?

  • bootak

    This is very true. The Pixel is an iterative laptop. A very good one at that, but nothing we haven’t seen before. Google is standing on the shoulders of giants. The same can be said of the software. Chrome OS is a browser with Windows 7 snap features, OS X Stacks, and a Windows/OS X dock. If they continue, Google could have a very disruptive product especially as HTML 5 becomes more powerful. However, I can foresee some feathers being ruffled as the other competitors have their features “appropriated” in a product whose maker makes money off ads, enabling them to undercut hardware prices. 

  • http://twitter.com/caleb_land Caleb Land

    And up that creek is VMWare. I’m sure it’s a great computer, but you have to admit that’s a huge drawback, especially for a machine that is focused so heavily on only using the web.

  • ChuckO

    “”All you need to do is find one app you have to have that isn’t on the Mac and you’re up the creek.” 

    This is particularly desperate and sad for an argument. You’ve bent over so far to make this a reasonable competitor to an Air or a Retina Macbook that your head is up your… junction.

  • ChuckO

    I understand what’s cool about the Pixel but it makes no sense except for someone out to prove a point. Actually that’s no true. It doesn’t make sense for that person either. It just makes obvious that they have let some weird neurotic tick get the better of them.

  • healeydave

    Agreed, it must be frustrating for Ive & co to see all these clones.
    There was a time when you could tell a MacBook Pro or Air from a mile away, now, its only possible if you get to see the glowing Apple on the back of the screen. That goes for all the ultra books out there as well.
    People say competition is good, but at the moment, all I see is companies copying Apple designs as an easy option / cop out. Whilst that continues to happen, I prefer to reward the only company that is innovating (Apple) rather than line the pockets of the cloners, it just seems unjust otherwise!

  • mattack1

    “slows your machine done”?

  • http://robertdenton.org/ Robert

    “you think you can do services?” 

    Nah, that whole iTunes thing is a flop.

  • ChuckO

    Exactly, need to run Windows you have multiple options on a Mac.

  • secretmanofagent

    Yeah, that is a real stretch.  Right now on my Mac, I have OS X, Win XP, Win 7, and I used to have Win 8.

    Anywho, the better answer is if you need more than 32GB of local storage (or whatever is left over after the OS uses it).  That won’t even cover my music collection, let alone pictures.

    Or if you’re on a tiered broadband plan for your home.  It’s the epitome of waste itself.  I do something on my computer, I don’t have to upload it to some server, then redownload it whenever I want to use it again.  I have it on my computer, and I’m done.  No wasting electricity across the board having to access some server who knows where to transfer my own files back and forth.  Granted, I would make the assumption that the first thing purchased after this is an external hard drive.

  • JohnDoey

    > so it’s hard for web pages to do anything nasty [in Chrome OS]
    Chrome has built-in FlashPlayer and Java (the Mac does not) so it is actually easy for Web pages to do something nasty to your Chrome OS.

    >  and the OS itself uses a verified boot system which means that it’s
    > hard to write the kind of malware which plagues Windows (and is
    > occasionally an issue on the Mac).

    There has never been any malware in the boot system of any Mac. There are no Mac viruses. All the Mac has is 3 or 4 trojans (apps that pretend to be files so that you open them without realizing you are launching an application) that Apple disabled each time within a few days.

    > [categories of apps]

    No music and audio, no art tools, no motion graphics, no pro video, no 3D authoring, no CAD, no pro photography, no pro publishing, no design tools. Even iPad mini has all this stuff.

    And Chrome OS has no workflow automation — I would lose 2–3 hours per day without AppleScript.

    > video-editing

    Have you actually made any video with this? Has anybody?

    You’re a Mac user and you can give up iMovie?

    > and haven’t (yet) made a switch to a web-based workflow

    The yet here is out-of-date since 2008, when App Store opened. The fastest-growing and most popular apps in the world are the native C/C++ apps in App Store. Almost all of the growth in the PC market is iPad. People are commonly moving from a Windows PC where they mostly use Web apps to an iPad where they mostly use native C/C++. Objective-C is the fastest growing computer language, and the #1 most-learned computer language today.

