Seven Days In Chromebook Exile Not So Bad

PC World’s Melissa Riofrio notes that the new Chromebook Pixel has attracted much interest–and even greater disdain, considered by many pundits to be an outrageously expensive, disposable toy.

But is the Chromebook platform really such a bad idea asks? She set out to determine whether a Chromebook could substitute for a full-fledged Windows laptop, without performance issues and compatibility headaches.

Ms. Riofrio observes that most tech journalists are power users: tinkerers and early adopters who want full laptop flexibility – to play games and run processor-intense applications like Photoshop and video editors. They don’t get the Chromebook, and the Chromebook is not for them, yet they’ve tended to compare the Chromebook to the full desktop experience, where Google’s hardware platform not surprisingly falls short.

However she notes that there are millions of users who’ve happily abandoned full-fledged PCs for tablets and even smartphones for many common computing tasks, and for them Chromebooks offer something more: a decent keyboard and a bigger display – like the one on the new HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook, or, of course, the “mesmerizing” 2560-by-1700 display on the Chromebook Pixel.

Ms. Riofrio says technorati need to step aside and let the rest of the world enjoy the Chromebook – and especially, the Pixel -for what it is: a more functional alternative to a smartphone or tablet for online life.

“Chromebooks are for the rest of us,” she contends, saying she wants to get a Chromebook for her 79 year old mom and wouldn’t mind one for herself.

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If Steve Jobs Was Right And This Is A Post-PC Era, Why Did Google Release The Chromebook?

Macworld UK’s Karen Haslam notes that while a few years have passed since Apple’s late CEO Steve Jobs predicted that the “post-PC” era had arrived, Google doesn’t seem to think so, having released the Chromebook Pixel, a premium laptop with a touchscreen that boasts more pixels than Apple’s Retina display but has an unusual 3:2 aspect ratio.

Ms. Haslam observes that it’s worth noting that Apple reduced the price of its 13in MacBook Pro with Retina display by 200/$200 just days before Google unveiled the Chromebook Pixel, with cutting the price of the 13in MacBook Pro with Retina Display so soon after launch indicating that the smaller Retina laptop has been selling poorly.

She notes that while Steve Jobs claimed that putting a touch screen on a Mac would be “ergonomically terrible,” and that “Touch surfaces don’t want to be vertical,” perhaps Jobs was wrong and the PC-era isn’t over, and people do want touchscreen laptops. It looks like 2013 will be the year we find out.

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