Why I just bought a Chromebook Pixel

I have been living in Googleland -- on my Android phone and tablet and my Chromebook -- for a few months now. It's a happy place up here in the cloud. I haven't been down below to dark dens of the Microsoft Empire since.

The Chromebook -- I have the $249 Samsung model -- works quite well now. I had a problem for sometime with pages refreshing too often and at inconvenient moments because of limited memory. But helpful fellow users gave me a new setting that makes the machine do a better job of swapping memory and now I'm finding that it's quite stable. It stores docs and email locally and so I've been able to work on the plane and I've found I can do everything I needed to do using Microsoft Word et al. The keyboard's nice. The screen's a bit lite. But the battery power is great. 

I was wishing for a beefier Chromebook. Having proven itself at the low end of the market, I've been saying that I wished Google would come up with one at the high end. Now it has: The Chromebook Pixel. I just bought one, sight unseen. It has more memory, a faster processor, a touchscreen (which I'm looking forward to), and LTE built into the most expensive machine. At $1,500 it's comparable to a Macbook, though I don't need to buy any software for it. 

But this is a reverse of Mac appeal. The reason I switched to Android from iPhones is not the hardware -- though I like my Nexus 4 -- but the services. I use Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Maps, Google Reader, Google+, Google Drive, Google Now.... Like an alien spaceship hovering overhead, that's what sucked me up into the cloud. Once I was there on my phone and tablet (a Nexus 7), it was easy to make the switch to a Chromebook. I already lived inside Chrome on my Mac. All I needed to do was see whether I could give up Microsoft apps. I could. Deal done. 

Because I ordered the LTE pixel, I'll have to wait six weeks to get it. I'm not sure whether that's worth the extra $150 and wait, but I figure it's better to have the option to use cell connectivity. 

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