Chromebook Pixel: Spoiling me for other chromebooks

My Samsung chromebook has kept me happy for months, but that's changed and it's Google's fault.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor

I have been using a Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook since picking it up last year. The Samsung is a great laptop that happens to run Chrome OS, something that works very well for me. I like everything about the Samsung. Then Google sent me a Chromebook Pixel and spoiled me.

The Series 5 550 Chromebook works very well for me. It runs Chrome OS nicely and is a super work machine that meets my needs. There is not really anything I don't like about the Samsung, but it's no longer enough.

The culprit is the Chromebook Pixel, the expensive laptop from Google that costs almost three times what I paid for the Samsung. The Pixel hardware is as good as that on any laptop, even better in some ways. Using the Chromebook Pixel is sheer joy and it's not often you can say that about a laptop.

The Pixel keyboard is great, the trackpad is outstanding, and then there's that screen. The high resolution, even higher than the famous Retina display, is simply wonderful to use. Text displays razor sharp and graphics pop. The integrated long-term evolution (LTE) is so darn convenient when wi-fi is not available. Then there's the touchscreen. This has come in handy far more than I thought it would. Chrome OS is not fully optimized for touch, but what it can do with it makes the Pixel even better than without.

Given the high price of the Chromebook Pixel, surely I'm not thinking of getting one? As you have probably guessed, that's exactly what I am considering. My Samsung Chromebook that I liked so much is just not cutting it now that I've used the best Chromebook.

Pixel side view
Chromebook Pixel
Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet

I haven't pulled the trigger on the Pixel yet, as it was not in my budget. I recently bought the MacBook Pro and another similar purchase is not in the budget. But I admit I've come very, very close to doing so.

The Pixel I am using now is going back to Google shortly and the thought of going back to a regular chromebook is not appealing at all. Stepping down on the hardware, the build quality, the integrated LTE, the gorgeous display, the touchscreen...

You may think I'm crazy to be considering spending this much ($1,449) for a Chromebook Pixel, and you're not far off the mark. I don't know anyone I would recommend to do so. But the fact is I use Chrome OS, it works well for me, and I want to run it on the best hardware available to run it. It's my money, after all.

That in a nutshell is the narrow audience that the Chromebook Pixel is aimed at: Someone who is already convinced that Chrome OS will work fine for them. The price is too high for those not sure about Chrome OS. But for those like me who know it's good, and want to run it on the best hardware available to do so, the Pixel is it.

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