I love consumer electronics. I am a devoted YouTube fan with subscriptions to CNET, The Verge, and Justin Tse. Justin is one of my favorites. He is likable, articulate with just the right amount of transparency.
I have been working pretty hard to break free of Apple products. They are a great hardware company, but I am a software guy at heart. I mean everybody buys Apple because it is Apple. The mass market has moved their way, but heck, I’m a bit of an iconoclast.
Mac & Windows Let Down
This has me always looking at the newest Google and Microsoft products. I tried the Surface Pro, but the screen was a bit too small for me, and the keyboard was not up to my standards. I then jumped on the Surface Book when I watched the release presentation live from NYC. But Windows 10 let me down because the apps I use all the time just aren’t up to par from the Windows Store.
I currently own a 2015 MacBook Pro because it has the best Apple keyboard. I used to have a Macbook but dumped it because it had a terrible keyboard. The new keyboards are not much better.
So this has me focused on Google. They have the complete and robust cloud offering. They have a great browser loaded with terrific extensions, an assistant which makes Siri look incompetent, the best mapping software in the business, and, unlike Microsoft, they sell their own smartphone.
All they were missing were a tablet and laptop computer.
iPad Pro Compromises
For the last six months, I have been carrying around an iPad Pro with the attached keyboard and the Apple pencil. I worked hard at making this my computer and tablet. It worked really well as a tablet but no so well as my computer. But I lived with the compromises because I didn’t want to carry a full laptop.
I found an answer. It is the Google Pixelbook.
My Chromebook Journey
I bought and returned Chromebooks over the years. I like the idea of a computer which is a browser with everything in the cloud. But the Chromebook was too chintzy, underpowered, and lacked app support. The Pixelbook solved those problems.
The Pixelbook is a high-quality piece of hardware. I am using the model containing 8gb of memory, an i5 Intel processor, and 256gb SSID. It is superfast and allows me to use my favorite apps. Some apps I liked and used infrequently don’t work well, but I’m sure they’ll get there. This is one of the compromises.
But here is what I love about this computer. It is seamlessly integrated with the Google cloud. And it has the best keyboard I have ever had with any computer I ever bought. I love to type on this thing. And the screen is to die for.
Giddy About a Computer
I find myself taking it everywhere I go. It only weighs two pounds and is paper thin. I use it as my tablet and my computer but mostly as my computer. With such a capable and thin computer with a wonderful keyboard, I find myself rarely going into tablet mode.
This may sound weird, but I am a bit giddy about this computer. I look forward to using it. It is just enjoyable to use. It has no fan and generates no heat, so it’s on my lap for hours very comfortably.
There Are Issues, However
The apps I use on my iPad have different features from the android apps running on the Pixelbook. This is true with Slack specifically. And the magazine app Zinio won’t run at all. Skype also falls into this bucket. I also have to move my accounting online. I’m sure I’ll run into more of this.
Overall, I Love It
I am an Evernote power user, and it works great. As does the video conferencing app Zoom. I lost my handwriting app Notability as it only runs on iOS devices, but I can use Evernote for my handwritten notes just as easily. And yes, the Pixelbook Pen proved to be responsive. It seems as responsive as the Apple Pencil.
This computer has a great keyboard, screen, and speakers with a pretty seamless Google back end. And it weighs next to nothing.
If you want to escape Win10 and iOS, then the Pixelbook is just the device for you. It is fun, light, flexible, and of super high quality. No more waiting for my operating system software to update and no more viruses to worry about. I’m free!