25
Mar
wm_IMG_9722

Yeah, we know – it doesn't run Android, and really, it has nothing to do with Android. But it is a Google product, so by default it's at least tangentially related - call it Android's cousin. It's also Google's statement that ChromeOS is important, that it's not just some side project. It's saying that we should all pay attention. That ChromeOS is the real deal, and the Chromebook Pixel is the best experience that ChromeOS has to offer.

And what an experience it is. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill, $250 Chromebook. Far from it, in fact – the Pixel is jam-packed with some of the best hardware on the market (rivaling most Ultrabooks), and has the most beautiful display I’ve ever laid eyes on. Of course, you don’t pack 4,352,000 pixels into a 12.85-inch touchscreen and not expect people to say it's the most beautiful display they've ever seen. Still, it's absolutely stunning. But we'll get into that later.

The real question on everyone's mind is: is it worth $1300 (or more)? The answer I'll give right now isn’t the answer you're going to want, but it's hard to be polarized in one direction with a piece of hardware such as the Pixel. That answer is, of course, it depends. "Oh, c'mon," I can hear you say. You really want to know if a Chromebook can be worth $1300+ – and I really want to answer that. The problem is, a simple, firm "yes" or "no" won't work here. There are a lot of things to consider. I'm going to do my best to cover all the bases in this review.

So, let's get started.

wm_IMG_9727

Specs

  • 12.85-inch 3:2 2560x1700 touchscreen display with Gorilla Glass (239 PPI), 400 nits
  • 1.8GHz dual-core Core i5 processor with Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • 32GB Solid State Drive (64GB in the LTE model); 1TB Google Drive storage for 3 years
  • 720p webcam
  • Backlit keyboard, glass trackpad
  • 2 USB 2.0 ports, mini-Display, SD card slot
  • Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, Verizon LTE (optional)
  • 297.7mm x 224.6mm x 16.2mm, 3.35 lbs.
  • ChromeOS
  • Buy: Direct from Google

wm_IMG_9732 wm_IMG_9738 wm_IMG_9744wm_IMG_9748

The Good

  • The Display. It's hard to say how many times I'll bring up how great the display is on the Pixel, as it's definitely the standout feature. It's simply amazing – color reproduction is fantastic, and there isn't a single discernable pixel on the screen. Anywhere. 239PPI is quite becoming on a laptop, and it makes it feel larger than 12.85 inches. The only downside is that it's super glossy.
  • Outstanding build quality. When it comes to fit and finish on laptops, it's hard to deny that Apple has set the bar. Some of Samsung's more recent laptops – like the Series 7 Chronos and Series 9 Ultrabook – have proven to be superior in the Windows world, but Google has put out something absolutely breath-taking with the Chromebook Pixel. Everything about it just screams high-end – it's one of the sleekest, most beautiful pieces of hardware I've ever seen. It's gorgeous.
  • The Keyboard and trackpad. This kind of falls into the "build quality" point above, but they're both so good they deserve to be mentioned independently. Both the keyboard and trackpad are easily the nicest I've ever used on a laptop, and I don't say this lightly. Come to think of it, I've never used a trackpad I liked. So the Pixel is a first in that respect. Good on ya, Google!
  • Good speakers. Despite being super sleek and having no speaker openings (they're under the keyboard), the Pixel can produce some good sound.
  • ChromeOS. The OS is great because it's simple, fast, and familiar (for anyone who uses Chrome on other platforms, of course). It's functional enough for the "average" computer user – like my mom or dad, for example – yet still fully featured enough for someone more tech savvy. Of course, since it's basically just a web browser, it's also not nearly powerful enough for the most advanced users. More on that below.
  • The charger is small. This may not seem like a big deal, but I love how small the charger is. I really hate the charger for my Windows laptop, as it just takes up too much space in my bag. The Pixel's charger, however, quite a bit smaller – and it doesn't have an in-line power brick. Everything's in the plug.

