21 February 2013

Can you work with Google's Chromebook Pixel?


Today Google launched the Pixel, a fantastic looking chromebook with among other things, an unbelievable screen with a fantastic resolution (1700 vertical pixels!!!).

Apple, and now Google, have beaten traditional PC makers such as Asus, Acer, Dell et al to market with high DPI Screens. Apple starting off with the Mac Book Pro Retina 15inch last year and following through with the 13inch model before christmas and with the Pixel google have a 231 DPI screen with 2560 x 1700 resolution.

Windows 7/8 dpi scaling is part of the reason why Dell, HP, Lenovo and company dropped the ball, but these vendors had been ignoring customer feedback on poor display quality for years.

The chromebook is expensive, (US Google play store prices have it around the 1299 USD wifi only and 1499 USD for LTE Version).

But is it really expensive when you weight up the value being provided?

Google has made a machine with an Ivy Bridge i5 CPU, 4GB Ram, 32/64GB SSD, LTE / Mobile broadband option, Free data (this is probably not coming to Ireland), It has 3 microphones (one under the keyboard for noise cancelation), a nice keyboard, ridiculously beautiful touch screen and 100 GB storage.

Google charges USD 50 for 100 GB of storage with Google Drive, so the value of this would be close to USD 1800 over the life of the machine.

For small business users who primarily use Google Apps ecosystem, e.g. Gmail, Google Calendar, Drive, etc... and other useful apps like Xero.com (online bookkeeping) & Insightly CRM, Google Hangout's etc..It seems to me that if you can disconnect from the windows ecosystem (if your business is not tied to legacy apps) there could be a huge benefit to your workflow could be made more flexible and vastly improved by using a chromebook.

The quick office suite is included with the Pixel which is a better featured office suite that will be woven into Google Docs (now Drive) and is available as an Android/iOS app.

The chromebook offers better security with Sandboxed apps / (useful for Java which is the largest threat of malware / viruses but required by lots of sites e.g. the Revenue Online Service (ROS), automatic updates and lower attack vectors than full scale OS's.

This would make a great enterprise system if the business is not tied into old workflows and legacy apps!