    What HTML5 promised, Apple delivered in App Store, because Apple made native C/C++ apps have the same 1-tap install, yet made them safer to run than Web apps, and of course they are much, much more powerful than Web apps. And the fact that a developer can charge you 99 cents each supports the creation of more and better apps.

    > For a lot of people – me included – any computer without a net
    > connection is pretty-much a paperweight these days.

    Again, that is out-of-date. If you are on AC and Ethernet, no problem. But cellular data is a smaller, more expensive, more unreliable pipe with a lower bandwidth cap than what it replaces. So even users that have a pristine LTE connection are trying not to use data. But many times all you have is a wonky 128 kbit/s EDGE connection. And there are plenty of things you can do with no data connection: shoot hours of video, take thousands of photos, write thousands of words, write music, record audio, draw and paint, as well as edit all of that stuff if you have native apps.

    And cellular bandwidth data caps have not gone up in 10 years, and the price of the data has not gone down. Even home Internet connections are getting more expensive and have lower and lower bandwidth caps.

    At the same time, SSD is getting cheaper and cheaper and the capacities get bigger and bigger. When your iPad has 1 terabyte SSD, will you want to store all your stuff in the cloud, or would you rather the device backs itself up to an encrypted cloud store only when it is in Wi-Fi and plugged into AC? Leaving your cellular connection free to access new data?

    And, network read/writes use way more battery than local read/writes to SSD. I never, ever work plugged into AC anymore. My computers plug into AC to charge and backup to the cloud. On batteries, they do the minimum they can do so they go all day.

  • http://twitter.com/tavisallen Tavis Allen

    Bingo what? You cherry picked a quote to satisfy your own opinion, what is the point? Are you hoping someone will read your response without having read the entire article?

  • http://twitter.com/tavisallen Tavis Allen

    Ahh, we are both guilty-as-charged. Crime? Feeding a troll.

  • tomandyourmom

    I’ve never seen a single website or app EVER optimized for 16:9.  In fact, you’re totally full of it.  Vertical space is always at a premium.

  • http://profiles.google.com/naval.m.gilles Naval Gilles

    have you used a chromebook? Because you have spoken like someone who has never used one.

    Yes there is a video editor,a very good one called we-video
    Yes there is a photo editor, take your pick
    Amazing office creation apps, google docs, office 365, zoho, the list goes on.

    No pro-editor (What percentage of the population do pro edits of videos, pro edit of photos, use Cad. and those apps are coming to the web, just like everything else has)

    The Samsung Chromebook which starts at $249 is currently the best laptop on the planet for the average person. Chrome fulfills the wished of the vast majority of people without the headache. Chrome is the first truly maintenance free os. 

    No memory to worry about
    No app install to worry about
    No updates to worry about 
    No virus to worry about 

    Chromebook is the next version of computing.

    Just wait until io when google and abode release adobe set of apps running at native speed in the browser. That’s right Photoshop and in all its glory, running in a browser, that will be a revelation to the doubters. 

    Chrome os is only laughed at, by people who have no understanding on the evolution of cloud computing and the web. Some of the greatest apps are web apps, gmail, maps, youtube, google drive, sky drive, office 365, we video, aviary, web apps rule the app ecosystem, we just call them web pages.

    Web apps are the most important apps on the planet, we function on web apps.
    Let me put it this way, gmail or photoshop, which one is more important and more used. Gmail is a web app, that has been transitioned to mobile (Which still is a web app, html5 with a hint of native code)

  • Pingback: Chromebook Pixel Compared to MacBook | Explore Investing

  • jvenner

    Skype.  Not available on Chromebook.

  • JohnDoey

    What can you do with a ChromeBook that you can’t do with an iPad with Retina Display and an accessory mechanical keyboard case that turns it into a notebook when appropriate? For about half the price?

    Even “run Chrome with touch” or “run Chrome in high-res” is not unique to the ChromeBook Pixel.Because there are so many things an iPad can do that a ChromeBook Pixel can’t.