wm_IMG_9752

The Bad

  • ChromeOS. Oh, the double-edged sword shows itself. As much as I love ChromeOS – and I really do enjoy using it – it's simply not versatile enough. And that rule doesn't just apply to me – any power user out there will agree. Gamer? ChromeOS is a no go. Use proprietary software on OSX, Windows, or Linux? Out of luck. And that makes me sad. I want to live in a world where an OS like Chrome OS is a valid desktop replacement. That world is definitely not yet a reality for most.
  • Tabs/Windows constantly reload. I have no idea if this is a bug (it definitely is on Android), a "feature," or something different, but nearly every time I navigate back to a tab – even one that I just visited 30 seconds before – it reloads. It's a downright maddening experience, as most pages aren't something that need to be automatically updated every single time you click the tab. I had this problem on nearly every site that I visited – even Gmail and Drive. It was infuriating, and hopefully Google will fix this in the future.
  • Battery Life. This is one area where I simply cannot be forgiving. Bottom line, I expect more battery life out of Chromebook than I do a traditional Windows laptop. I realize that the cost of having such a beautiful display is battery life, but with only about 4.5 hours of use, bringing the charger everywhere you go is a requisite. I don't even need to do that with my Samsung Series 7, as it gets roughly 7 hours of battery life. Nearly 2.5 hours more than the Chromebook, and it has more power under the hood to boot. Like I said, the display is definitely the battery sucker here, but I really wish Google would've stepped up in the battery department and delivered at least a solid eight hours before hitting the outlet was necessary.
  • It gets hot. There are no fans to speak of (at least I can't hear them), so when running multiple "apps" at once – several browser tabs, Google Music, and TweetDeck, for example – the unit I tested got quite warm. Not holy crap my legs are on fire hot, but definitely warm enough, and much hotter than I expected. It's not a deal-breaker, but it did come as a shock to me.

With all the most obvious pros and cons out of the way, let's talk about the Pixel from a purely practical usability standpoint. Right out of the gate, I want to say that I love using this computer. When it comes to doing simple browser-based tasks, writing documents, editing spreadsheets, watching videos, and the like, I find it an absolute joy to use. When going to kick back on the couch for a while and not do any actual work (aside from writing this review, perhaps), I would reach for the Pixel 100 percent of the time. It's fast, light, and usable enough to get the job done.

wm_IMG_9751 wm_IMG_9745

Don't get me wrong here – it's not impossible to work from the Pixel. Google Drive is a very usable, fantastic office suite (actually, it's my primary office suite even on my Windows computers), and there are many web apps that can [almost] take the place of desktop software you may be used to using. For example, for light photo editing, there's Pixlr Editor. And if you're used to using Tweetdeck on the desktop, the Chrome version is actually more full-featured than its Windows counterpart. Hell, there's even a workaround to get the Spotify web app working right out of the gate. So, no, Chrome OS isn't "useless" – and it's actually quite nice if you spend enough time tweaking it and finding the right web app to meet your needs.

But then there's the other side of this story. The part where something more is needed – I my case, if I needed to post something to the site or do anything else that required aside from just a  browser. For those moments, I had two options: dig through the Chrome Store and find something that could replace whatever software I needed from my Windows PC – which simply isn't possible in some cases – or just go grab my laptop instead. Nine times out of ten, I just went for the latter, because who has time to not only look for a new application, but learn to use it too? Let's say I need to watermark an image – that's a snap on my Windows PC, because our own kickass Ron Amadeo made a simple tool that adds an AP watermark to Windows' right-click menu. I can easily do several photos at once this way – something that would take much, much longer on the Pixel.

Of course, I realize that is a very niche example, but the bigger picture here should shine through: think about everything you do on the computer. Now eliminate the proprietary stuff. Can you still function, or are you willing to find a web-based alternative? If so, a Chromebook would probably be great for you. Unless, of course, you don't even realize all the stuff you actually use until it's not there when you need it. That happened to me on several occasions while using the Pixel.

