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Some quick thoughts on the Chromebook Pixel, which I'm typing this on at the moment :)

Anyone that follows me will know that I've long been a fan of the Chromebook concept. The idea of a machine which reflects how I actually work (mostly online) is attractive. It's secure, fast enough, and I never have to worry about where any of my data lives. 

But... I'm also a hardware snob. And although the crop of Chromebooks that Google's partners have released over the years have been interesting (and lord knows, I've had a few of them), when you're used to the build quality of something like a MacBook Air, it's really hard to down trade to something that's more plasticky and cheap-feeling. And that's leaving aside features like the retina displays on the current MacBook Pros, which - once experienced - are really hard to live without.

Google clearly thinks there are enough people out there like me to make it worth building a high-end Chromebook, and that's exactly what the Chromebook Pixel is: a laptop with excellent build quality and the kind of attention to detail that previously you'd only usually see on an Apple machine. Add in a retina-class screen (and it really is gorgeous) which is actually touch-enabled and you've got something that's very interesting.

But, it has to be said, expensive: over £1000 in the UK, which is a hefty price to pay for any laptop these days. But that's about £200 cheaper than a 13in Retina MacBook Pro, which is its nearest equivalent. So if you're basically doing everything on the web anyway (or could do) and you're considering a retina MBP, it's actually pretty good value. 

Would I buy one? Actually, yes, quite possibly. I've said before that if hardware of this class was available the next time I needed to upgrade my MacBook. Of course, that would depend on what Apple had, too. But it would be a close thing.

One of the themes that +Sundar Pichai  came back to again and again when introducing the Pixel is that it's almost a statement of intent: a rallying cry to developers to create web apps which are touch-enabled, and that include retina-quality images. These are two things that really bring the web to life, and I think that Sundar is right to highlight them.

But it's also a statement about Google, too, because it says that Google can do hardware with the same attention to detail and quality that Apple does. It's  not a shot across Apple's bows, but more putting a flag in the ground that says "Come on Cupertino, we can do hardware - you think you can do services?" Isn't competition great?
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The Verge didn't seem to love the responsiveness of the touchscreen. What is your response to that? If nothing else I'm sure it will be improved upon, as was the touchpad after the initial Cr-48 release.
What's the battery life?  I thought I read about 3 hours.
Love you last paragraph also. Defiance :)
I heard there was mention at the press event that Google wants to make it clear that Android and Chrome OS are to remain separate. What did they say exactly? Do you think there is any chance Android functionality is at least a potential?
Great points Ian, especially the paragraph about showing Apple that others can create similar hardware.
+Doug Hawkes The touch experience can be a little laggy, definitely. If you're used to the kind of very smooth scrolling, for example, that you get on an iOS or recent Android device, you'll find it a little sluggish. But it's ok when the page is relatively simple. 
I'm still waiting for the next MacBook Air update, but this helps raise the bar and give Apple even more competition in the space.
+Bob Adams I'll give it a proper test tomorrow (it wasn't fully charged when I got it). 
+Alex Masters I think if Apple did a retina Air for the same price, I'd probably go for it. But this is undoubtedly a pretty amazing piece of hardware. Definitely raises the bar.
+Ian Betteridge Great to know that it's a good quality piece of kit, what are the vertical viewing angles like, that's the main reason I'm waiting on the MacBook Air to get retina. Not as fussed about the resolution, but the laminated displays in the Pro models have amazing vertical angles and that's what I want.
+Alex Masters Viewing angles are really good. I don't have a retina MBP to hand to see how it compares to that, but it's better than my current Air, I think.
Interesting, thanks. Just to clarify I'm referring to vertical viewing angles, as in the angles that you see when tilting the screen backwards and forwards. Laptops have always sucked at this and it's so crazy the me that they have only just started to get rid of the issue.
Ahh, right. Those are pretty good too. You lose a bit of the brightness once you tilt it all the way back, but it's still sharp and viewable. 
Ah ok cool thanks. The new retina screens have almost completely eliminated the problem. If you're trying to edit photos on anything else, it's a total nightmare. It always surprises me that people don't complain about this, it's far more important than horizontal viewing angles in my opinion. Thanks Ian!
+Bob Adams I've heard reports from Googlers of 5-6 hours. I'll find out myself tomorrow!
what what what I go 5 days with no internet and the htc one, the ps4 and chromebook pixel all come out
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