Five reasons I really love the Chromebook Pixel

Credit: Ron Miller

The other day, while indicating how much I loved the Chromebook Pixel, I wrote a piece on what I would change. Therefore, it only seems fair to more detail what I really liked.

And there is a lot to like about this machine.

When I posted a link to my first article on Google+, one person indicated that there was no way he could get past the price. How could one pay similar money for a Chromebook as for a MacBook Pro?

While I haven't used a MacBook Pro with Retina display, in many ways I like this machine better than the 15-inch MacBook Pro with non-Retina display that I own. The hardware is that good.

Without further adieu here are the five things I love best about the Chromebook Pixel

This baby doesn't get hot

As much as I enjoy using my MacBook Pro, there are aspects of it that annoy me. One big one is that it runs really hot. When you pack that much power into a small space, you tend to get some heat and you can't use the MacBook Pro in your lap without a lap pad or you risk burning your thighs--  even through jeans. What's more, the fan tends to pop on and stay on for extended periods of time -- and it's loud.

So far I've used the Pixel on my lap with no problem and I can't recall the fan coming on at all. It's quiet and cool. 

The best keyboard since IBM's in the 1980s

To show you I've been around the block a few times, I used an original IBM PC and in the 1980s, the best external keyboards came from IBM. Perhaps because they had that legacy as typewriter company, the IBM keyboards were solid when most were cheap plastic. When you typed, they clicked in a way that felt right. The keyboard on the Pixel isn't exactly an IBM, but it's one of the better laptop keyboards I've ever used. Typing is easy and there is the familiar clicking sound that I do so love. It seems to be hypersensitive and picks up each tap even if you don't have a perfect strike. 

Trackpad love

When I tested the $249 Chromebook, I complained bitterly about the low-quality trackpad. I had to scroll over and over and it was tiring and imprecise. The Pixel answered this with the best trackpad I've ever used. It scrolls as smoothly as smartphone glass with only minimal effort. You might not think that's much, but if you are on the computer as much as I am during the day, I welcome anything that makes my life easier and reduces effort.

The display blows away my non-retina MacBook Pro

The display on the Pixel is incredible. It's clear and you can read text without having to enlarge it. It's steady in a variety of different lighting situations. In fact, I am writing this post on my front step in bright sunlight, and in spite of the glossy display and my self-darkening glasses, I can see the text just fine. That's a big difference from MacBook Pro, which is almost impossible to use outdoors,

Best overall hardware package I've seen in some time

You may see the $1,200 price tag and think that's way too much for this machine. That was my feeling too -- until I actually used one. In the week I've been using the Pixel, I've picked it up more often than not and left the MacBook Pro sitting on the desk. You aren't actually going to find many machines that combine this quality, fit, and finish for $1,200 -- when you look at it like that, you might even consider it a bargain.

If you doubt me, I challenge you to just go to Best Buy and have a look for yourself. Gaze at that display. Feel the keyboard, let your fingers glide over that trackpad, and in spite of the limitations I outlined in my article on Friday, I'm confident you will love this machine as much as I did. It's that nice.

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