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Android Headliner: What’s So Special About The New Chromebook Pixel?

March 14, 2015 - Written By Kristijan Lucic

Google announced the Chrome OS back in July 2009. The platform has come a long way since then, but it’s still not ready to replace your Windows or Mac-based laptop or desktop PC. Chrome OS revolves around Google’s Chrome browser, which is getting more powerful by the day. There are a ton of useful Chrome extensions released to date, and Chrome OS as a platform has gained a ton of features since its inception, but as I said, it’s still not ready to replace your regular operating system, at least not for most people. What do I mean by this? Well, even though Chrome OS is capable of running extensions and apps designed for offline, this is still very much a cloud-oriented device, and you can forget about doing some serious video editing, programming, or anything of the sort here. Regular programs are not available for this platform, only Chrome extensions and apps. On the other hand, if you’re using your computer to browse the web, and you have a specific usage, then this operating system might suit you.

I know this is a bit confusing, but it all depends on what you use your computer for. I personally use HP’s 14-inch Chromebook which runs Chrome OS, and I simply love it. I still use my Windows PC to do some stuff the Chromebook can’t handle, but I’m on my Chromebook over 95% of the time. It’s perfect for writing articles, in fact, I’m typing this article on my Chromebook. I still have to rely on Windows to do some photo and video editing though, but as I said, Chromebook is here for the vast majority of my needs. The Chrome OS is perfect in certain scenarios, it runs smooth and is really enjoyable to use. Google is constantly improving Chrome OS, and you can already run some Android applications on it, if Google lets us run ANY Android app on the Chrome OS, that would be a huge improvement. I expect the company to give us more information at the upcoming Google I/O.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about Google’s most recent announcement, the new Chromebook Pixel (2015). What is the Chromebook Pixel? Well, it’s a very, very expensive Chromebook. The regular version costs $999, while the most expensive model will set you back $1,299. Considering this is Chrome OS we’re talking about, this is really a lot. Don’t get me wrong though, the Chromebook Pixel is a great device, its design remained unchanged compared to its predecessor which launched 2 years ago, but this device is better in basically every way. The operating system is way more capable now, and Google has improved more or less everything. The screen (touchscreen by the way) is great, battery life is much better now… but it’s still a Chromebook, which is partially netbook, so many people will argue that this is way too much money for it, especially considering you can get a Chromebook which will work great for a fraction of that price.

Now, both the new Chromebook Pixel, and the recently announced MacBook, sport a new type of port, the USB Type-C port. What is this? Well, it’s essentially a USB 3.1. These ports are expected to become a standard over the next few years, because they offer crazy speeds, are smaller than regular USB ports and you can plug the cable in either way you want, you don’t have to turn it to a specific side in order to connect it. What else is great when it comes to USB Type-C ports? Well, you can use them for many things, not only transferring data. They’re also used for charging your device. Both Apple and Google decided to introduce this port in their newest laptops, though Apple did something really odd and included only one USB Type-C in its newest MacBook, while Google included two such ports plus some extra regular USB ports. So, if you’re charging your MacBook, you can’t plug in a USB in there, you’ll need an additional adapter in order to do that. This seems like a really odd choice by Apple, but there you have it.

Apple’s new MacBook is beautifully designed, at least in my personal opinion, but Apple included a mobile processor in there and that thing only has one port in it. My initial reaction was, WHAT?! And I’m still very surprised, even days after the announcement. The thing that boggles me most is the price for this thing, the starting price is $1,299, which is way too much for a device which is essentially a MAC-powered netbook. If you’re in a market for a MacBook, and you want a really solid laptop, earlier Macbook Pro or MacBook Air model(s) might be a better choice. Let’s face it, this thing can really be considered a fancy netbook.

What’s the conclusion here? Well, both the new MacBook and the Chromebook Pixel 2 are way too expensive in my personal opinion. Apple made some odd hardware choices when it comes to the new MacBook and attached a way too high of a price to that device, while Google released their flagship Chromebook which is well equipped, but it’s running Chrome OS, which still doesn’t justify anyone to spend that much money. This is of course just my opinion as far as this goes, and I’d really like to hear what you think here. Do you agree with me, or not? Let us know what you think.