In 2013, Google released a laptop called the Chromebook Pixel. The original Pixel was designed to rival the MacBook in terms of aesthetic appeal and performance. Its major limitation was the fact that it just ran Chrome OS.
The Pixel 2 was just released and aims to pick up where the original left off. The Pixel 2 comes with some amazingly powerful specs, like:
-2560×1700 resolution (yes, that “1700” isn’t a typo. The Pixel 2 has a 3:2 aspect ratio)
-231 pixels per inch
-12.85” touchscreen display
-5th Gen Intel Core i5 Processor ($1,000 configuration) or the 5th generation Core i7 with 16GB of RAM ($1,300 configuration)
-Type-C USB ports on each side, which let you charge your laptop while also transferring USB data and video. They’re been called the USB ports of the future and they’re freaking cool. Weirdly enough, Apple just put one Type-C USB port on its new MacBook, so Apple users will probably only use it for charging.
-3.5mm headphone jack, SD card reader, and 2 USB 3.0 ports
-32GB of onboard storage and 64GB on the $1,300 configuration
What Do Customers Have to Say About the Chromebook Pixel 2?
The Chromebook Pixel 2 is attracting rave reviews across the internet. Even famously Apple-biased websites like Gawker’s Gizmodo have admitted that “this thing is a dream machine” that “blows away any dingy old MacBook Air.”
It’s been called aesthetically beautiful. The keyboard is reportedly amazing for typing. The screen gaze causes audible gasps for its sharpness. Check out the video below to see the thing in action:
Other key points are that the laptop doesn’t get too hot – which has been a problem with many of the newer MacBooks. It also has surprisingly good battery life, running for about 8.5 hours of moderate usage.
Performance-wise, the Pixel 2 appears to be virtually impossible to slow down. It’s optimized to run Chrome OS apps and it’s amazingly good at that, capably running multiple apps with no perceptible slowdowns or problems. Apparently, the only time users experience any slowdowns is when there are “dozens of tabs running at once with multiple processor-intensive tasks.” Otherwise, it chugs along smoothly.
It also has nifty little features. When the lid is closed, you can physically knock on the lid to light up a “light bar”. This will show you how much battery you have left.
You can also pinch to zoom on any webpage – just like you would on a tablet. The touchscreen is reportedly more responsive than the original Pixel.
Of course, the main “limitation” with any Chromebook is that it runs Chrome OS. You’re restricted to using Chrome’s web-based apps. Admittedly, those apps have almost everything you need for work, school, socializing, etc.
The other limitation is the 32GB of onboard storage space. That sounds ridiculously small. But remember two things: that 32GB drive is an SSD, which means it’s ridiculously fast. You can also upgrade to the 64GB version, which also features an SSD. And since you’re using web-based apps, most data is stored in the cloud anyway.
One final criticism is that it weighs in at 3.3 pounds. Compared to ultra-lightweight laptops like the MacBook Air (2.38 pounds), that’s not a huge difference. Still, it’s a little heavier than laptops which have similar slim aesthetics.
Ultimately, the Chromebook is a non-Apple laptop that looks as good as a MacBook but runs significantly smoother with better battery life – and a lower price tag. What’s not to like?