Chromebook Pixel revisited: One of the best laptops I've used

Google's expensive laptop generates a lot of knee-jerk reactions in discussions, and rightly so. It's worth pointing out that for this writer, it is one of the best laptops I've ever used.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor
Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet

"Who'd pay $1,500 for a browser?"

"No one in their right mind would use one of those at any price."

"You'd have to be crazy to use any chromebook, much less one that expensive!"

These are the typical statements I hear and receive in email in response to any discussion about the chromebook in general and the Pixel in particular. Folks can't get their head around the Chrome OS, and really can't understand the existence of an expensive chromebook like the Pixel.

I've been using a Chromebook Pixel for months, and I can state with confidence that it is one of the best laptops I've ever used. That is based on a combination of how well Chrome OS works for me, and the superb hardware Google has used in the Pixel.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Chrome OS is not for everyone by any means. Those with particular platform needs or who need to use special apps not available on Chrome should keep looking the other way. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't believe that there are others like me for whom it is nearly perfect.

Imagine that you use one app almost all the time you are on a computer. Now imagine that an OS existed to make that app work better than it does on all other platforms. That's the beauty of Chrome OS for me.

I spend over 90 percent of my work time in the Chrome browser. That is unusual compared to many, but is the way it is. That's why Chrome OS works so darn well for my work. It takes my main app/platform, Chrome, and optimizes to work as well as possible. No, that's not for everyone, but I am fortunate it is the case for me.

I've used several chromebooks, and while all offer the same good Chrome experience, the Pixel adds the hardware to make it vastly superior. The sleek, powerful hardware takes Chrome OS to a whole new level of goodness. The Pixel's operation is pain free and pleasant at all times. It is as if the hardware and OS get totally out of my way while I am working, and that is a phenomenal thing to experience.

No, Chrome OS and the Chromebook Pixel are not for everyone. It may not be for very many, truth be told. But for me, it is a nearly perfect solution for my needs. And that makes me a very lucky guy.

I hope ZDNet's Jason Hiner is correct in predicting that we may hear some information about the Chromebook Pixel at the Google I/O conference now underway. Especially if it's about a new Chromebook Pixel that is even better; cheaper would be icing on the cake.

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