  • http://twitter.com/albsure75 albsure75

    I’m all for extremes and concept products because they move things forward. However I can only recommend these products to people with lots of money who live on the “edge” anyway. Those people   know what they are getting into and don’t fret about being pioneers in uncharted waters.

    The Pixel may do 90% of what you want but for a little extra the Macbook Pro will do EVERYTHING you may ever need to do in computing. Thats quite a big difference for £200. Thats the main reason MacBooks are popular with developers on Google’s campus. Its not the aluminium box and trackpad (though they are nice). It’s the fact a macbook pro can run any OS, virtualised or native, any high end content creation tool and any high end programming tool. It can do ANYTHING.

    Thats why the macbook is so expensive and at the same time seen as good value by people who buy them. Your paying for the insurance policy of knowing that if need be, whatever it is, you can get it done.

    So in my head I’m still wondering what Chrome OS is all about if it NEEDS an i5 to shine. I can understand it as a low cost web machine, thats perfect but it doesn’t make sense as a high end machine because it doesn’t do high end things. No amount of aluminium shine can hide that fact. 

    Its like buying a car that looks like and costs the same as a BMW but can only do 30mph and saying it doesn’t matter because I never go on the motorway… 

    hmmmmm…

  • JohnDoey

    > have you used a chromebook? Because you have 
    > spoken like someone who has never used one.

    Yes, I used one. It was crap. The hardware was crap, the apps were crap, it was all crap. There wasn’t anything that the ChromeBook could do that wasn’t better done on an iPad.

    I haven’t used a ChromeBook Pixel. I am perfectly willing to stipulate it has a great screen, great keyboard, apparently a great trackpad, and the enclosure looks nicely designed, and apparently has a nice feel. I’m impressed by the hardware. I’m glad to see somebody out side of Apple is hiring computer designers.

    BUT — the hardware is only 1% of a computer. The most important 99% is the software, because that is what provides the functionality. And the Chrome OS software is crap. The apps are crap. They are years out of date.

    There is an old idea that a Mac user would rather run Mac OS X on a Dell than run Windows on a Mac, because it is the Mac software that enables you to do more and better work than on any other system. The hardware is like a plant pot, the software is the plant. The hardware is a picture frame, the software is the painting.

    > those apps are coming to the web, just like everything else has

    No, they are not. Everything is not coming to the Web. That is an antique idea. It’s one of the best ideas of the early 2000’s that didn’t pan out. Since then, App Store has brought the best features of Web apps (1-click install from the cloud) to native C/C++ apps, yet App Store apps are safer. But the thing is, users have been spoiled by the power of native C/C++ apps. They expect to be able to mask a photo by drawing on it with their fingers, they expect high levels of interactivity, rich media, 3D graphics. The Web looks antique to someone who has been using an iPad or iPhone for a year.

    Why is the native C development on Chrome OS closed? For security? Apple showed how to make native apps more secure than Web apps in 2008. Google put FlashPlayer and Java into Chrome OS since then, the most insecure apps there are. If Chrome OS had support for only HTML5/C instead of HTML5/FlashPlayer/Java it would be better and more secure. The C development is closed because of an antique idea, and because Google wants your data in the cloud where they can root through it. Not because it makes a better computer.

    The vast majority of app development today is for iOS. Even in Web development circles, everyone is making iOS apps. Not because they are hip or sexy, but because they are a thousand times more powerful and they make money.

    When the Web wants to add a new feature, there is a 3 years standards battle and then 2 more years before there is enough browser support for developers to roll out that feature. When Apple wants to add a new feature, they just add it.

    Even if the Web started moving more quickly, it will take many years just to catch up to where iOS is today. Apple will be even further ahead by then.

    The Web remains the king of cross-platform reach, which is its very reason for existing in the first place. Facebook and Twitter  — quite obviously better as Web apps than anything else. But by the same token, there are many kinds of apps that are better as native C/C++. For modern computing, we need both.

    Hotmail came out in 1998 or something and blew everybody’s minds because email (an application of the Internet

    > No pro-editor (What percentage of the population do
    > pro edits of videos, pro edit of photos, use Cad. 

