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Got my Chromebook Pixel today. Let me see if I can explain to you why...
DISCLAIMER: This is my new work computer. My employer paid for it. We are required to use a computer that is under warranty, and lucky for me, I was due for a hardware refresh today. Prior to this, I was using a 2010 MacBook Pro. I've been dying to ditch it for several months now, and had reluctantly accepted that I was probably going back to Windows for my next machine. That was of course, until Google let this baby loose on the world last week. The Pixel is quite a bit cheaper than the computer they bought for me in 2010, and it is cheaper than the Windows 8 machine I was looking at (Lenovo Helix) last month.
Enter the Pixel.
This is the perfect computer for me. My work lives on the web. We have completely bought into Google Apps at work and everyone is using Google Drive, Google Plus, Hangouts, YouTube, hell, we even used Wave when it was alive. I was lucky enough to get a CR-48 when Google was shipping them out and started to find that I could work more productively on it than using my MBP. Of course, the hardware was the limiting factor with the CR-48. It was hardly fast and smooth when it debuted, and age has not taken kindly to it. I've been following Chromebooks very closely ever since, and have tried a co-workers Samsung (the latest one dominating Amazon sales right now), but it just seemed like too much of a toy for a work computer, and the screen is awful. I guess you get what $249 gets you.
There are admittedly a couple times a week that I still may need to do something that requires OS X or Windows. In those very rare instances, I still have the MBP sitting on my desk at work (which is where it will stay now) with Chrome Remote Desktop installed, and a Windows 7 desktop PC at home with the same. This app (which comes pre-installed on the Pixel) allows me to use either of those machines anytime I want to on my Chromebook. Win-win-win.
So what are the benefits to my employer? Not only is the laptop cheaper for them to buy in the first place, but what do you think is the first thing that happens when an employee gets a new Windows or Mac computer? It has to go to the desktop support group to get imaged and have the security/encryption software installed. My Pixel was delivered to Inventory today, and the desktop support group didn't need to see it at all. I picked it up and it hadn't even been turned on yet. Just opened to have an asset tag placed on the bottom.
So here I am, typing away on what is HANDS DOWN the most gorgeous, well made, pleasure-to-use laptop I've ever had. This includes high end MacBooks as well as Dell/Lenovo/HP Windows laptops. It's not even close.
And I have a feeling this is just the beginning of a new way to think about ChromeOS. We'll see some interesting things at I/O to be sure. You think Google isn't ready for the lamenting about not being able to use Photoshop on Chrome? Remember that they bought Nik last year as well. You think they're not working on an in house photo editing suite to roll out to us? This thing has professional photography written all over it. The screen, the aspect ratio (which by the way is so freaking nice to have to consume web content), the new Google + photos app that was leaked. They're definitely going somewhere with all of this.
I for one, am happy to be along for the ride.
Would I have spent my own money on one? I'd like to think that if I were shopping for a laptop, and I could get my budget to the $1500 range, I would. I would CERTAINLY take this over any comparably priced Apple laptop, but I'm sure I'd probably end up with a sub-$800 Windows 8 machine. I was fortunate enough to not have to find out.
Let's get this forum moving!