Light and do heavy lift­ing for busi­ness

Irish Independent - Business Week - - TECHNOLOGY -

can’t han­dle heavy soft­ware pro­cesses is in­creas­ingly a shaky one.

De­spite its slim­ness and light­weight frame, the hard­ware is beefy enough with 8GB of Ram (16GB is avail­able) and an In­tel i5 pro­ces­sor (an i7 ver­sion is op­tional). This is eas­ily enough horse­power to han­dle al­most any main­stream ap­pli­ca­tion, or sev­eral of them at once.

For those into voice con­trol, one of the lap­top’s big fea­tures is its in­te­gra­tion with the Google As­sis­tant. Say­ing “OK Google” im­me­di­ately opens up the As­sis­tant, which can help with gen­eral web queries, lo­ca­tion in­for­ma­tion, weather, sport re­sults and other mi­nor queries.

The more you use Google’s ecosys­tem (such as Google

Cal­en­dar or

Gmail) the more help­ful it is. How­ever, it has some lim­i­ta­tions. Sit­ting in an In­som­nia cafe in Drum­con­dra, Dublin, I asked it for the near­est cafe. It gave me the name of one a mile away, de­spite at least three oth­ers be­ing closer (in­clud­ing the one I was sit­ting in). But this is a small quib­ble. In­te­grated into one’s work­flow, this could be a very use­ful fea­ture.

The Pix­el­book has one other trick when used with the Pix­el­book Pen sty­lus.

Us­ing this gad­get, you can cir­cle text or im­ages and get in­for­ma­tion in­stantly. This also works for some lo­ca­tions or public fig­ures. Cal­en­dar en­tries also work us­ing this method, too, by cir­cling a date and a time. It’s one of the best im­ple­men­ta­tions of a screen sty­lus

I’ve ever seen, with one draw­back: the pen it­self isn’t recharge­able (it takes bat­ter­ies) and it can’t at­tach to the Pix­el­book.

Bat­tery life is fine, al­though it’s a stretch to say it’s 10 hours, as Google guides. Ex­pect six hours with­out too many ex­cep­tions.

So what’s the ver­dict?

This is one se­ri­ously im­pres­sive lap­top. It’s eas­ily the best Chrome­book I’ve ever used. It’s light and por­ta­ble and serves me way bet­ter in down­time (for things like Net­flix) than most lap­tops do.

How­ever, it should be said that this type of machine won’t suit every­one. If you use a few cus­tom pieces of soft­ware, par­tic­u­larly those you need for your work, the Chrome­book for­mat is still in­her­ently more limited than Win­dows or Mac ma­chines.

But I can hon­estly say that there’s al­most noth­ing I use a lap­top for that wasn’t sat­is­fied by the Pix­el­book.

I use lap­tops mostly for work (writ­ing, word pro­cess­ing, pre­sen­ta­tions, pho­toedit­ing and web re­search). I sus­pect that’s not so dif­fer­ent from the ma­jor­ity of lap­top use cases out there.

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