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The year of the Chromebook: Month one – so far, so so.

Month one
Month one

This is the first of many monthly updates to a bold experiment – making Google's Chromebook Pixel my one and only daily computer. In the introductory article to this series, I told you that I would attempt to live exclusively within Google's Chrome OS for work and for play. If the machine could live up to its marketing, I've promised to switch for good.

Hit: Exact chrome browser experience means no learning curve

Miss: Exact chrome browser experience is stale, no premium difference with the Pixel

One month in and how is the Chromebook holding up as my daily device? The answer is unsurprisingly, a mixed bag. The Chromebook Pixel is still one of the most meticulously well designed devices that I’ve had the pleasure to work with. The screen is always stunning and actually ruins other screens for me. It’s lightweight enough that I find myself moving around a lot more freely while working than with past devices. As optimistic as I’ve been, that’s all the good to report at this time.

It’s difficult to describe the experience of the Chromebook Pixel. I feel a little guilty in saying this, but I think the next statement is representative of what an average user will feel.

You know this is just the chrome browser as an OS but you still end up disappointed that it’s just the Chrome browser as an OS.

The hardware feels so premium in so many ways and you just can’t believe that the software wouldn’t live up to that. It goes against the open philosophy of Google, but if you’re going to sell a $1500 laptop, there needs to be some type of differentiation. You just can’t sell half of a premium experience; the deficiencies are only amplified by the strengths.

At this early point in my evaluation, I feel that the experience between the entry level Chromebook machines and the Pixel can be explained as two different cars - A sensible $12,000 sedan from Hyundai, and a brand new $80,000 Porsche (with a Hyundai engine inside). One is amazing to look at; every corner of the car is exquisitely finished. Unfortunately, you can’t take it over 70 miles an hour without the wheels falling off. The Hyundai on the other hand isn’t as fancy. It’s mostly plastic, but it cost you nothing relative to the Porsche, and it’s just as useful.

Next month we’ll get into more specifics about things like file storage on Chromebook vs. a traditional OS.

Thank you again to Google for supplying their product for review.

Chromebook Pixel LTE by Google

Manufacturer - $1449.00

Amazon - $1899.00

Google Shopping

Alternatives: Chromebook Pixel Wifi, Acer C720, Samsung Chromebook, and the HP Chromebook 11

Is it worth buying: I only suggest that the thoroughly educated purchase this or any Chromebook. Do NOT buy this as a gift unless the recipient knows that they are an early adopter and will need to be patient as they navigate the inevitable learning curve of a new OS.

If you haven’t already, click here to see a video slideshow of the Chromebook Pixel



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