One month with the Chromebook Pixel

It’s been a little over a month since I received the Google Chromebook Pixel 2. I admit I might have paid a little more than it’s worth because Google decided to only release the product in the US and since I am in Canada I was forced to buy it from alternate means which means third party sellers would charger a higher cost so they’d make some money off us poor non US citizens. That aside, I’ve actually been using the Chromebook Pixel 2 quite extensively since I received it. Even when I am at home and facing my hexa-display set up I still occasionally use the Pixel 2 for quick browsing.

The battery life is amazing on this unit as it can last all day of usage. I normally have the laptop running when I am at work. I leave my one and only USB type C charger at home and don’t bring it out with me to work as I can trust the battery will last all day. I have the unit turned on at around 9:30-10:00am and use it to surf the net when I have time during my busy work schedule. By the time I leave at 6:00pm the battery is normally hovering anywhere between 60-70% battery life with an estimate time remaining to be around 6-9 hours of battery life depending on what I was doing at the time. I still recharge the battery before I sleep as when I get home I continue to use the Pixel 2 which obviously will drain the battery even more. By the time I plug it in it will be at around 30+% left. I have not drained the battery all the way to 10%. I do want to eventually buy a spare so I can bring it with me on the road in case I do need to charge it up on the road when I travel (if I travel). Charging this unit is fast. It can full charge from relatively low power remaining (30%) to 100% in less than an hour. Google claims that 15 mins of charging will give you approximately 2 hours of usage. And I do not doubt it. The included charger is a 60Wh charger so can quickly recharge your pixel with little time vs the 29Wh charger they give you for the MacBook. This thing charger much faster.

The display is gorgeous. The 2560×1700 resolution does make the text look smaller than it should, but with the pinch to zoom on the touchscreen display, that doesn’t make much of a difference. Watching movies on this is surprisingly pretty well. The only thing I wish it would have is a good remote desktop solution. The Chrome Remote Desktop is pretty decent to remote into a personal computer at home, but I would like to see something that supports RD Gateway. I have not yet find a good RDP solution for that yet. Maybe if Chromebook adoption rate goes higher someone would make something for RD Gateway support.

Most of everything does rely heavily on being online, but where I am usually, there is always Wifi. And I always have my phone with me to tether. The USB and SD Card slot however will allow some local media to balance out the small built in SSD 32 or 64GB SSD capacity depending on the model you get. Chromebook does support watching local media like h.264 and x.264 mkv videos. Though it does not support subtitles properly in Anime. But that’s no big deal.

I did manage to install CRUTON and through that installed a full Ubuntu Linux OS. Though I find myself rarely using it as I mainly use this laptop as a surfing device and streaming device. I don’t need to do anything powerful on this unit. If I do, I can always bring my Surface Pro along which is still a really good device to use.

more to come!

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