    We’re not talking about the general population. We’re talking about people who buy notebook computers for $999-and-up — the high-end computer market. That is where ChromeBook Pixel is selling. Over 90% of that market is Macs. The rest is almost all custom-built PC workstations for 3D modeling or CAD.

    What do people do with a $999-and-up computer? Pro video editing, pro graphics, pro 3D modeling, pro CAD, pro music and audio, pro publishing, pro software development. To make a $1299 computer pay for itself, you pretty much have to be doing pro work of some kind with it. The pro apps require and utilize i5’s and i7’s and 16GB RAM.

    And those who bought $999-and-up computers that aren’t doing pro work almost all bought Macs to get iLife, which is “pro lite” — consumer interfaces on top of the same pro video, pro audio, pro graphics infrastructure that the pros are using. For example, GarageBand is Logic underneath, the documents you make can be opened in Logic and professionally mixed and mastered. And GarageBand relies on the same CoreAudio and CoreMIDI subsystems that the pro apps rely on. Systems that are absent from ChromeBook Pixel. The Mac doesn’t treat the iLife user like some kind of rube who only needs a toy app — if you bump your head in iLife, you can buy the pro version and all of your work imports into that new pro app and you continue.

    Where else do we find CoreAudio and CoreMIDI and GarageBand? iPad and iPhone. Even a $329 iPad mini or iPhone 4S can record a studio quality multitrack music session if attached to an Apogee MiC or one of thousands of other music and audio accessories. iPad and iPhone are huge in music because musicians do not have desks. They are replacing dedicated audio recorders and instruments.

    A large percentage of $999-and-up systems are software development systems. 75% of Google, Facebook, and Twitter is on Macs, because they have both Mac creative tools like Photoshop and Unix coding tools like python. There are 1 billion native C/C++ apps in App Store, all made with Xcode on a Mac.

    None of this work can be done on Chrome OS. You can’t sit at a desk next to me with your ChromeBook Pixel and keep your job. Even if you can do a particular task, you will be way too slow. You just won’t be able to do enough work with your ChromeBook Pixel as compared to someone with 28 years of Mac software heritage and even longer for the Unix stuff. AppleScript alone save me 1 day per week.

    > Chrome os is only laughed at, by people who
    > have no understanding on the evolution of cloud
    > computing and the web.

    I’m laughing at Chrome because it costs more than a Mac and it does less than an iPad. Because Google did not revise their ideas in the face of the changes that iPhone and iPad have brought, except to bolt on a touchscreen to ChromeBook Pixel. I’m not laughing because of cloud computing or the Web, both of which I have an excellent understanding of. Google or Chrome does not equal Web or Cloud. The Web was invented on OS X, Chrome’s WebKit engine is an OS X subsystem (it goes with AppKit and I/OKit and others,) and most professional Web developers are on the Mac, including most of Google.

    I’ve been a Web developer since 1994, and wrote text books starting in 1998. I’ve worked on Web projects as a production artist, front-end engineer, producer, writer, and audio/video producer. I did Flash work starting in 1997, and do HTML5 animations and audio video today. I love the Web. I’m not impressed by ChromeBook Pixel.

    As for cloud, these days I use 3 computers when I work (iPad, iPhone, MacBook Pro) and all the music, movies, books, and almost all of the apps on them are stored in the cloud. The documents that belong to my current project are synced between all 3 via the cloud so that I can leave off writing a document on iPad and pick up on iPhone later, so I can write on the iPhone and pick up later on the Mac for final production work. All 3 backup to the cloud. The cloud is working great for me. And I’m not impressed by ChromeBook Pixel.

    So I’m loving the Web and the Cloud. But Chrome/Google does not equal Web or Cloud.

    > $249

    That is not what we are talking about. That is off-topic. We are talking about ChromeBook Pixel, a $1299–$1449 high-end notebook that can only run limited-capability Web apps and does much less than an iPad.

