Pixel Slate with Chrome OS

Discussion in 'Google' started by yodamiked, Oct 9, 2018.

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  1. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    The pen experience on the Pixelbook is about average Wacom AES. You can use any AES stylus and I don't recommend the Pixel Pen (Lenovo's is good), but you'll need to get a stick-on loop to have it at the ready. I owned a Samsung Chromebook Pro for a short while and, as expected, the Wacom EMR - in silo - was far better. For note taking I think the PB is about as good, and there are a few features which integrate Google Assistant via the pen (none of which I use - in fact, I don't use GA at all), but if art or even a smoother writing experience and an in-silo storage is important for you, and it appears performance, storage and RAM are not - I'd probably go with the Chromebook Pro over the Pixelbook. The Chromebook Plus has a downgraded screen (vs. the Pro, the Pixelbook, and the first version of the Plus, all of which used the same, excellent panel), I don't believe it has a backlit keyboard (Pro does, I believe) and, most importantly, the Plus went from a very marginal SOC cpu to Intel Celeron, whereas the CB Pro has at least m Class cpu choices.

    Bottom line: As a general Yoga-style laptop, the Pixelbook is the best designed and manufactured piece of hardware - bar none! - I've ever encountered. You can now get more power - or the same - but with an EMR pen en silo with the Acer Spin 13 and lower performance and RAM (4GB vs 8GB) but still a smooth operating Yoga style device with EMR en silo with the Samsung CB Pro. The Slate has upgraded hardware options (which I think you said you don't need/want), a far superior screen but keyboard options that involve tradeoffs; it is also absurdly high priced. Beyond that, you have a use case which is highly unusual in that it is part of a trial, short lasting and not involving criteria that many chromebook buyers may consider important - especially since Windows dual booting is expected to be included in Chromeos 73, by February. Keep the questions coming if you have more!
     
  2. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Thanks a bunch sir!.
    I'm leaning back towards the pixel book especially if it can dual boot windows at some future point. I took a look at one this mornin g at Best Buy and it seems like nice hardware. Plus good catch about the backlit keyboard. The Chromebook plus doesn't have that and it would have been very useful the other day
     
  3. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    Isn't it a beautiful piece of kit? Again, not knowing your use case(s) and time frame for using this, between the soon-to-be Windows dual boot and current Linux simultaneous boot, the 8GB seems like a good choice, , as does storage greater than 32GB, though I think you said that won't matter for your purposes. You should be able to get the base model PB (i5Y, 8GB,128GB (eMMC) for $750 from Google, Amazon, B&H, others. Sometimes Google takes the discount away (from all retailers) for a few weeks, then puts it back on. Don't know if buying used makes sense for you, but you can likely buy one in mint condition for around $600 - $650. Keep us posted.
     
  4. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    Note: refurbished Pixelbooks for $599 at Best Buy. I don't know what the warranty is, and I know your firm is buying this, so it may not be the best approach for you, but for anyone considering trying the PB, this is an excellent opportunity.
     
  5. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Awesome, thanks!. I just ordered one. Since this is for a project and I don't intend to keep it long term, saving the company some money would be good. Of course, If I like it as much as I think I might, especially if the dual windows boot option is real, it may become a permanent part of my collection. (at least until the next shiny new one comes out of course :) )
     
  6. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    Glad it fit your needs. I'm very curious to hear your feedback as you put this through its paces. I should warn you of one thing since you mentioned it: the backlit keyboard is one of the weaknesses of the PB. It has a continuously variable setting, but unfortunately at the brightest there are some key masks that aren't fully well lit. It's a common problem with light gray keyboards with white backlighting (though the Surface Book does it perfectly!). You can always see the key masks well; you just have to leave the backlighting off longer than you might otherwise.
     
  7. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    Not to complicate your life, but I just read that Amazon is discounting the Acer Spin 13 from $900 to $749. That's $150 more than the $599 refurbished Pixelbook you ordered but there are some significant pros (and some cons) for the Spin 13 vs. the Pixelbook (see this review) and what particularly gives the Acer an edge is that it has an 8th gen U-series Core i5 cpu (quad core) whereas the Pixelbook has a 7th gen Y series processor. Here are a few of the additional pros/cons to save you the trouble of reading reviews in detail if any are dealbreakers for you (these are listed from the prospective of a Spin 13 owner (so pros make the S13 better than the PB and cons make it worse):

    Pros
    1) Core i5 8250-U cpu/ HD-620 GPU vs. core i5-7y57/HD-615
    2) 13.5" screen (vs. 12.3") almost the same resolution, also 3x2 aspect ratio
    3) A Wacom EMR pen in a silo, included in the price (if you were planning on getting a PB pen, that would put the prices of the 2 w/in $50 of each other, but having an EMR digitizer is a great improvement for the Acer
    4) An SD card slot and a USB3-A port (along with the 2 USB-Cs

    Cons
    1) At 3.5 lbs, the Acer is 1.1 lbs (over 40%) heavier
    2) The keyboard and trackpad, while generally rated "good," are not in league with the PB's "outstanding"
    3) The overall design is more pedestrian, heavy-handed and bulkier, perhaps equivalent to a 2014 Ultrabook
    4) Not sure about this, but I don't think the screen is as bright as the 400 nit PB

    For the most part, you're looking at performance and convenience vs. design, ergonomics and light-weight. The two differences that might push me from the Pixelbook to the Acer: the cpu/gpu, particularly if you are thinking in terms of dual booting into Windows; depending on your use cases, this could be a deal breaker for the PB; secondly, if you are an artist or heavy note-taker, having the Wacom EMR en silo could move on towards the Acer, but probably only if the other advantages carry weight with you.

    Again, sorry for complicating your life, but I felt you would want to know. For myself, I'm content to enjoy the wonderful design and usability of the Pixelbook until at least the dual boot to Windows is in the mainstream build of chromeos; by that time there may be some other chromebooks with U (or 8th gen Y) class cpus, and hopefully one with an NVME/PCIE SSD. For now, neither the cpu nor gpu of the PB makes it noticeably slow on either web-based or Android apps.
     
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  8. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Thanks! I did order a refurbed Pixelbook from BB, but if I end up adding a chromebook to my kit permanently I will look again.

    I am going to CES with a couple of my engineers later this week and I intend to spend some time with the various chromebook suppliers to see what's out there
     
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