Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Why a Google Pixel Slate?

...or, isn't the Chromebook C302 enough for you?

It is. The Chromebook C302 is and has been awesome. In the years I've owned the device it hasn't lost a single step in terms of speed or usability. Also, as I've grown accustomed to Chrome as an OS, it has become more and more useful. I've learned many of the boundaries of what I can handle as cloud-based and what I need to be local. The benefits of "working in the cloud" are nice, to be sure. 

So... why do I feel like I need an upgrade? What does the Pixel Slate offer?
Well, to be honest, it doesn't offer very much. That's the reason why I haven't really pushed to get one. The processor of the m3 model is not a very large step up in performance (even theoretical performance) over the m3 processor in my current Chromebook. Plus, performance issues have not plagued my Chrome experience - quite the opposite actually. But it does offer one specific thing that I have been wanting to make use of recently and that's the ability to draw.

The Chromebook C302 is a magnificent device that has served all of my needs in unexpected ways and convinced me of the soundness to the theory of moving away from a Windows-centric computing experience. It does more for me than any Windows-based laptop I've ever owned or worked with and has completely convinced me to stick with ChromeOS as my go-to mobile operating system. Even so, you cannot draw on the C302. It wasn't designed for it and it doesn't have the hardware for it. 

So why not simply buy the hardware for the Asus C302?
Well, that seems a decent solution, but a lengthy round of Google searches will reveal that drawing tablet support on Chromebooks is a bit spotty. Google won't acknowledge it, which is disappointing. Even more concerning, though, is the fact that compatible apps are hard to determine and seem to be dependent on which input device you've purchased. Furthermore, decent input devices are still quite pricey (though not $800). These concerns lead me to a place where I would feel much safer and wiser in simply purchasing a device that is designed to work for drawing from the ground up.

Why not get the HP X2 or the Pixelbook?
I would. The Pixelbook especially. If the $999 version of the Pixelbook ever went back on sale for $699, I think that's easily the best option of the bunch. It seems like that this is the event to look out for. The detractors here are 1) the Pixelbook is supposedly discontinued and 2) the sale events are unpredictable. 
The HP X2 is another amazing option and I only have two small concerns about it: 1) it is heavy. 2) it is ugly. Neither one of these concerns are deal-breakers by any means.

However, even with the two potentially better options stated above, there is something that the Google Pixel slate has which neither of these does: style for a similar price. And I am vain. I would love to have that sweet, understated Google style to slip into my bag in a light and convenient package built for drawing and chromebooking. 

But the ability to draw is not yet worth $800 either way.

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