And that in itself is the inherent problem with the Pixel. Initially, I thought "you know, I could probably move to a browser-based OS pretty easily." But then I actually tried it. The second I went to take a screenshot, I missed Screenspresso (note: ChromeOS has a built-in screenshot tool that lets you shoot either the entire screen or just a selection, it's just not as fast or versatile as Screenspresso). When I needed to watermark an image, I wanted the AP tool. The web-based client for HipChat – which we use for AP team chat – isn't nearly as good as the desktop version. When I needed to grab a file from Dropbox, the web interface was what I had to work with. I missed the system that I have set up on my Windows-based PCs; my workflow was garbage on the Pixel. Again, I realize how very subjective this is – but just because you may not use the same software I do doesn't mean you won't have similar problems. In fact, you should probably count on it.

With all that said, if access to a Windows machine is absolutely clutch in your laptop usage, Chrome Remote Desktop is a wonderful tool for the job. However, I don't consider it practical to buy a Chromebook and spend a vast amount of time using remote desktop to access a Windows machine – if you're going to spend $1300+ on this laptop with the intention of using remote access 60+ percent of the time, you'd probably be better off just buying a dedicated Windows machine.

Screenshot 2013-03-22 at 11.02.18 AMOne of my biggest peeves when I first started using the Pixel was the way windows scaled. Everything seemed too big for such a high-res display, and it didn't display enough content on-screen at one time. For example, on my laptop – which has a 1600x900 display resolution – TweetDeck displays five columns when maximized. On the Pixel, it only showed four. This is in large part due to the fact that it uses pixel doubling (or quadrupling), which makes everything on the display super-sharp. But, as such, it also takes away from the usable space that you may expect a 2560x1700 display to provide. There's no denying that it's set up this way because of the small (12.85") display and odd aspect ratio (3:2), but it still bugged me.

After digging through the menus, however, I found an option to essentially zoom the entire OS (this is present in the browser version of Chrome as well), which remedied my previous quandary. However, it just feels weird. It gives pre-defined levels of page zoom, from 25% up to 500%. However, if I want to select my own level – say, 80% – that's not possible. I have to go with 90% or 75%, the former of which is still too "big" and the latter makes everything too small. It's still usable, but just barely. Eighty percent would be perfect. The zooming effect also doesn't affect the tabs, navigation bar, or other UI elements. So, the change only seems to happen throughout all windows and menus. Basically, it's a fix, but it just kind of feels like a dirty hack. Still, if you don't multi-task a lot or need to see multiple windows at one time, the stock setting would probably be fine.

Screenshot 2013-03-22 at 3.02.42 PM Screenshot 2013-03-22 at 3.08.25 PM

Left: Windows scaled at 100%; Right: Windows scaled at 75% – Smaller text, but far more usable space. Still kinda wonky.

Still, I want to love the Pixel. And in many ways, I do. I love it very, very much. But I really have to ask myself "would I ever spend this much money on a secondary machine (because, let's be honest – there will be a need for a full OS for at least the near future)?" And the short answer is: hell no. There's no way I, personally, will spend $1300+ on a laptop that won't even become my primary portable computer. It's just not happening.

But what about you, the user who lives in the cloud, works in the browser, and could live the rest of his or her life without touching proprietary software again? For you, I say the Pixel is the closest thing you're going to get to perfect. If Chrome is your browser, Google Docs your office, Drive your cloud storage, and you don't anticipate needing anything more, then by all means – buy a Pixel. You'll love every second you get to spend with it. You should, anyway.