    But even if we were talking about a $249 ChromeBook with less than 5 hours of battery life, that does not compete with iPad mini for $329. For only $80 more, the iPad mini gives you: double the battery life, less than half the size and weight, pristine 11-point multi-touch, Mac-class mobile PC apps covering every category, much better build quality, much better service and support, a much longer working life, and better security (no FlashPlayer, no Java, replaced by 1 billion secure native C/C++ apps in App Store.) Even if you are on a budget and cash is low (I have been there many times) you are better to wait a bit and save another $80 because otherwise you will be buying 2 Samsungs ($498) to get through the 2–3 year working life of an iPad mini. I have an exactly 3 year old original iPad here that is still going strong. The cheap Samsung notebooks are lucky to get through a year.

    Finally, the reason I am so passionately against ChromeBooks is that these are being given to kids in schools that don’t have art supplies, don’t have musical instruments, don’t have textbooks, don’t have all kinds of things that they should have. If you give a kid an iPad mini, that kid can discover they are a brilliant songwriter or movie-maker or photographer, or anything. A school can produce its own textbooks on a single Mac with the free iBooks Author and kids can read them as easily as a paper book on iPad mini. But kids with ChromeBooks can become Web users and be targeted with ads. When ChromeBooks and iPad mini cost the same money, that is a crime.

    And people who are buying their first PC are being told by computer nerds to get ChromeBooks because “that is all you need.” No, the unsophisticated neophyte computer user needs MORE features in their computer than a computer nerd. In part because they don’t know what their focus will be yet. They need to have apps from every category. And in part because they need everything to just work, all the time. iPad has accessories that Apple guarantees you will just work.

    A Linux hacker could use a ChromeBook to access a Linux server and be right at home in many ways. A new computer user does not have ways to route around what is missing in Chrome OS. They will just suffer there and miss the most-exciting stuff that is happening in computers today.

    And this is just more of the old make-it-look-like-a-Mac but leave out a ton of software, and profit from the unsophisticated user who doesn’t realize that a Mac and a Mac lookalike don’t have the same functionality. Google is leaving out even more software features than Microsoft ever did. It’s a sad charade. Tragic in a world that has $329 300 gram iPad minis that do everything.

  • http://profiles.google.com/ee2718 admin 1

    You can access Skype. However since you can’t install any local apps on a Chromebook since it uses web apps, so you have to access Skype via a web service like IMO instant messenger.

     https://imo.im/

  • Pingback: Tweet: Article perfectly summing up why I think the #pixe… at blog.coupland.me

  • http://profiles.google.com/ee2718 admin 1

    >Yes, I used one. It was crap. The hardware was crap, the apps were crap, it was all crap. There wasn’t anything that the ChromeBook could do that wasn’t better done on an iPad.Why is the native C development on Chrome OS closed? For security? Apple showed how to make native apps more secure than Web apps in 2008. Google put FlashPlayer and Java into Chrome OS since then, the most insecure apps there are. If Chrome OS had support for only HTML5/C instead of HTML5/FlashPlayer/Java it would be better and more secure. What HTML5 promised, Apple delivered in App Store, because Apple made native C/C++ apps have the same 1-tap install, yet made them safer to run than Web apps, and of course they are much, much more powerful than Web apps. And the fact that a developer can charge you 99 cents each supports the creation of more and better apps.<

    What the crap are you talking about? Haven't you heard about Native Client and Portable Native Client, which can run C, C++, and C# code securely. Javascript is far more secure than C, C++, C# code – it has to be to be safe to run from arbitrary untrusted sites. Native Client and Portable Native Client imposes the same security restrictions as is imposed on Javascript onto native code execution. These are relaxed a little for Javasscript and Native Client local windowed packaged apps to account for the less risky environment in which local apps like those on Macbooks or Windows, but they are still way more secure than Windows or Mac local code because they include code checking to eliminate various exploits like buffer overflow or code overwriting etc.  

    Apple's App store is nothing clever, and nothing to do with code security – it is just a trusted repository for apps. Linux has been doing the same thing for years, and so does Windows 8 now. Chromebooks have the Chrome Web Store.

  • http://www.technovia.co.uk Ian Betteridge

    Well, Macs ARE hard to use compared to, say, the iPad. In fact, I think us Mac users get a bit complacent about Macs being “easy enough for everyone”. The iPad has made me rethink that. 

