Last month Google launched its new Chromebook Pixel. A premium machine that packs increased processing power and a new high resolution screen, the Pixel 2 addresses some criticisms of its predecessor.  However, it remains to be seen whether this will be enough to convince those who see the Pixel as a little more than an ‘expensive curiosity’. In this round-up of recent reviews, we ask whether the new Chromebook Pixel is a ‘case study in compromise’ or ‘an improvement over its predecessor in every important way’.

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Google Chromebook Pixel Review

Although he has some reservations about the new Pixel 2, Nate Ralph does point to some real improvements on the 2013 model in his review for cnet.com.

The new model offers better battery life and better performance than its predecessor, and Chrome OS has also picked up a few tricks, including the ability to open and edit Microsoft Office documents without being forced to convert files into a different format. A few Android apps have made their way onto Chrome OS, too. The initial showing is a little sparse, but blurring the lines between Android and Chrome OS paints an interesting picture for the future of Google’s mobile and PC operating systems.

How Much Is Too Much for a Chromebook?

Writing for techradar.com, Kevin Lee discusses the benefits of the Pixel’s incorporation of two USB-C ports for connectivity, power and using Chromebook accessories.

Overall the new USB-C ports come as a boon to the laptop rather than to its detriment. The two ports are located on both sides of the laptop, letting you plug in the charger on either side of the device. At the same time, the availability of legacy ports means you won’t be bogged down with adapters, as you are with the new MacBook. If anything, USB-C’s expandability to displays and external batteries adds a bit more flexibility (and future proofing) to this machine over other Chromebooks.

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Google Chromebook Pixel Touchscreen Laptop Unveiled

One reason why developers are so excited about the potential of the Chromebook – and why they argue it justifies the hefty price tag – is its processing power. The preview of the Chromebook Pixel on gadgetreview.com gives an overview.

Powering the 3.35lb Chromebook Pixel is a dual-core 1.8Ghz Core i5 processor with 4GB of RAM.  You’ll be able to opt for either 32GB or 64GB of SSD storage.  Need more?  Google is offering 1TB of storage in the cloud for up to three years, which as it happens is the expected lifetime of this machine.  Checking the proverbial 64GB SSD box will also score you a machine with a Verizon LTE chip packaged inside, while the 32GB is simply a WiFi only model.

The Best Chromebook Ever: Google’s 2015 Pixel

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols writing for ZDNet.com makes a strong case for the advantages of the new Pixel, albeit with some important caveats.

If you find yourself doing almost all of your work on the Web, you really don’t need Mac OS X, Windows, or a full Linux desktop; a Chromebook is all you need. In short, the Pixel is for people do their work on the cloud…If you want a Chromebook that’s faster than any other and with battery life better than any other laptop, the 2015 Pixel is your best choice.

Many recent reviews give the impression that the Chromebook is more proof of concept than anything else. A premium and undoubtedly expensive machine that works best as a browser, it has been suggested that the Chromebook Pixel falls between two stools: if the Chromebook Pixel is the answer, what’s the question? However, it’s not just Chrome OS developers or Google diehards who are likely to stand up for – or need – a Pixel. While it’s true there are cheaper options elsewhere, there are few better built or as powerful as the Chromebook Pixel 2.

Have you recently invested in a Pixel 2? How do you rate Chrome OS for productivity and versatility?