You may find that it meets your needs perfectly. And if that's the case, that's fantastic (and I may just be a little bit jealous), because it really is an amazing piece of hardware. So much that I wish I could do everything I need from a browser or a browser-based tool. Given a long enough timeline, I think that's possible – but it would take a lot of digging in the Chrome Store, testing out various software, and lots of trial and error. In the long run, it could be worth all the trouble. Of course, there will always be limitations with an OS like ChromeOS. That's not to say there aren't limitations in Windows, OSX, and Linux as well, so it's all about picking your battles.

wm_IMG_9722

Which brings me to the thing I like most about ChromeOS – or at least the idea behind it. Theoretically, it could bring an end to the aforementioned limitations on all platforms given enough time and developer support. Instead of wishing product X were available for platform Y, everything could be web-driven. Photoshop in the cloud? Yes, please. Music recording software like Ableton Live running inside the browser? Bring it on. If, and this is a major if, ChromeOS were to suddenly catch the attention of the consumer market, the dream future I just laid out could become a reality (again, on a long enough timeline).

And that's the Pixel's purpose. That's the reason Google crafted such a beautiful machine. To let the world know there's another option, because $250 Chromebooks don't attract everyone. Those who want high-end hardware shy away from cheap laptops like Lindsay Lohan from rehab. Because most people don't want garbage – or anything they perceive as such. The Pixel is an attempt to make ChromeOS a legitimate option for everyone, even those who seek high-end hardware. And in that regard, it succeeds.

Ultimately, I've really enjoyed my time with the Pixel, and I'll actually miss it when it goes back to Google. Will I miss it enough to shell out the cash to get one for myself? No. If I were going to spend $1300-1400 on a new laptop, I would get the newest Series 7 Chronos to replace my existing laptop. Why? Because a Chromebook simply isn't practical for me.

If it were though, this is the one I would buy.

I'd like to give a shout-out to my good friend Chris Ford for helping me out with the images in this post.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, and musician. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6- or 7-string, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • http://www.maverickcreative.ca/ Joshua Richards

    Interesting. I wonder if there are any plans for more common applications to land on ChromeOS ie Creative Suite. If that was available, I would pick this up in a heartbeat.

    • ellett

      Here's a hook to Android. Google is working hard to bring QuickOffice to Chrome OS. Right now they have a working version where files are read-only, but full access is coming.

      • http://www.maverickcreative.ca/ Joshua Richards

        Office is the only suite I feel comfortable with out. I use Google Drive for all my word processing needs now.

  • PhineasJW

    Oh Google, if it had 8+ hours of battery life, I'd buy it just for the hardware.

    Mobile Haswell better be a silver bullet for battery life...

  • http://twitter.com/geneven Gene Venable

    This was an outstanding review. (Written from my $200 Acer Cromebook -- where I usually run Linux.)

    • Elias

      Could I dual-boot chrome os and Linux on the Pixel? That's a major turn-on. I could even make a windows VM to run Photoshop, but then the measly 4gb of RAM would bother me.

  • Sam Hollis

    Did you like it enough that you're considering picking up one of its cheaper siblings?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      Damn right. I'm eyeballin' the $250 Samsung model right now. I'll probably end up pulling the trigger before too long.

      • Sam Hollis

        Yeah, that's the one I've got. Pretty slick device. Have you tried the Chrome Remote Desktop app? It is what it sounds like. If I disable Aero and set my desktop's resolution to match the Chromebook's, it's fast enough over 4G to make it feel almost native(~50ms lag). That and the 100GB of Drive storage are fantastic.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

          My one reservation with that machine is the battery life. I would like to get at least six hours between charges, but I've read that one offers something more along the lines of four. :(

          • ellett

            No, the $249 Samsung ARM Chromebook has great battery life. It's the Acer and HP models that are in the 4-5 hour range.

          • Sam Hollis

            The cheaper ones offer lower battery life. The Samsung one performs phenomenally, helped by the ARM processor and SSD. At ~90% brightness, I average about six hours. If you had it at 60%, you'd probably be able to push seven, depending on how you used it.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

            Well then, you just sold me. I'm picking one up ASAP.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1658495863 Curtis Alan Mitchell

            My ARM's battery just won't die. I'm not a power user and I've had it last two days on a charge before (using 2-3 hours/day). Even leaving it up with Netflix running I can get several hours before it dies.

