I still can’t believe I actually bought this thing. Out of all the options I had I choose the Google Chromebook Pixel 2. It runs on neither Windows nor Mac OSX. What it does run on is the super lightweight Chrome OS based on the Linux OS. Chrome OS is essentially just a browser. Everything is pretty much browser based on this thing and app support are Chrome plugins and apps. The Chromebook Pixel 2 is the most expensive Chromebook on the market and it is also in my opinion one of the best laptop on the market in terms of built quality and design. It runs on Intel’s 5th generation Broadwell Core i5 processor with 8GBs of RAM. Google does also offer a higher end version with the Core i7 and 16GBs of RAM for $300 more. I opt for the base model as I felt that will suffice for now.
Since I already have a gaming desktop at home to fulfill all of my gaming needs and when I’m not at home the only thing I use my laptop for basically is to browse the net anyway, getting the Chromebook was a pretty logical choice. Look through all the currently available Chromebooks on the market, I didn’t like any of the offerings. Either they ran on really crappy hardware like Atom based, Celeron based or ARM based processors. Or they had ugly design and built quality. Though those are really cheap compared to the Pixel 2. Majority of the Chromebooks in the market range from $200-$500. The Chomebook Pixel 2 starts at $999US and the Core i7 model is $1299. The Pixel 2 also features a super high resolution display of 2560×1700 in a 12.85″ IPS LCD panel with amazing viewing angles. There are no other Chromebooks that comes close to this spec wise and besides the MacBook Pro line, there are also very little regular notebooks that would match the built quality of this laptop.
I’ve been using this for a whole day during work today to see how well it fares to my regular usage. Chatting on Hangouts and surfing the net is pretty much all I do. The battery life held up really well using only 30# of the battery during the 8 hours I was at work. Though More like 6 hours of light usage with the brightness on medium and wifi turned on. Battery life on this unit is rated for up to 12 hours of storage which is one of the main reason why I picked up this. Battery life is important for me as I’d rather not have to be always looking for an outlet to be able to surf the net. And if or when power goes out, I at least know I have a device that can potentially last me a while.
Because Chrome OS is the browser, this thing boots up surprisingly fast. When I first opened this unit and opened up the lid, the Pixel 2 turned on immediately and within 5 seconds I was prompt the welcome screen to enter my information. Within 2-3 mins I was already on the desktop and ready to use this.
I know, Chrome OS is still very limited in terms of functionality and everything it does requires some sort of network connection to function. It’s only got 32GB SSD of storage on the base model and 64GB SSD on on the “Ludicrous Speed” model. Google also gives you 1TB of Google Drive storage for 3 years when you own a Chromebook. This applies to all Chromebooks on the market and once you get the 1TB of storage you can use the client on any computer it supports.
The native resolution on this is insane. Out of the box the resolution is set to 1280×850 because once you put the resolution to it’s native of 2560×1700 everything becomes very time! However, since the Pixel 2 does have a touchscreen display, you can always pinch to zoom to make the text bigger when you want to read something like an article. Or the text box for this post as I type this on the Chromebook Pixel 2.
The keyboard and trackpad are also quite good. It kind of feels like the one for the Mac but slightly different. The track pad is a large glass trackpad which is nice to use. Though will still take a little to get used to.
Like I said about built quality, it has to be one of the best design laptops I have come across in a while. I guess not many people like the boxy design of the Pixel 2, but I like it very much. It has the same unibody aluminum design as the MacBook but it doesn’t use the wedge shape design most laptops use. It’s the same thickness on the back of the laptop as it is on the front and there are no rounded sides. There are no vents on the bottom of the laptop. Instead it relies on the keyboard face to intake airs from the fan and blows the air out from the back of the unit, hidden away from the lid when opened.
Is this something I would regret purchasing? It’s too early to tell right now as I’ve only had it for a day. But I have been reading up on it ever since it was announced and since most of the stuff I do are readily available online or through extensions or chrome apps, I probably will not. Especially since I can install Crouton on it and load up Ubuntu and use the laptops full hardware capability on it when I need to. Chrome OS so far has been pretty pleasant to use.
I will write a follow up in about a week or a month. Depending on my lazyness. 🙂