  • http://www.technovia.co.uk Ian Betteridge

    Hi John,

    There’s a few misconceptions in your comment. First, ChromeOS doesn’t have Java installed – in fact, for anyone who wants to play Minecraft, that’s a PITA :) Neither does it have normal Adobe Flash. The version that ChromeOS uses is called Pepper Flash, and it’s been specifically designed to be both more reliable and completely sandboxed. There’s more details on Pepper here: http://blog.chromium.org/2012/08/the-road-to-safer-more-stable-and.html

    Your assertion about Mac malware is false, unfortunately. I review anti-malware packages for the Mac on a pretty regular basis. To do that, I have a pretty decent collection of Mac malware – and it’s way bigger than “3 or 4 trojans”. What’s more, trojans are the most common form of malware, on any platform, period. Almost every widespread malware on Windows these days  is a trojan. Why? Because it’s easier to rely on people installing something stupid than the existence of a security hole. Security holes can be patched: user stupidity can’t. That’s as true on the Mac as Windows. 

    There are web apps for many of the categories you talk about. Art tools, motion graphics, 3D… all covered. So is music creation. On my Mac, I’ve used iMovie twice in anger since it was released. So it’s no big deal for me. 

  • TheDisco

    The Surface Pro feels good in the hands, its the OS that is mediocre. 

  • http://www.technovia.co.uk Ian Betteridge

    I use an iPad with the wonderful Logitech ultrathin keyboard pretty much every day at work. It’s my “carry around” machine, and it’s great for light work. But if I want to sit down and work on a document solidly for more than half an hour or so, I want to do it with a bigger screen, and a bigger keyboard. 

    Chrome on iPad, while nice enough, isn’t anywhere near as powerful as Chrome on the desktop. Javascript performance on iPad simply isn’t good enough to run too many web apps. 

  • http://www.thedividendtrader.com/ Rob L

    Good article but your assuming everyone like the very slippery and uncomfortable feel of polished aluminium and as well never use a mouse. if your not like that than Macs are inferior computers. I, for example, put a plastic shield on both mine and my wife’s iPad.

    Same for computers, I prefer the feel of a plastic 400£ Fujitsu over the polished feel of a 1200£ Mac Book. This doesn’t mean my computer is better only I prefer plastic or aluminium.

    And that’s not getting to what pain Mac OS is for a window user.

    Rob

  • Pingback: This Week In News, All The Good Stuff | Macgasm

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ian-Ray/30902884 Ian Ray

    Compal supposedly manufactured the Pixel. Most consumers forget this, but a few Taiwanese companies that most people have never heard of (aside from Asustek) make 9/10 of the laptops we ever see. Some companies, like Compal, will also assist with or even do the design for a brand. So, when speaking about the Pixel design, it is important to note that while Google stood on the shoulders of existing technology, they also executed the Pixel with the same technology giant that all sorts of other brands use to design and produce high-end laptops.

    This fact is why we knew exactly what the Pixel was going to be way before Google announced it. The big hero right now in Taiwan is Compal, the industry is very impressed with this work. The only mixup for westerners was tech journalists being ignorant of Chinese-style counting units (10,000 and 100,000,000 instead of 1,000 and 1,000,000) and how many laptops actually exist that they thought Google was ordering 20 million instead of 200,000.

  • Corr_E_Lation

    “The Pixel makes me feel that Google probably took one look around its own campus at the plethora of Macs people were using, despite all of them mostly using web apps, and wondered why there wasn’t a Chromebook which could tempt its own employees to ChromeOS.”

    I think this is exactly right.  In my experience, the quality of any particular Google service is directly proportionate to whether it’s used on a daily basis by a Google software engineer.

    That’s why they had such high hopes around Wave (it’s everything they do all day, but unified), didn’t understand privacy issues around Buzz (their own company knows all their personal information anyway), and why after more than a decade Groups is still unusably bad (nobody at Google actually uses Usenet) — yet Google Search for software related issues is downright incredible.

  • Corr_E_Lation

    I don’t know why 3:2 would remind you of CRTs.  I’ve never heard of any 3:2 CRTs.  4:3 was by far the most common aspect ratio on CRTs, though 5:4, in the form of 1280×1024, was also frequently seen.

