I didn’t really pay much attention to the original Chromebook but when Google released the high resolution Pixel, I took a second look. I have to admit the timing probably had something to do with Google’s attempt to recruit me to come work for them, but I’ll save that story for another time. I decided to order one from the Google Play store and give it a whirl.
The Google Pixel has a 3×2 format display.
If you haven’t seen the Pixel up close I suggest you go find someone who has one and take a look at it. The screen is indescribably gorgeous. The entire computer is actually very nicely constructed with a great keyboard and track pad. Its Apple level quality.
From the start my lack of love for the Chromebook was the Chrome OS. Even though I spent most of my time in Chrome on my Mac, I felt as though the computer were crippled in some way. Maybe it was the limited support for background applications or that the file system requires an Internet connection. Or maybe it was the lack of support for video editing or … I don’t know. It just felt like a glorified web browser not a full fledged computer.
I paid something like $1500 for this computer so rather than leave it on my bookshelf to collect dust I’d pull it out every now and then to browse the web. (What else could I do on it?) It was fun to use but in my head I kept thinking of it as a toy not a serious work tool. That was the strange part because I did get work done and just as efficiently as if i was on a Mac.
The Chromebook has a fantastic keyboard and a touch screen.
I think one of the reasons that the Chromebook worked for me is that most of my work is in the cloud. As long as I’m not writing code, touching up images or editing video, I could work in the browser. My own predisposition for the classic model of using apps and data locally has all along prejudiced my feelings for the Chromebook. Now that I can step back and see through objective eyes, I actually like it.
One of my favorite things about the Chromebook is the lightweight OS. Every now and then I’d get a notification that there is an operating system update. On Windows or a Mac this sort of thing would take fifteen minutes. On the Chromebook it only takes a few seconds and that gets to the heart of what makes the Chrome OS so great. It is a lightweight operating system which provides a great web browsing experience and it doesn’t need to do a whole lot more. With the Chromebook Pixel you are getting a top of the line web browsing experience with arguably one of the best displays I’ve ever seen.
I’m going to start taking my Chromebook with me to work to see if I can be productive on it at my job. If I can get past my own prejudices maybe this $1500 investment in a glorified web browser can actually become my daily productivity box.