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The personal site of Jamie Knight, a slightly autistic web developer, speaker and mountain biker who is never seen far from his plush sidekick Lion. View the Archive

Topics: Autism Development

Chrome Pixel.

Everyone should want a Chromebook Pixel I certainly do. But almost no one should buy one
David Pierce – The Verge

The Chrome Pixel is Google’s first crack at a laptop to sell to the public. It’s expensive, unconventional and uncompromising..

There are two ways of looking at the Pixel. In one light it’s an over specced over engineered £1050 web browser, in another light it’s a carefully built focused and distilled vision of what the web can be.

Starting with the hardware the Pixel is all about the web. It has a ‘retina’ quality screen with a tall 3:2 aspect ratio. The retina quality screen is easy to explain. Text content, most of the Internet, renders superbly at retina resolutions. Text that sharp is a absolute pleasure to read and manipulate. The retina iPad gives us a taste of how awesome the web is on retina.

Continuing the screen theme, the 3:2 aspect ratio is pretty unique. Personally I want to try one. More space for reading, less scrolling less neck ache. What’s not to like.

The spec on the inside is good stuff, nothing to write home about… So i wont. The form factor itself is very MacBook Pro like. Minimal right down to the lack of port labels. It’s reasonably light as well.

So the hardware is pretty interesting all by itself. If the pixel was a hardware product alone I would be tempted. The rest of the package is in the software, aka Chrome.

Chromebooks are well named. The OS consists of a browser and a window manager and that. Is. It. If you can’t do it in a browser you can’t do it on the chrome pixel.

That’s a very bold vision right there. Perhaps a little early for many but maybe just maybe enough for some. Looking at my usage needs there would be painful edge cases such as iPhoto style photo management and spotify etc.

Underneath those rough edges though there is a fundamentally good vision. Why not have apps built from HTML and CSS? Ultimately, performance is not the bottle neck with most modern computers. With the careful use of compiled native code (aka, native client) a hybrid userspace is very possible.

Finally, the Chrome Pixel is a product which has been built with a clear vision. It is focused, and uncompromising. It’s not for everyone, but i think that is part of what makes it interesting and great.

I think the Chrome Pixel is ahead of its time. Its a fascinating first stab at a laptop from Google and it puts HP and others to shame. I am hoping that i get to play with one soon (either through work or by visit a PC world, its that good).

All in, I agree with David from the Verge. I really want one but it’s to expensive for me to indulge.

Published: 27 February 2013 | Categories: , Permalink

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