Yesterday, Google released its next generation of its Chromebook, the Chromebook Pixel. I haven’t talked about Chromebooks on my blog as yet, so before we proceed, here is a brief about how the Chrome OS grew to be what it is today.
Chrome OS started of as Google’s wish to build a lightweight, cloud based OS. Initially, it was pretty much the Chrome browser we use today on our phones and desktops with a few small additions, like application tabs. The Chrome OS ran apps from the Chrome Web Store, and was very limited in functionality. Critics complained that having an OS that completely relied on the internet would be far from accessible. But Google took the OS seriously, and it did make substantial changes over the years.
Today, the Chrome OS still is cloud based. Its such a lightweight OS that turning it on takes just seconds, and it takes about 1/16th of the storage as a conventional Windows computer. This means the OS is stupendously fast, and if you can ignore its few limitations, the OS has amazing usability in a well connected system. Recently, Google announced all Android apps will natively run on the the Chrome OS, making it a great deal. Chromebooks today are extensively used in the field of education and are growing in its worldwide usage, with more people receiving reliable access to the cloud.
Coming to the new Chromebook Pixel, Google did quiet a job to make better in every possible manner. Its faster than the first version, seriously fast, and comes with tons of RAM and processing power. The touchscreen display is beautiful: 2560x1700 at 239 ppi, and the battery life is an outstanding 12 hours. The Chromebook comes in a very minimalistic design (that looks good, according to me), square edges, all metal construction with some glowing chrome-coloured lights behind the screen. The base model comes with a 5th gen Core i5, 8 gigs of RAM, 32 GB internal memory, and goes all the way up to a Core i7 with 16 gigs of RAM and 64 GB internal storage; that’s extremely good specs for an operating system thats already so fast.
Importantly though, the Pixel has 2 USB-C ports along with 2 standard USB ones. Google calls USB-C “the new industry standard”. And I’m sure it will be the industry standard with more and more laptops getting slimmer, for example, the recently showcased MacBook. The Pixel, like the MacBook, uses this port to charge the batteries, connect to external displays or use a splitter to make this a hugely accessible port that can accept any other port connection.
All that said, there is a sigh looking at the price tag. $999 for the base model isn’t close to as cheap other Chromebooks are. And although it is a well made product, the OS is still not the best for everyone to use. Anyways, looking at this, the future looks bright for the Chromebook family!
Google is also rolling out Lollipop 5.1 with a ton of bug fixes, a few changes to the Quick Settings and HD Voice Calling to some phones. There are small tweaks here and there, improving the overall experience of the system. So if you are already running Lollipop, do look out for this.