    3:2 reminds me of most non-large-format consumer film stock, like the ubiquitous “35mm”.  I think it looks great!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ian-Ray/30902884 Ian Ray

    I think Google Groups is bad for Usenet because it was fused with email lists and “native” Google Groups, uses for which Google Groups works well.

  • Pingback: A Mac user’s view of the Chromebook Pixel | Tim Dehring

  • http://www.fantastic-realities.com/ SamuraiArtGuy

    “If you’re spending a thousand pounds, I don’t think either a MacBook Air
    or a Chromebook Pixel will disappoint you. But which one better meets
    your needs depends… well… on what your needs really are.”

    That pretty much sums it up…

  • http://www.fantastic-realities.com/ SamuraiArtGuy

    “If you’re spending a thousand pounds, I don’t think either a MacBook Air
    or a Chromebook Pixel will disappoint you. But which one better meets
    your needs depends… well… on what your needs really are.”

    Well, that pretty much sums it up. But it’s interesting to see Gruber’s take –

    “Indeed, the Chromebook Pixel seems like another bit of evidence that Google is getting better at what Apple does best faster than Apple is getting better at what Google does best.”

  • Andrew Byrd

    People stop the fighting and arguing here is what happened this is Googles concept laptop a great choice that will evolve into a great product in the future. Apple has the Air and Retina two laptops that offer a great experience with local storage in mind the Pixel wants you to stream. Neither has a flat out upper hand over any other they both offer great experiences. Where I love my Retina and quite enjoyed the Pixel both end of day fit different needs. Lets come together and really look at both then ask what we need as individuals some will need a Mac others Windows and others the Chrome computers. This is all fine as they are machines and price doesn’t matter if you have a great experience that fits you why wouldn’t you pay anything for that. Price like everything is relative to the experience that you get out of it. Why wouldn’t pay anything for a great experience. These aren’t social status symbols they should extend who you are not choose who are keep that in mind. 

  • Pingback: Barely Legal Monday Morning News

  • CAC1031

    It is one thing to recognize that Google is emulating Apple in producing a high-quality build, but the Pixel hardly lacks its own unique design features.  It is the first laptop to combine a super-clear screen with touch.  Also the touchpad texture, the pressure sensitivity on the function keys, the 3:4 aspect ratio,  the three-mike noise cancellation for a laptop and the multi-light bar are  things that are so far not included in other high-end laptops.

  • CAC1031

    Thank you!  I did not realize this and have been using Skype on Android with voice recognition for those friends without Gtalk as I don’t like to type much on a phone or tablet.  This is a great service as it combines them all in one place!

  • Pingback: Display Pad | TechNinety

  • Pingback: Chromebook Pixel Compared to MacBooks | Jann.com

  • stevesup

    Google’s price is a tell: It has no faith at all in the Pixel as a product. It’s Pixel dust. Like Glass. Pure puerile posturing. The guys at the top of Google spend a lot of time cloaking the fact the company is a ad firm.

    Admittedly the ad driven business model won the TV industry for decades. Tho’ CBS never had to hand out free TVs, as Google does with the cheap end Chromebooks. It’s about content: Do we want internet media run on the principle that the best stuff is the stuff that sells best to advertisers? Or do we want a bunch of HBOs, that get to choose among advertisers because its quality is so high? Google scurries around hiding the fact that its ambition is to be CBS, not HBO. 

  • Devon Alexander

    i really don’t understand what things people do that are outside the web that they get so crazy about. 

    “When your not on the web its like a paper weight” 

    is really a dumb thought. What they mean to say is When your not in the Browser which even though it doesn’t seem like much is a huge difference. Don’t believe me? turn the WiFi off on your computer for a week and see just how much u actually do. Its true outside the browser Chrome OS is lacking a bit but that’s the whole purpose for this device is too promote developers to fix that use. As for apps pretty everything we do now can be accessed on the wed and probably even started on the web and then eventually turned into apps. I think this is a step in the right direction for computers. I personally have more saved on Google Drive than i do on my computer because i realized that along the way it doesn’t matter the device i can access my files.

