11th hour decision: Surface Pro 3 stays, Chromebook Pixel returned

Matthew loves everything about the Chromebook Pixel, but the Surface Pro 3 is a better fit for his career as a professional engineer and ZDNet writer.

A couple weeks ago I began my new return date decision feature with my planned decision for the 2015 Chromebook Pixel. That decision was reversed in the 11th hour and my Chromebook Pixel is back on the shelves at Google.

The Chromebook Pixel is a fantastic piece of hardware and if my primary occupation was that of a writer I would still have it today. However, I work as a professional engineer for my main job and it turns out my Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is a better tool for me.

Writing on the Chromebook Pixel was a joy and I was able to fly across the keyboard. I loved carrying the Pixel around the house and working from any chair or table. I enjoyed watching a couple of movies on the gorgeous display. Streaming music while writing was also great.

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I'm getting ready for another week out of the office and while I was planning to take the Chromebook Pixel and use a free Gogo in-flight pass or two, I realized I would also have to take along the Surface Pro 3 to use my engineering programs, access Vision for timesheet entry, and have full access to my job directory hosted at the office.

ZDNet's Kevin Tofel is a Chromebook expert and tried to help me keep the Pixel by making sure I knew I could remotely connect into a work desktop. However, I use a laptop at the office and it is not setup to support remote access. While I might be able to work with the IT folks to make this happen, I already have a functional Surface Pro 3 and could not justify these efforts.

Using the Chromebook Pixel for the last couple of weeks actually helped me appreciate my Surface Pro 3 even more and motivate me to use it more often in tablet mode with the pen. The Surface Pro 3 hardware is as elegant as the Chromebook Pixel; both are leading designs for those respective platforms.

I did not feel the limitations of Chrome OS on the Pixel and actually my wife and I showed off her HP Chromebook 14 to some neighbors and three of them are now enjoying their own Chromebook. There is definitely a use case for the Chromebook and if you want the ultimate experience then the Chromebook Pixel is a choice you will not regret.

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