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Hands on with Chromebook Pixel: Google goes after the MacBook

Jared Newman | Feb. 27, 2013
Anyone who thinks the Chromebook Pixel is a ludicrous idea hasn't actually tried one--or at least that's my theory after using the high-end Chrome OS laptop over the past few days.

The $1300 question

The common argument against all Chromebooks is that other laptops--whether they run Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux--can do more. But "more" isn't the same as "better," and the truth is that the vast majority of laptops don't provide a better Web browsing experience than the Chromebook Pixel. You may laugh at that statement, but a Web browser can be pretty useful. You just need to eschew Word, iTunes, and Photoshop, and embrace Google Docs, Google Play music, and Pixlr instead.

The Chromebook Pixel doesn't make a strong enough argument to sway me away from the MacBook Pro with Retina display, which, lest we all forget, can run both Mac OS and Windows. The price gap isn't big enough, the battery life is worse, and the benefits of the touchscreen are minimal. Indeed, as much as I've enjoyed using the Pixel, I won't be buying one. The niceties are there, but the value proposition isn't, not quite.

I will, however, be eager to see how Google advances the luxury Chromebook concept. Crazy as it seems, it just might work.



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