Slowly but surely, Google’s Chrome OS is gaining ground. Chromebooks – cheap, lightweight laptops featuring nothing but the Chrome Web browser – are beginning to sell in significant numbers, and within the last 12 months we’ve seen new models from HP, Lenovo, Acer and Samsung.
The Pixel is Google’s attempt to make its own flagship model (like the phone/tablet Nexus lines) – it is far more powerful, and far more expensive, than any Chromebook to date. The laptop boasts a stellar 2,560 x 1,700 display that supports touch; it’s powered by an i5 processor and includes 4GB of RAM; and you get 1TB of Google Drive storage for free for three years to augment the 32GB of local storage.
Despite these impressive statistics, the Pixel still runs Google Chrome OS and nothing more, just like the Chromebooks that cost a fraction of its price. Should you be spending over £1,000 on a Web-only laptop? We’ve rounded up some of the best first-look reviews appearing online.
The Telegraph: “It’s not the computer for right now. It’s the computer for what’s next.”
I really, really wanted to love it. But even London can’t quite offer the ubiquitous connectivity it needs, and Google’s apps don’t fill in the gaps where they need to at this price. You can do more in the cloud and via the Chrome Web Store than you think, but you can’t yet do everything.
Gizmodo: “It does what it was designed to do really, really well.”
The OS itself may be seen as restrictive — standalone programs are a no go — but for those of us that use our laptops primarily as online terminals rather than traditional desktops, these limitations are hardly noticeable.
The Verge: “You had best be as dedicated to cloud computing as Google is before you lay your money down.”
Google’s all-new Chromebook Pixel isn’t something we entirely expected, but it was something that Google absolutely needed to do: try to create a top-tier laptop that could conceivably become somebody’s main machine. We can’t say that Chrome OS is totally ready for that challenge yet, but the Pixel itself feels as premium as any laptop on the market today. It’s a solid, rectangular machine in a gunmetal gray metal shell, with an even thickness from the back to the front of the device.
Engadget: “The machine’s real star is its 12-inch, 3:2 display.”
Still, everything we did was comfortable, eye-catching and rather quick, thanks, no doubt, to the Pixel’s Intel Core-i5 processer. First impressions? Very solid, and possibly the finest Chromebook yet.
T3: “Gone is the budget laptop to be replaced by a power-lappy with a premium feel.”
One of the main changes to the Chromebook is that it’s now fully touchscreen. Whether you’re browsing the web or flicking through your pics you have full control through the screen. We imagine that it will take a while to get used to and we didn’t find ourselves naturally using it during our quick test but a long term test could prove otherwise.