I have an older generation Pixel 2 from 2015.

Pixelbooks are relatively expensive – much cheaper Chromebooks, with all the same features, but not quite such high quality are available from Acer and others. But they’re only relatively expensive to buy… Mine performs as well today as when it was purchased 4 years ago. Apart from a cooling fan – which I don’t think the new generation have – they’re solid-state only. So I’m expecting mine to last another 2-4 years.

Show me a £300 Windows laptop that’s still usable 8 years after purchase! (Windows tends to add more crap faster than processor speeds increase, Chromebooks break that model altogether.)

(A pity in a way ’cause I’d like a new shiny feature they’ve added. Android support has been there for some time, many Android Apps just run. But Google have recently added the ability to run Linux apps to the newer models. On a powerful Chromebook, that will eventually enable even running Windows apps, in case there are a few programs from Windows people just can’t do without.)

My Pixel 2 also still lasts up to 8 hours on battery. (The Pixelbooks with their slimline build, actually only last about 4 hours. Still a lot better than all but the most expensive Windows laptops.)

Chromebooks don’t run Windows programs. But the only thing they can’t really do well is video editing – the software isn’t available and most of the storage is in the cloud over a slow broadband connection. I can’t install an Oracle database reasonably – but I can run all sorts of terminal software including VNC graphical X-Windows client and use the Chromebook for what it’s intended. (And the server with more memory, processor power and storage for what it’s meant for.)

Pixelbooks can however be useful for still artwork. They have very high resolution touch-screens and a sensitive pen can be added – for £100 – for fine work.

Not a lot of people know about Chromebooks in the UK, but they have more than 50% of the education market in the US. Because they’re Google-based, if a Chromebook is physically broken, the school issues another one and everything the student did is there, ready for use soon after they log on.

If you are interested but baulk at the price, I waited for Black Friday to buy my daughter’s Pixelbook, & Google often pick on certain “retail events” – Xmas, Easter, etc – to make special offers. We got 20% off the base model. It does plenty more than my daughter needs.

I’m an enthusiast, I have no shares. 

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