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1 year with the pixelbook go… it’s been a damn good year.

This is going to be sort of my 1 year review of having this device.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5 stars

Build Quality: 5 out of 5

This thing is amazingly solid. It feels so premium and the typing experience is one of the best I have ever had on a laptop. The frosted glass trackpad is so delightful that I can imagine going back to a plastic trackpad. There is fairly substantial bezels for a device of this vintage but it really doesn't bother me.

Hardware: 4 out of 5

I have had no issues doing whatever I need to do on this device. I know many people have complained about the slower chipset on this device. For my usage I haven't seen any lag or stutter in my usage and I am using the linux container heavily, running many tabs in chrome and also using andoid apps. So to me if there is a performance issue it's so slight that I am not noticing it. I have had a few times here and there where I have had to reboot for lockups but that has been rare and it's not clear to me if that was a software issue and not a hardware problem.

The one complaint I have is the lack of ports. When you need an extra usb port it can be frustrating. I have an anker dongle that provides extra ports and even does passthru charging which is nice but it would have been cool to not have to buy an extra thing.

The screen on this device is fine… is it great? No! but it's fine and it gets plenty bright enough and having the touchscreen comes in handy when interacting with android apps which really still do function better with touch input rather than mouse input.

The one gripe I have here and probably with all chromebooks in general is the small amount of disk space. This is compounded when you are running the linux container. Add to this idea the concept of upcoming steam support… how is that even going to work? I get that this is supposed to be a cloud device but once you let people run native apps you are basically admitting that they will need disk space.

I am still getting amazing battery life after a year. I might plug this in once or twice a week. I am getting somewhere close to 10 + hours of battery on this device still ( a bit of a guess honestly ) . I do run plugged in when I am at a desk and doing long hours of work. But if I have a down week I rarely run plugged in or need to top off the battery.

Software: 4.5 out of 5

Chrome OS has come a long way. I have been using this OS in some capacity since the samsung series 3 in 2011 so I do have some pretty good perspective. This is a polished and mature OS at this point with basically all the apps and features you could want. There are several aspects for needs improvement:

Linux Conatiner: Some things just still don't work quite right. USB devices are annoying to manage and share with the container. I tried to use a USB audio interface with the linux container and could not for the life of me make that work right. That is sort of a specialty application so I won't knock it too hard on that. But it's not exactly like using a native linux install. Also performance of the linux apps takes a hit.

Android Apps: Not all apps are supported. This can be annoying if you expect some app that you normally use on your phone to just work. Also not all apps work well. Some are just optimized for phones and have no idea how to behave on a laptop screen.

Websites and app rejection: Some websites ( not many ) will just complain that they don't support chrome OS. Come on guys it's 2022! it's supposed to be cloud and things are supposed to be cross compatible at this point! I try not to blame Chrome OS for this but new users should be aware that occasionally you might run across websites that complain to you. Most recently it happened with Ikea's kitchen planning site for me it's becoming more rare all the time.

The Bright Spots:

There is Linux as well as Android support. With Linux support you can install WINE or codeweavers crossover and even get Windows apps. This is a huge win as a long time linux user I can have my dev environment and even the odd windows app. To contrast that Windows just got a linux container with graphical support with windows 11 and it's something that chromebooks have had for literally years already! Also Linux distros still struggle with Android app support. So if you need linux, android, and some windows apps all on the same platform chrome os might be your best bet at this point.

Boot times… What are even boot times? It's practically instant.

Updating: One of the better update experiences honestly yeah you have to reboot but they keep the updates to a sensible schedule and the reboots are quick and they will relaunch all the apps so you can pick up where you left off. The updates are not as nice as on linux where you nearly never need to reboot but it's much better than Windows.

Constant Improvments:

The Chrome OS improvements keep rolling in and I don't need to upgrade to a whole new OS to get these new features the upgrading is pretty seamless. Some of my favorites that dropped is the phone integration in the task bar, The pinned files bubble. But the point is that at this point even with a mature OS it seems like a lot of features and improvements are still coming. This is nice because many OSes have given up innovating forever ago and at this point need to keep everything the same not to piss off their user base. However chrome os has done this well introducing new features without breaking familiar functionality.

Conclusion:

So the conclusion is I am glad I got this device it's been great. More in general the ChromeOS ecosystem is improving and getting better all the time. We have a full fledged OS at this point that can do most things really well. If you get nearly any Chromebook of a decent build you should have a great experience. There is still some growing pains with compatibility especially if you choose an ARM based chromebook but I suspect that will get better in the future as more and more developers are considering multi arch in their builds.

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