Skip to main content

Chromebook Pixel

So I bought a Chromebook Pixel - as a Chromebook user I just could not resist this device especially as it comes with a terabyte GDrive.

There are lots of reviews online already - so this is my personal views on the device rather than another analysis of the specs. To consider buying this device you need to be sold on the idea of cloud based working and in particular Google Docs/Apps. I use it with my school Google Apps account and my private Google Account.

I own a Samsung Series 3 ARM based Chromebook - after unboxing it I just logged on and got going. From turning it on to working with all my apps was probably less than a minute (most of that was typing in my WiFi key!). This is what I like about Chromebooks and Google Apps - log on and get going. If I had bought a new Windows machine, I'd still be installing software a couple of hours later. I've got to the point where I like an easy life!


The Hardware

Very solid construction - perhaps a tiny bit heavy.
Keyboard - excellent and variable backlight.
Trackpad - best I've ever used by a long shot.
Touchscreen - very responsive and surprisingly easy to use  with ChromeOS. Some websites make use of the pinch zoom better than others. Maps for example is great - but most don't support any multi-touch yet. Mail does have a touch enabled view which works well.
Screen - beautiful and crisp - probably the best laptop screen I've seen.
Audio - very good for a laptop.
Battery life - around the 5 hours mark - but still testing.

The OS

Came with ChromeOS 23 that upgraded to 25 straight away on the stable channel.
Not much difference to my Samsung - a nice HiDef movie thing to show off the screen - thats the only difference I can see. No sign of Quickoffice yet.
To manage Windows systems I use ChromeRDP which is a great native rdp client that works very well on the Pixel.

For me it is the ultimate laptop at the moment - but I live in the Google eco-system. If you are not then it might not be for you. You might be better off trying a cheaper Chromebook to get the idea. In my experience, the more you use a Chromebook - the less you want to use a PC (and I have a 4.6Ghz Core i7). It simply allows you to do the things you need to do without any of the hassle. The Pixel allows you to do it in style. 

Just an update - the wifi is very good. The ping from Speedtest.net is as good as my PC connected via ethernet. The range of the wifi is also very impressive - especially on a 5Ghz connection. 




Popular posts from this blog

Delete a specific email using GAM

If a user send an inappropriate email to a loads of people or get stung by some sort of email exploit you can quickly delete the email from all of the recipients using a GAM command.
Step 1 - get the email header Go into Google Vault and search for the offending user or someone known to have got the message.
Click show details and grab the email ID. This will be a long string of characters followed by @mail.gmail.com
Step 2 - find out who has the email Go into Google Vault and find the original message sent by the offending user. Look at the details to see who got it. Copy the list and dump it into a spreadsheet. Clean up to just a list of emails with a column header 'mail'. Save as a csv file.
Step 3 - delete messages with GAM Put your CSV file in your GAM folder - this e.g. assumes its called mail.csv
Run:
gam csv mail.csv gam user ~mail delete messages query rfc822msgid:MESSAGEIDHERE doit

The alternative nuke option is:
gam all users delete messages query rfc822msgid:MESSAGEI…

How to push bookmarks to users in Chrome via the management console

With the release of Chrome and ChomeOS 37 an update to the management console has arrived that allows you to push bookmarks to users.

Under Device Management > Chrome > User Settings > User Experience you will now find the option to add managed bookmarks.


In the example above, the bookmarks are applied to the sub-OU of 'students' - so all our students will get these bookmarks. Simply add your url and the bookmark name, click the + and save. These will appear in a folder called 'yourdomain bookmarks' - see below:



Be aware that to get these bookmarks applied on a Windows/OS-X device the user must be signed into Chrome. Update: if you install the latest group policy template you can push the bookmarks via policy on PCs - details are given here.
Video Guide:

Managed Android Apps on ChromeOS on an Edu G Suite Domain

Android Apps via the Play Store have been available on consumer accounts for some time on selected devices. We have 1:1 Acer R11's and have recently had the opportunity to trial them on G Suite Edu accounts.

From the point of view of the end user, they see the Play Store App appear on the shelf and have to agree to the terms and conditions. After that, force installed and pinned apps are immediately installed and they get access to the Google for Work Store. This only contains apps you have approved for that user.

For the administrator the steps are:

Enable Play Store Apps for the domainEnable access to the Play Store for specific Sub-OUs or usersAdd apps to Play for WorkSet permissions for each app - can install, force install or pin to shelf. This can be done differently for each app and each OU and is therefore very granular. 
Issues so far

Apps take a while to appear in the Play Store for users. Initially only force installed apps appear.You cannot set the permissions of multipl…