    I think the main problem here is Google’s openness, where as on windows and mac the software that makes people want to use them and the things that make it special are only on those systems, with Google it never mattered where u were u could access your things so no one truly feels the need to ditch their old device. With that being said the Chromebook Pixel is for those people who realize that the main reason they haven’t gotten a chromebook is because of the unsatisfactory hardware and shows that the chromebook and essentially Chrome OS can run on anything from a low end device to a high end device and it shows how Google can hit both markets if needed.

    I personally don’t think people are upset over the device or even the price i think the problem with the Pixel itself is the learning curve. People basically live in a browser with an exception of games and office (which the pixel has and is improving) so they are afraid to take a very small leap of faith.

    The future of chrome books lays with the Pixel and the biggest thing which people really don’t understand is the future. Chrome OS is going to grow and the pixel is going to continue to get the updates and maybe within a year people wont even be able to make the claims they make now about the device because we don’t know where Chrome OS will go.

  • http://socarr.wordpress.com/ socarr

    Very, very good review. I just received my Chromebook Pixel today, previously I used Samsung Chromebook, the 11.6″ version. I decided to upgrade because I have never purchased such a luxurious computer – I always bought the lower-end PC models. I am so blown away by, as you mention, the attention to detail.

    I love Chrome OS, it is all I need for my personal computing needs. I am a long-time Linux user and early Chrome web browser adopter, so I am accustomed to working outside of the Windows norm. I never knew how much I did NOT need in an OS until I used Chrome, and I mean that in the most positive way possible.

  • http://www.technovia.co.uk Ian Betteridge

    Thanks! I think you make a really good point about not needing an OS, and that’s one of the things that professional techies (like most technology journalists) don’t understand. Unlike techies, ordinary people don’t spend most of their time in the OS, and don’t want to spend an eternity fiddling with it. They want to spend their time in apps – and both ChromeOS and things like iPad are about getting the OS out of the way and letting you do what you really want to do.

  • http://gplusid.com/shiraz Shiraz Siddiqui

    great writeup, and i just got my Pixel to replace my mid-2009 13″ MacBook Pro

    wow am i impressed, this is perfect for me! i moved all my iPhotos to Google+ Photos, iTunes to Google Play (for free! no iCloud membership required haha), i use Drive for everything anyway, and this is perfect for me because i’m now 100% web based

    and the 1 TB for 3 years is the icing on the cake, i’m very happy with my purchase, the screen is unbelievably sharp

  • Pingback: Danski's Logic Pro Blog Sunday Reads » Danski's Logic Pro Blog

  • Pingback: My gadget bag | Technovia

  • Robert Bryk

    guys,,, I have so much to say, and with a firm goal of working for google i reserved this domain name

    http://www.thechromebookpixelchangedmylife.com

    some of the first content to be added soon

  • Robert Bryk

    oik again,

    I have to mention this Soon the pixel will support the 1.3 million android apps exist and not to mention the are working out a deal for ORACLES VM WARE that you can currentlly own and use on any arch or ubuntu linux diustro.

    Basically it stand for VIRTUAL MACHINE and I have tried it, I does exactlly what it should, and you can load it with up too 8 different loperationg systems. It run smooth fast and accurate, no lag at all. So whats you opinion now. The icing on the cake is their chromebooks and especiialy the pixe with get faster in time, even perhaps doublling or quadrooping its current processihg pwer and the graphics engine will become a beast.

    HOW by working on the code and using ciomplex compression and decrption algorythms to move more data quicklly and even ioncrase wireles speeds with no change to the hardware,

    so im almost sure is you trully belive this, then everything changes

  • Robert Bryk

    forgive the typose i just couldnt hold back my excitement, next time typing it in work aned aq quick cut qnd [past will do the trick

  • Robert Bryk

    why is this thread dead, im a pixel owner and there are secrets that are reveiled the more you use it.
    Basically.

    THE PIXEL IS BY FAR THE BEST EDUCATION MACHINE OUT THERE

    because it has so many ways of doing tasks and finding information