6 Fixes to Make the Chromebook Pixel Worth Buying

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I call them Chromebook Pixel apologists. They're coming out of the woodwork to defend Google's super-expensive but flawed $1,299 laptop. You'll hear things like “It obviously isn't for everyone” or “You either get it or you don't.” Count me as one of the people who don't get it. As I say in my Chromebook Pixel review, the quality, sharper-than-Retina display, booming speakers and superior touchpad and keyboard all make this a lust-worthy machine. But the Pixel's beauty isn't much more than skin-deep. If Google really wants to convert more shoppers to its flagship anti-MacBook, it's going to have to address the following issues head-on. And, yes, I'm sorry to say that some of my fixes will have to wait for Chromebook Pixel 2.

Editor-in-chief Mark Spoonauer directs LAPTOP’s online and print editorial content and has been covering mobile and wireless technology for over a decade. Each week Mark’s SpoonFed column provides his insights and analysis of the biggest mobile trends and news. You can also follow him on Twitter and .

Author Bio
Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief on
Add a comment
  • jo ann smith Says:

    i would like to know how to adjust the color on my hp pavilion 14 chomebook

  • Matt Says:

    Isn't the point about offline storage going against the whole point of what chromebooks are about? If you want to play games or store a tonne or crap on your device - buy a regular notebook! (or a console for games...)

  • Wilfried Says:

    Well I set it before Mr. Spoonauer is on Apples Christmas gift list, he can not edit one article without glorifying the fruit company, Mr. Jobs is turning in his grave for happiness. Just my opinion.

  • Techstur Says:

    Hey Mark,
    Thanks for sharing the most useful extensions of Google Chrome.Some more extensions for easy and fast browsing are-
    1) Awesome screenshot
    2) Freemake YouTube Converter
    3)BeFunky Photo Editor

  • Bob Says:

    So, you're advice to google is to stop making laptops for the next generation of computing and turn the Chromebook into a tablet?!? Lol, I guess that's your opinion and I respect that, even if your opinion would be market suicide if Google ever implemented. You should change the name of your blog to ignorance is bliss. :)

  • Alex Says:

    I will speak on the developer and engineering side of things. Since Google's Chome OS is based off of Ubuntu Linux for the Intel x86 series processors, and Ubuntu Linux is based off of the core of Debian Linux distribution. The emulation packages are available for the Google pixel, just need to grab them from Ubuntu and Debian.

    With this being said, using the apps written specifically for another operating system and virtual machine, it's going to take a serious hit in performance, mind you. It would just be better if the applications were ported to Debian and then imported into Ubuntu, then later into Google Chrome OS's repositories after everything had been debugged and made as stable long term support packages or LTS-P for short.

    Or better yet, figure out what these apps do and why people like them and then just mimic them in native code on Linux, which would be the best practice.

    On a hardware perspective, the idea of using a huge desktop space in resolution is absolute genius however, since Linux has a problem with clunky interfaces and the occasional, "How in the hell do I get this to run" problem. Chrome
    OS will still suffer from the same woes as the rest of the Linux community however foreseeable in the future it doesn't have to go this way.

    Yes, Chrome OS is a slimmed down version of the Linux kernel and they did a wonderful job but they've got a long road ahead of them if they want to be an Apple Mac killer and mangler of Microsoft. They need to make sure they have perfect support for their chipset and make sure they have all the packages and multimedia drivers already installed on their base OS installation. That would take out the major frustration for most users, in addition to getting some big
    players in from the gaming industry to design games for Linux, more specifically their brand, then people are more likely to switch. Seeing it as a "fun platform" and that it could be a great one for "creatives" which is what Apple has done well at keeping these people.

    A note to Saint Nick:

    There will always be some of us that don't trust the the Central Intelligence Cloud, and go with a full system and be not of the mainstream, let alone be proud of it.

  • Saint Nick Says:

    This article mises the whole point of chrome. Several large software and hardware companies are going to be forced to move in on googles turf. Certain companies are already trying to take business away from google by making there software with default search settings for there own engine, other companies are offering increasingly successful cloud options for their devices. Google is forced to move towards android and chrome to make sure that as the Internet advances google will not become outdated. the point of the pixel is to make sure that in say 5 years when the cloud is the norm and Internet access is a given google will have a competive product. Like they said this is the next generation of chromebooks, products like these are the future of computing. And wants to be sure when that future happens they have the most mature products.

  • @aizu Says:

    how is a laptop no one wants or needs "inspirational" or a "flagship"?

  • nerd1 Says:

    Just cannot believe all the tech review sites are publishing complete crap article like this. Use tegra 4? Make it a tablet? Add android support?

    Then why just buy Nexus 10 instead? I think $1299 chrombook is a very bad idea, but you are just asking a complete different requirements.

  • Adam Says:

    Yikes! So it's a $1300 netbook that has trouble connecting to the net?
    Glad I got a Surface Pro, which does support Android apps in addition to all the high end desktop programs out there.

  • aizu Says:

    Haha, no one cares if you're not one who's going to buy it, many others will. Probably many more than Google actually expected, given that it's meant to serve as an inspirational flagship for the next generation of Chromebooks, rather than a standalone do-everything.

    Also, your very first suggestion of "adding Android app support" proves you have no idea what you're talking about. They are completely different *architectures* -- good luck finding anyone able to do a "quick fix" on that.

  • dave Says:

    here's a crazy idea - maybe google know something about the plans for the future of this machine that you don't know, and that they're not yet ready to make public? wouldn't that be WILD?

  • Frank Says:

    Enjoyed the article but what's that music site with the piano pictured on the 4th slide??? Thx!

  • Jeff Says:

    The Tegra 4 does not have faster GPU performance than the Intel HD 4000 GPU. -_-

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