Living With The Chromebook Pixel: I Give Up / by Damon Lavrinc

It’s been less than a week since I snagged a Chromebook Pixel from the Wired office. It was everything the critics claimed: beautifully made, supremely quick, a gorgeous, pixel-dense touchscreen and a hunk of machine that addressed all the ills of its underpowered predecessors. But as a day-to-day workhorse, it crumbled under my minimal weight.

It wasn’t the lack of native photo editing software (pixlr works fine for basic crops and resizing). It wasn’t the abysmal Twitter offerings that had me defaulting to the website. It wasn’t even the hacky Chrome app selection that barely netted a simple writing app with word count.

No, it was a lack of memory. 

With a dozen or so tabs open, they were constantly reloading. Worse, I regularly got the screen above. “It’s dead Jim!” Sorry, but a cute Star Trek reference doesn’t do much for my faith in an OS that aims to replace my daily driver.

It’s bad when you’re trying to reference a press release. Worse when you’re trying to keep a chat window open. And soul-crushing when you’ve written something and it disappears into the void.

For a machine that costs considerably more (LTE or no) than most premium laptops, a lack of RAM seems like a glaring obvious error. And I pity the fool that decides to hack on another OS.

But I’ll miss that ultra-crisp display, the ability to reach out and touch the content and – most shockingly – the trackpad, which may be the first time any PC maker has managed to out-Apple Apple. 

I fully intended to live with the Pixel as long as I could, but six days in I’m done, re-rewiring my hotkey muscle memory and cursing the reminder that the things we love often hurt us the most.