Apple wasn’t the only company to release a laptop without enough holes on it this week, Google did one too.
Its updated Chromebook Pixel is another divisive lump of hardware, winning some fans for its design and lofty (for a mid-range laptop) Intel spec, but also triggering waves of hatred among people who don’t consider anything other than a custom build of Linux to be a proper OS.
Google says it’s aiming the new Pixel at developers, a fact some think is just an excuse to hide the fact that no one outside of the Google clique cares about Chromebooks.
Because they’re not proper computers. Or are they? All we use any computer for nowadays is looking at the internet, so what’s wrong with an OS that’s just a posh browser? Lots of things, says the commenters of the internet, who would seemingly rather use Windows Vista for eternity than lower themselves to Chrome OS.
Nine gigs, 128 bits, loads of pieces
On Yahoo, conversation turned to people boasting about how much their alternative "rigs" cost and then how much people hate Google in general.
Reader John cut to the chase with his paranoid Pixel review: "In short, it’s the perfect spyware machine. Everything we do, we do it for you? And with the Chrome Remote Desktop the spying does not stop with your online content, but moves on to your ‘private’ computer as well. Isn’t it great?"
Reading between the lines, we think John’s got some special bookmarks he doesn’t want out in the public domain.
Commenter David B thinks the pixel is way over-specced for the job of browsing the Daily Mail web site’s selection of adverts and occasionally tabbing to Facebook all day, asking: "What exactly do you need a fast processor for if it can’t run any software? Nobody needs an i7 processor to use Chrome."
C Menstein was even more dismissive in the snooty way people usually are when discussing Chrome OS, saying: "Just buy a real computer."
Although in dissing Chrome you’re sort of accidentally saying Windows is the best, which isn’t a particularly cool thing to do on the internet, not even when signed in under a disposable anonymous alias.
Answering the question "who is it for?" asked by The Verge, reader Ceejw explained: "Seems like it’s for Google Employees and Chrome OS developers (Also Google I/O attendees). Google just sells it to the public to make back some of the R&D costs."
Which is literally exactly who Google said it was for, so you’re quite right.
Brandon Whumpries, or perhaps that’s meant to be Brandon W Humphries, enjoys the fact that Chrome is locked down and therefore also aimed at the common, command-line-fearing man, as he can use it to control the lives of those less capable than himself.
He told the audience: "I like that it is limiting. Makes it secure and idiot proof for my family and other tech-phobic people. It’s really not for anyone who is knowledgeable enough to install a linux distro. It’s for the people who use windows because they don’t know any better, its was just there, and wind up being confused by it/screwing it up."
Let’s hope his wife and kids never find the comment in which he said "idiot proof for my family."
Lilmoe suggests giving Chrome OS the time of day is being unfair on Windows and specifically Windows RT, the tablet OS that got a right kicking, asking: "Why is Chrome OS getting a pass when it’s relatively FAR less capable? Why were Windows RT devices criticized and Chromebooks praised?"
Dunno. Steve Ballmer?
The Guardian also went for the "still just Chrome" angle in its headline, and readers tended to agree.
Alejandro Ballesteros recoiled at the thought of blowing that much money on something he can’t tinker with all weekend for something to do, saying: "I thought the best thing about Chromebooks was price, as someone may have mentioned already, I’d rather (as I did) spend £700 on an ultrabook and install Ubuntu."
Reader BBPO8 thinks that’s stupid and exactly the opposite of what you should do, though, as you buy ultrabooks for yourself and Chromebooks are for your mum and the rest of your idiot family, explaining: "Most reviewers miss the point of the Pixel, and Chromebooks in general. For 90% of what computer users do, they are ideal. You don’t waste your time on updates or fending off malware and viruses. It boots up in under 10 seconds. To coin a phrase, ‘It just works’."
Reader Max Watson, meanwhile, made a mess of standing up for the device, commenting: "I have a Pixel and it’s the best computer, and personal computer experience, I’ve ever owned. And no, I’m not a Google employee. Nor am I a developer (I run a software business)."
Not a developer, just the owner of a software business. Entirely different things.