  • ElfirBFG

    Dual-boot Ubuntu and Chrome. Run Bluestacks in Chrome. You now have Linux, Android AND Chrome at your disposal.

    • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

      Indeed. Or avoid dual booting all together and use Crouton. You can review Chrome OS separately from the Pixel, as a piece of hardware, the Pixel is probably the best in the market, only matched by Apple's macbooks.

    • Brian Doig

      Run Bluestacks in Chrome??

      • ElfirBFG

        You can run Bluestacks(Android emulator) on ChromeOS if it's run on an x86 chip.

        • Brian Doig

          Ya, the site is confusing. I think what they're trying to say is that their architecture could be used to support bluestacks on a variety of platforms, not that they currently do support everything listed. It would be cool though.

  • aatifsumar

    Think we can get in on that Right Click to Watermark program?

  • Sootie

    Love the review cam and the photos are all very nice and arty but there is not a single photo showing the whole laptop with it open, all of them are cut off in some direction. Can you throw one in the comments or something showing the whole thing I'm just finding it a bit tricky to get a sense of scale etc

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      What's wrong with the very first image? It's of the full laptop, showing the display and keyboard.

      • Sootie

        Its kinda blurry (actually I must have missed that one when I scrolled back up to look through them all again sorry Cam)

  • Matthew Fiori

    Unfortunate thing about the review is that you didn't learn how to use remote desktop. If you had figured that out, your wish would have come true because you just get on to your desktop or your other laptop through the browser on a Chromebook and you're running Photoshop or your nice little Watermark thing or whatever it is that runs on your other machines. Works really well. Makes the ARM Chromebook an amazingly fantastic value.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      See, I have Chrome Remote Desktop installed in Chrome (and thus, the Chromebook) - but I wasn't reviewing a Windows laptop, or a remote machine. I was reviewing a stock Chromebook experience. In hindsight, I guess I should've mentioned CRD in the review, but in my opinion simply remoting in to a desktop for hours and hours of work is a sloppy hackjob and not something that I considering to be a "solution."

  • Athishay

    Kina unrelated, but talking about watermarks, can you guys switch to a monotone, less in-your-face watermark?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      We will, once the redesign launches.

  • sssgadget

    Tabs/Windows constantly reload.

    This bugs me all the time on Android

  • Freak4Dell

    Great review. While ChromeOS looks a lot nicer now than it did back when I got my CR-48, this review confirms that the core of it is still the same. I don't even think I lasted 45 minutes on ChromeOS before I put Windows on the CR-48. Even with the limited power that thing has, Windows is a much better experience because you can do so much more. I'm disappointed to hear about the battery life on the PIxel, though. I can get 6 hours on the CR-48 with Windows, which means it was probably closer to 8 with ChromeOS. Even though the hardware in the Pixel is exponentially more powerful, I expected Google to stick a bigger battery in there to keep it wireless for longer.

  • JP

    From what I've read, it's a "halo" product. It's for manufacturers to get on board and make legit hardware for a chromebook. Perhaps similar to Windows Surface Pro was for the tablet industry.

    • PCSievers

      The best theory is they decided to make a linux laptop for employees to run Goobuntu with a money no object make the best laptop we can approach.

      While I get why the review leaves off the ability to slap Ubuntu or similar onto it and get basically the best laptop money can buy right now it generally misses how this is where most of the Pixel's value lies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1658495863 Curtis Alan Mitchell

    Well you've got the word garbage way to close to the price point of the amazing Samsung ARM but your point stands that some people look at the price point of the entry-level chromebooks and think, "cheap junk."

    I don't know what machine will come after the Pixel but I bet it will be much more attractive to buy. Now that the Pixel is getting out there, people are going to be looking at what they can do with all that hardware and hopefully that will mean some great third-party app development.

