Thursday, February 28, 2013


Today I received my Google Pixel. So far, it is fantastic. I have a few comments about some of the features that struck out to me:

First of all- it's just chrome:
I saw chromebooks in Best Buy stores and read about them briefly online but always assumed that the Chrome OS had to be at least a little bit more than just chrome- it is but it isn't All you get is a task bar and system tray and a way to tile your chrome windows. Absolutely nothing else runs outside of chrome, and what I found more surprising is that all your configuration for the system is through chrome. I guess I missed this part when I had read about them earlier- at first I was OK with this but now I'm a bit scared. I'm feeling a little trapped but I just got to let go of it all and embrace the chrome.

Keyboard & Track Pad:
Great to type on- great size and arrangement- keys feel very natural but the travel on them is quite minimal, feels like some of the keys may not depress straight down, but at angles- but upon inspection this isn't the case. All the buttons are great- the big track pad works just like my old MacBook except some of the gestures I was used to aren't here such as 2 or 3 finger swipes.

For some reason the battery life was not that great the first day- I tried charging at the office all day and when I got home it was still at about 50% charge- I'm assuming there is some smart charging technology involved trying not to over charge? Maybe it needs to discharge first? On day 2 I got a full charge after an all night plug-in and found the battery life to be mildly satisfactory.

Can get plenty bright and it has a wide range to choose for brightness.  I never cared for glossy displays because of glare. The touch screen is quick and accurate but I doubt I'll use it much. Actually, it is kinda annoying because I'm always brushing away dust that lands on the screen- now when I do that I may accidentally change my cursor position or click something.

Playing video sounds amazing. I thought that the way the speakers are configured on the machine that the sound would be obstructed if I the laptop were sunk into a blanked when I'm laying in bed but the sound is amazingly clear.

Aside from the ones that I expected prior to the arrival of my pixel, I was surprised to discover the following issues:

After setting up my pixel to go to Developer mode I had a feeling Netflix would be blocked, considering it is not allowed in Linux on Chrome. I was correct, no Netflix for Dev mode.

Even though this is the top of the line chromebook and comparable in cost to macbook (almost 1500 after taxes) performance is kinda crappy. I've noticed performance issues running youtube video and other slowness hickups are apparent compared to other machines I use.

No Java:
Java support is non-existant on Chromebook. I went to install Minecraft from chrome, installed, but the plugin could not load. Later found out that Java is not on chromebook.

Poor printing support:
I have a network printer. Unfortunately the only way to print from chromebook is through cloud printing service requires the printer to somehow connect to the cloud service independently of the chromebook. My printer does multi function, scan and fax, so obviously I can't have these either.

No comments: