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Old 02-22-2013, 11:13 PM   #61
Tony1988
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This is neither a tablet computer nor a desktop (which can always be had more cheaply than a high end laptop.)

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Whatever it is, it most certainly is not even a laptop and is way overpriced.

True about Desktops though. They have now moved back into niche status among consumers. Back where they were before internet. Most people just need a device for some web browsing and games etc. They dont need a powerful desktop. Still though I prefer my desktop for home use. I almost got a laptop to replace my aging desktop. But when I saw that I could get pretty much get double the performance with a desktop and pay less for it than a laptop, my choice was clear. Plus desktops generally last longer than laptops.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:50 PM   #62
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Beyond that you're paying for the build quality of the machine itself, and the TB of cloud storage, just as you would be for a similar quality ultrabook or MacBook Air.

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That doesn't really answer the question, which was rhetorical in any case. What's the use case? We all 'get' the concept of the original Chromebook, even if we don't buy into it: an ultra-low cost computer for people who only need to do basic web browsing and can get by with cloud software for the rest.

That market segment quite clearly isn't going to spend $1,300+ for what amounts to a web browser with a nice screen, and are even less likely to need, or want, 1 TB of storage space.

If Pixel is intended as a shot across the bow of Apple's retina display computers, it's destined to fail because of its crippled OS which is of no interest to professionals or tech geeks. But I doubt that was the intention.

The Pixel only makes sense, to me, as a signal from Google that they're done making (exclusively) low-end hardware. I liken it to a concept car: not for mass consumption, even if you can theoretically buy it, but as a roadmap for future development. I don't think anyone should take this particular computer seriously as a consumer product, but should consider what it implies about Google's future offerings.

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A wearable computer that's probably not even half as capable a device as the crippled laptop, or even a $300 no-name Android 2.3 tablet from 2 years ago...
Not a very interesting observation. How 'capable' were smartphones five years ago compared to computers? Hardly at all, yet their portability, simplicity, and cost put them on track to completely overtake the traditional computer market by the end of this decade.

I believe that Google Glass, or some other form of wearable computing, is destined to do the same in the near term. If they'll work with regular prescription glasses, I'll buy a pair this year.
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:08 AM   #63
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How fast does it need to be, really?
This'll do:

$ systemd-analyze

Startup finished in 2152ms (kernel) + 1135ms (userspace) = 3287ms

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Whatever it is, it most certainly is not even a laptop and is way overpriced.

True about Desktops though. They have now moved back into niche status among consumers. Back where they were before internet. Most people just need a device for some web browsing and games etc. They dont need a powerful desktop. Still though I prefer my desktop for home use. I almost got a laptop to replace my aging desktop. But when I saw that I could get pretty much get double the performance with a desktop and pay less for it than a laptop, my choice was clear. Plus desktops generally last longer than laptops.
The point has been made about desktops being irrelevant as far as comparisons but what better yardstick exists to get a sense of proportion and overpricing?
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:15 AM   #64
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Is a glorified web browser. The only real advantage it has is a fast boot up time, which hardly seems to matter given that most people just put their devices in sleep mode.
Bootup time isn't an real issue with most competitors in that price class. My Ultrabook(FullHD, small SDD, real 500GB HD, sufficient CPU and sufficient GPU) which is in same price range and similar desing booted up in 21 seconds, which included typing password and choosing the OS to boot from and this was cold start. And from hibernation even less...

1300$ isn't cheap. Also 60$ a month for 1TB? I can't think many uses for such amount for user of web based apps. Heavy video and picture editing isn't there yet. So just where will people use this space? I can pretty easily waste it on games and other stuff, but I prefer those to be on my local disk or external device...
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:30 AM   #65
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Yes, but your 1 TB drive will likely fail within 3 years assuming constant use. (Mine just did, in fact.)
Yes, and the credit lottery that is public usage might lead to lost cloud data as well. ("Your card expired so we emptied your cirrus space because we assumed you ceased to exist.")

Hence the need to back up everything in three places, which loops us back to the topic at hind: inexpensive storage for maximum redundancy. Samsung 830 SSDs are getting cheaper all the time; NewEgg just baited them on sale hooks for $200, which clearly made them cloud competition. My 500GB 830's reliable as hell(o, Stygia) and faster than any hard drive or cumulus I've had the pleasure of cramming with my kitsch.

Besides, that jolly cloud isn't going to do you a lot of good when you're on sabbatical writing your next novel for several months at the Jack Kerouac House. A friend of mine just did that and needed her hard drive for entertainment as well as her project. Apparently, the Cloud was too distracted to help: it was busy engulfing the peaks of attractive mountains in its ethereal fuzz.

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Old 02-23-2013, 06:33 AM   #66
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The Google Pixel is a gorgeous machine, but overpriced. The screen is beautiful and I love the idea of a backlit keyboard for nighttime use, but it won't run MS Word, which I use a lot.

When I win the lottery (yeah, right), I'll buy one...but not until then.
But it WILL run QuickOffice, which is about as close as to MS Office as it is possible to get. And when Google is done with it (QO), who knows just how similar they will be.

http://techcrunch.com/2013/02/22/goo...bout-3-months/
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:17 AM   #67
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I think you're never going to "get" this computer unless you understand one thing - Google hopes and believes that the Cloud is the future. And I think they're probably right. I think we're not there yet for a number of reasons but it's inconceivable to me that at some point in the future most people will not be doing their computing in the cloud. We already think of the wired internet as something that's just available. Like electricity or water we just expect it to work and it's a notable event when the service is out. We don't spend (much) time worrying how we'll cope without it because we expect it to be back on again soon. I can only see that becoming more true with wireless also.

A lot of the other objections that people have to cloud computing they will either become comfortable with or will have dealt with - I think privacy controls will become more robust, encryption more widespread and transparent, and legislation will make your online data similar to your deposited cash - institutions who want to manage it for you will be regulated and expected to provide certain guarantees.

So I think that if you look forward the idea that in 10, 20 years time people will be happy in a super-connected world to not always have access to their stuff is crazy to me. And you'll never get more than a niche group who will be prepared to run their own cloud. There will always be those who want more control and who keep their local storage and their flash drives and so on - but the generation that grew up with Facebook just being there isn't going to want a copy of everything offline.

But that's the future and like I said we're not there yet. I don't know if it's 5 years away or 30 but I can't see how it couldn't be the case unless we just abandon the idea of the internet for some reason.

Now as for this particular laptop at this price at this time - it's a tough sell. But I'm not sure Google cares. I agree with those that say this is sort of a concept car. It's not designed to sell well it's designed to change the image of what a chromebook can be. They don't want people to automatically think "chromebook = cheap basic hardware". I think that's why Google has built this themselves - because they know it's not going to make money but they want it to be out there as a stake in the ground to where they're going.

Oh and finally can we please stop saying "a glorifed browser"? HTML5 is an incredibly powerful programming environment. I can't think of anything you can't do and certainly it's more than capable of running the equivalent of any of the programs most people run. I think people perceive it as less capable because of the lack of offline storage access - but that's a limitation of ChromeOS (a deliberate one) not the programming platform, and because of simple availability. The fact that there isn't a Photoshop-level image editing app doesn't mean you couldn't write one, it just means no-one has yet.

And that's going to be the other thing Google will be doing. Pushing to get as many developers interesting in porting their programs as possible.

One final final thing. Just because I say all this doesn't mean I'm rushing out to buy one. (If I had the money to consider it disposable I might) I'm part of the niche/generation that wants my local data and local computing power under my control. But I get the concept.

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Old 02-23-2013, 07:28 AM   #68
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Agree, Latepaul. . .

This is the equivalent of a "concept" car you see at a motorshow. It isn't important for what you can buy so much as it is important for what a hardware designer can do. It isn't aimed at the consumer so much as it is aimed at Michael Dell, Meg Whitman, and Steve Balmer.

What you see in the Pixel will trickle down to lower cost Chromebooks in the future.

Couple that with the 2/22/13 announcement about QuickOffice, and this is Google's announcement to the world that Chrome is here and is the future of consumer/enduser computing.

Time will tell if Google is correct or not. (I'm thinking probably, yes)
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:59 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Prestidigitweeze View Post
Yes, and the credit lottery that is public usage might lead to lost cloud data as well. ("Your card expired so we emptied your cirrus space because we assumed you ceased to exist.")

Hence the need to back up everything in three places, which loops us back to the topic at hind: inexpensive storage for maximum redundancy. Samsung 830 SSDs are getting cheaper all the time; NewEgg just baited them on sale hooks for $200, which clearly made them cloud competition. My 500GB 830's reliable as hell(o, Stygia) and faster than any hard drive or cumulus I've had the pleasure of cramming with my kitsch.
Glen and Latepaul have articulated things well just below your post, but just to cover your specific points:

The fact there is a (small) chance that Google might decide you don't exist, doesn't really alter the proposal. It just equates to the (small) chance that your local storage choice might go belly up sooner than expected.

As you note, in any case you want a third backup to be safe. This can be to any storage device or other cloud offering of your choice, and applies regardless of whether your primary choice is Google's cloud or a local storage setup. In itself this isn't a reason against holding the primary copy of your data in the cloud.

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Besides, that jolly cloud isn't going to do you a lot of good when you're on sabbatical writing your next novel for several months at the Jack Kerouac House. A friend of mine just did that and needed her hard drive for entertainment as well as her project. Apparently, the Cloud was too distracted to help: it was busy engulfing the peaks of attractive mountains in its ethereal fuzz.
That, of course, is what the 32 GB of onboard storage is for. Obviously you'd be tagging your latest novel and notes to be documents for which you want offline access.

You can fit a lot of novel and entertainment in 32 GB. Certainly enough for several months on the road. And if not, or you're talking lots of movies, get yourself a couple of SD cards, or indeed an external hard drive:

http://support.google.com/chromeos/b...&answer=183093

Graham

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Old 02-23-2013, 09:50 AM   #70
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I don't know about you people in other countries, but here in the States the price of gas has about doubled in the past year. I'm supporting a wife and two little kids on one meager salary. I don't have money to blow on crap like this.

I read articles on other electronics web sites about things like the new Nintendo Wii U and how sales over Christmas didn't even come close to what they projected. I'm beginning to think there's more people like me out there that just don't have the money to blow. Even something like a $500 iPad. I know a lot of readers here have them, but in the big scheme of things, I think most families have to think about putting food on the table and gas in the car.

I personally think the oil companies are responsible to ruining the economy here. I just don't understand how the government can regulate the price of electricity, the price of home owner's insurance, and many other things, but refuse to regulate the price of gas. The only explanation is that the idiots in Washington all have their hands in the oil company's' pockets.

Just my two cents.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:52 AM   #71
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That is logistics. . .

All of which can easily be solved with current technology and binding terms of service and terms of usage. (Or laws and regs for those who still believe in government)
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:27 PM   #72
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The fact there is a (small) chance that Google might decide you don't exist, doesn't really alter the proposal. It just equates to the (small) chance that your local storage choice might go belly up sooner than expected.
It alters the proposal in the sense that depending primarily on the cloud is probably not a wise idea for many people, given not only terms of paid service but inconsistencies of access (such as New York's last blackout), which is partly why internal storage matters.

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This can be to any storage device or other cloud offering of your choice, and applies regardless of whether your primary choice is Google's cloud or a local storage setup.
But if I'm going to have secondary/tertiary backups by necessity, then why shouldn't my primary laptop carry its share of the burden? And before you assert that 32/64GB and an SD are enough for any reasonable human being, see below.

Quote:
That, of course, is what the 32 GB of onboard storage is for . . . You can fit a lot of novel and entertainment in 32 GB. Certainly enough for several months on the road. And if not, or you're talking lots of movies, get yourself a couple of SD cards, or indeed an external hard drive. . . .
1. It seems to me that you forfeit your position the moment you insist you know how much storage an individual needs -- let alone when the amount you advocate is considerably less than any other company would ask users to tolerate. You might have valid ideas about the impracticality of indiscriminate data storage or adopting a more zen-like lifestyle, but when it comes to other people and their usage, that's not your (or Google's) call to make. I mentioned the person at the writer's retreat specifically because she told me she needed an even larger drive than her 200GB internal.

2. The point, of course, is immediate access when one is away from one's various backup media. Having the cloud as a failsafe or additional redundancy is convenient and practical. Depending on it as one's primary source is asking to be entirely dependent on internet access at every moment of use. For those who are less spartan than you or the Pixel user you forecast, cloud-primary storage can be quite impractical in a world in which constant access is still theoretical.

Note the blackouts in NYC which I've just mentioned -- cell phone and internet access was gone even longer than electricity. We live in a time of disasters natural and otherwise, and to expect always to be connected, or that cloud storage is fixed, is asking to be disappointed.

I don't know about you, Graham, but when it comes to daily existence, I think I'm well covered in the disappointment department.

======

Another consideration:

Anyone can become unemployed for long periods of time, which means their next cable or ISP bill can become difficult to pay. A person might need to work at home while minimizing bill payments -- paying their electricity and gas, but choosing to do without cable or DSL. At such times, external media might become a musician, filmmaker or artist's way of working, and whatever entertainment they've stored already becomes their entertainment center.

In which case, home access becomes a question of physical media until times improve.

I don't like the idea of that out-of-work user being forced by Google and others to adopt the storage model which best allows them to make money and subject people to ads. We've already seen from the options on an array of Nexus devices that making people dependent on rented storage, and making them pay for relatively insiginificant increases in internal storage -- users who were independent before -- is an idea which Google takes very seriously.

This reminds me of the shell game advanced decades ago by companies here in the States, in which pensions were replaced with stock options. The idea was to force people to enter the stock market who never wanted to risk their savings voluntarily. People complained, but nothing was done and now we live in a less secure world: Workers' savings might vanish whenever stocks fail.

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Old 02-23-2013, 01:17 PM   #73
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But if I'm going to have secondary/tertiary backups by necessity, then why shouldn't my primary laptop carry its share of the burden?
Why not indeed? But the fact that the laptop could carry the burden in itself doesn't obviate cloud computing as a viable alternative, which is what is under discussion here.

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Originally Posted by Prestidigitweeze View Post
And before you assert that 32/64GB and an SD are enough for any reasonable human being, see below.

1. It seems to me that you forfeit your position the moment you insist you know how much storage an individual needs -- let alone when the amount you advocate is considerably less than any other company would ask users to tolerate. You might have valid ideas about the impracticality of indiscriminate data storage or adopting a more zen-like lifestyle, but when it comes to other people and their usage, that's not your (or Google's) call to make. I mentioned the person at the writer's retreat specifically because she told me she needed an even larger drive than her 200GB internal.
You're putting words into my mouth. The local storage in question was specifically for your example of someone going away on retreat, in other words an activity outside of one's normal routine.

I noted that an external hard drive was an option above. Indeed your writer friend said that she'd need something larger than the 200 GB in her own laptop. Therefore her needs could be satisfied with an external USB drive of the appropriate size, regardless of whether she was on a Chromebook, a Windows Ultrabook, or a MacBook Air.

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Originally Posted by Prestidigitweeze View Post
2. The point, of course, is immediate access when one is away from one's various backup media. Having the cloud as a failsafe or additional redundancy is convenient and practical. Depending on it as one's primary source is asking to be entirely dependent on internet access at every moment of use. For those who are less spartan than you or the Pixel user you forecast, cloud-primary storage can be quite impractical in a world in which constant access is still theoretical.

Note the blackouts in NYC which I've just mentioned -- cell phone and internet access was gone even longer than electricity. We live in a time of disasters natural and otherwise, and to expect always to be connected, or that cloud storage is fixed, is asking to be disappointed.

I don't know about you, Graham, but when it comes to daily existence, I think I'm well covered in the disappointment department.
This last is a genuine concern, of course, but it's one of weighing up risk.

If you are using a Chromebook then your email will be available offline, as will any documents you've taken offline, which are likely to be the ones you most need. You'll probably also have access to some offline entertainment.

If you are in the habit of taking a local backup - as you should be regardless of whether your primary machine is a local one or a cloud one - then you will also have access to that.

If you have a smartphone - and given the price of this I suspect most owners will have one - then you have two different internet providers. If your home or work connection goes down then you can tether to your phone.

So, the real issue is when there is some sort of serious outage, such as the blackouts in NYC. While the electricity is out then neither type of machine is much use, so you're talking about the relatively short period when electricity is back up but internet and mobile connectivity is not.

This is a rare event. I would look at that risk and find it acceptable.

Clearly a Chromebook is not intended for someone living in a rural location with intermittent connectivity, but for those who live somewhere with reasonable internet access, so you could very reasonably offset the rare occasions when some major disaster took down the bandwidth against the times you'd spend maintaining your 'traditional' machine.

I have spent the last four and a half hours trying to fix my Father's PC which is riddled with malware and unnecessary startup programs. I can remember countless times both at home and work when PC problems have prevented me from working for a few hours.

Chromebooks may, on occasion, give you a problem because the file you need is in the cloud and not currently accessible. It's a different sort of problem to those you get with traditional PCs. I suspect it will happen less often.

Graham

Last edited by Graham; 02-23-2013 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:31 PM   #74
Graham
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prestidigitweeze View Post
Anyone can become unemployed for long periods of time, which means their next cable or ISP bill can become difficult to pay. A person might need to work at home while minimizing bill payments -- paying their electricity and gas, but choosing to do without cable or DSL. At such times, external media might become a musician, filmmaker or artist's way of working, and whatever entertainment they've stored already becomes their entertainment center.
True, but the specific proposal with this chromebook is that it is expensive because that 1 TB of storage is included for 3 years, which is a reasonable lifetime for the laptop.

So, the issue isn't one of paying for the cloud storage in this time, but of doing without internet access.

A musician, film-maker or artist will not get very far without internet access these days, but assume that such a choice is made. They should buy a cheap desktop. You're right! Without internet access it's pointless having the chromebook. If they're really strapped for cash they may have to sell the chromebook itself.

However, at the current time, chromebooks are probably not for musicians, film-makers or artists, all of whom need specialist software and specific hardware interfaces.

But my argument above wasn't that chromebooks were for everybody, but for those whose work requires email, a word processor, a spreadsheet and presentation software, and that this looked like a reasonable target market.

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Old 02-23-2013, 08:12 PM   #75
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Apparently Google thinks it can pull off an Apple thing--introduce a product that is overpriced and manage to sell it by brainwashing the fanboys and fangirls into believing it is way better than anything else in the market. Trouble is Apple can get away with that because their products often are better than the competition. Google is just full of hot air though. Chrome sucks, as does the Chrome browser. I wouldn't sully my computer with that crap. The only thing this POS has going for it is a high resolution / pixel density screen. Will people buy a $1300 POS that does little more than surf the net? I seriously doubt it. Buy a netbook instead for $300 or less.
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