  • Vandré Brunazo

    Hey Cameron, do you know about Crouton? Basically you can run a full Linux Desktop distro on the Pixel, and switch back and forth from ChromeOS with one button. This is something that should deserve a mention on your article, as it completely changes the device for some users who need desktop apps that can run on Linux.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rmkattan Rami Kattan

      Agree, can you review how the Pixel becomes using a Linux dist?

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

        Hey guys, unfortunately I'm not allowed to mod the Pixel in any way, as it's a review unit provided by Google. Otherwise, I would've love to give that a shot.

        • Brian Doig

          It doesn't require anything irreversible. Just enable dev mode, download a couple files, and done. Disabling dev mode (aka, reenabling OS verification) restores the device to a completely factory state. I've gone through this process several times playing around with things on my Pixel and it's totally painless. The great thing about ChromeOS is that to restore my wife's user account all I have to do is log her in and everything's back to normal. Finally a machine I can have fun playing with without worrying about losing anybody else's data. Awesome!

          My only question now is whether to keep the 32GB or upgrade to the 64GB model.

  • Sven L.

    Well your article has included all the important cons listed and I feel that obviously no one with a sane mind will buy the chromebook pixel it is a step in the right direction.

  • Ernest Hebert

    Great review! I have ordered a Pixel because it's perfect for me. I have a good wifi connection at home and at work. As a writer I spend long hours with my computer, so the keyboard, trackpad, and screen display are the most important elements of the machine. Software, not so much. I get by just fine with Google docs, drive, and gmail.

  • Patrickl69

    I don't really get the "I can do some really specific things on my computer which I cannot do on the Pixel"argument. Would you really use a 12.85" for actual work? It seems like the whole device is more designed for people with a very basic set of needs on the go.They want something light, portable and perhaps (when they have some cash to burn) beautiful.

    The battery life is bad, but again probably for the intended demographic not much an issue either.

    The people I know with MacBook Airs are housewifes who use them to check Facebook and their mail while sitting on the couch. Seems like the Pixel would fit fine there too. Apart from the lack of a logo that instantly screams that you paid a lot for the device.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      Would I do work from a laptop with a 12.85" display? Of course I would. In fact, that's one of the first things I noticed about the Pixel's display: it feels a lot larger than it is, likely due to the 3:2 aspect ratio and the amazing pixel density.

      On the second part, I know plenty of people who do work from the 13" Macbook Air. Hell, I'd say probably half of all serious tech bloggers work from an MBA. To think that bigger=better workflow really sells the potential of many device short.

      • Patrickl69

        I guess. I'm used to a 32" screen myself though. Just need the real estate to work efficiently. Can't stand flipping back and forth between applications. Can't imagine running Photoshop on such a small screen either, The zooming in and out would drive me nuts and I'd get up to walk to my computer.

        Still, I'd say at least 90% of the people I know don't use anything besides a webbrowser and some sort of "hangouts" application on their computer.

        Although it would be a dealbreaker for many of them if all those horrible Facebook games wouldn't work on it.

        That's probably also the problem with the Chrome app store. What's the point of writing apps for people who don't want/need apps anyway? Until the apps are there and people who do need niche apps will start buying the devices ...

        Counting on Google doing something to combine Chrome and Android though. That would solve their app problem with one fell swoop.

    • Freak4Dell

      I do like 95% of my work on my 13.3" laptop. That includes documents, photo editing, and video editing. I do sometimes miss a large screen, but I live away from my home most of the year, and I don't miss it enough to justify the cost of a good large monitor. Buying a crappy monitor just to get more space isn't something I'm interested in. I'll never buy a laptop bigger than 13.3" again, either. The portability is well worth the trade off in screen size.

  • antimatter3009

    I'm not sure this would be relevant in the review, but I'm most intrigued by the possibility of dual booting Linux on a Pixel. Other than potential storage space issues (would need the 64GB at least), I think this would be perfect. ChromeOS would be good enough for the vast majority of my needs, and Linux would easily cover the rest.

  • wideopn11

    Good review, I'm with you on the price. It's too much to spend for a remote access, web browser. I use Splashtop on my TF300 when I need to do something requiring my PC and the keyboard dock comes off. I might spend $500-$600 for that fantastic hardware but how many devices do I need? Right now I have a Windows 7 desktop with 2 monitors, a Windows 7 laptop (work), TF300 tablet, Kindle Fire HD 7" tablet, Ipad (work issued) and my Galaxy Nexus. I'm a sucker for new gadgets but I don't know where the Pixel would fit in, and at that price, the answer is no where.

  • XBIRDIE98

    A very fair review - something that is unfortunately not always given to Chromebooks. As a Samsung Chromebook 550 user, (that's the Intel-based one from last May) and someone who's active in the Chromebook community, I do have a few suggestions for other power users, and a question for Cameron concerning the LTE.

    1. The first is that the Tab Discarding feature can get really annoying, if you're a power user and open up lots of tabs, or even a just a few memory-intensive ones. This happened all the time to me, before I played with an experimental feature that's on the track to becoming enabled by default. In a crosh shell (Ctrl+Alt+T) you can use "swap enable" to turn on zRam (compressed swap in RAM) - I've noticed that tab discarding has pretty much disappeared. (This doesn't need Developer Mode either.) If you're interested in the design docs they're here: http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/chromiumos-design-docs/out-of-memory-handling

    2. The Pixel apparently allows display scaling on Chrome 27 (Dev - Unstable Channel) by pressing Ctl+Shift+(F2), so this should make it into the Stable release in less than 2 months/12 weeks. See: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/chromebook-central/rggVdCgH7Fk/0XDBaRt15MwJ

    These two things are unfortunately (or fortunately) part of the rapid release cadence of Chrome OS - New features often come in little-by-little, but may not be there initially.

    Small Tip: You can reassign key modifiers in Settings, and the Ctrl+Alt+/ keyboard shortcut viewer is really cool. :)

    3. The Question: I would like to know what the "GetInfo:" section of the "modem status" command (in crosh) produces, so as to know what the modem is. The modem needs to be enabled, but I don't believe that it needs to be activated. Hopefully, you'll find something like this:
    GetInfo:
    Manufacturer: Foxconn
    Modem: Novatel Wireless Gobi3000

    Also, I'd like to apologize for the utterly run-on post.

  • http://twitter.com/simp1istic simp1istic

    Probably the most level headed pixel review around. I love mine and agree with you guys on pretty much everything. It's not cheap, but something about it makes you want to use it. For me, the minimal nature of the UI is refreshing.

  • Matthew Fry

    Still not convinced. If you are going to use it for light typing and media consumption a Nexus 10 has a beautiful screen and costs $900 less. Even having to tote a keyboard and a stand along, it'll takes up less space than the power brick. Android with a keyboard is a better desktop replacement than the Pixel.

  • http://twitter.com/nahka nahka

    Install GNU/Linux on it and you have a macbook tier laptop

  • GraveUypo

    what brings someone to buy this? this is way too expensive for what it offers. specs are pretty shitty, to put it bluntly, and the price makes things even worse. i don't think the screen can make up for it... to be honest, even if you look solely at what it's meant to do, this has nothing on the nexus 10.

  • http://twitter.com/mrjayviper Jayel Villamin

    possible to run fastboot/adb binaries with chromeOS? thanks

    • Brian Doig

      I doubt it's possible under ChromeOS, but I can confirm adb (and presumably fastboot) works fine using Ubuntu through Crouton.

  • Mr. Alexis Kent

    This is the most honest review of the pixel I have read. I am on the other end, loving my Samsung arm Chromebook which I am one right now. I love how light it is, and the battery life an how I don't have to worry about it if it breaks. Not saying 249 is cheap..but it is sure easier to replace versus my 2k priced origin laptop which i also love,..but don't always want to lug around that to my coffee shops.

  • HGamesTeamCato

    Improve the battery life, add more storage space, and fix the video stuttering, and I'd buy this thing in a heartbeat.