Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 2nd Oct 2017 21:56 UTC
Google

The Pixelbook has a lot in common with the previous Chromebooks that came directly from Google, with a high price tag and a spec sheet to match, but the Pixelbook will showcase the two newest enhancements to Chrome OS with stylus support and a hinge that allows for fold-over convertible use as a tablet. Neither of these things is new (convertible laptop designs have been a Windows staple for ages) but both are new for Google.

Including these features in Chrome and putting them on a high-priced Chromebook aimed squarely at developers and enthusiasts means Google really wants them to become a natural part of the Chromebook experience, and ultimately part of the web experience. So we have to ask, is Chrome finally ready to be a replacement for your tablet?

The answer is a mixed bag. It seems like answers are always that way. And Google needs to lead by example, then get everyone else on board.

Earlier this year, I replaced my aunt's aging Windows Vista (...) laptop with a Chromebook - a nice, solid, aluminium laptop with a good screen, solid trackpad, and amazing battery life. Since I set it up for her, I got to use it for a week before sending it off to my parents, who also used it for a week, after which we sent it to my aunt. All of us - my aunt, my parents, myself - were impressed with just how effortless of a machine it was. No fuss, no fiddling, no extraneous, outdated junk from 40 years of desktop computing getting in the way of browsing, e-mailing, and working with some simple documents.

Chrome OS is a great platform for a large group of non-demanding users, which is why I'm baffled by Google trying to sell us these upscale, fancy Chromebooks with insane amounts of power, and now, apparently, with stylus support and tablet mode? This feels exactly like the kind of extraneous, useless features that will only confuse and get in the way of the kind of people I personally think Chromebooks are great for.

Who is this upcoming Pixelbook for?

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RE: Experiments!
by darknexus on Tue 3rd Oct 2017 16:51 UTC in reply to "Experiments!"
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

It's much easier to mark up a paper with a stylus and touchscreen then it is to use a keyboard.

That doesn't mean you should. Remember what it's been like not being able to read people's handwriting? At least having to use a keyboard took that away. OCR for handwriting is going to have to get a lot better before I'll accept anything marked up that way.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Experiments!
by Flatland_Spider on Tue 3rd Oct 2017 20:34 in reply to "RE: Experiments!"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

That doesn't mean you should.


Hours with the keyboard versus minutes with the touchscreen.

In principle, I agree that a keyboard should be used more often, but the productivity gains when using the touchscreen were pretty dramatic.

Remember what it's been like not being able to read people's handwriting?


Scanned math homework in PDF form which has students handwritten work on them, so tit for tat.

OCR for handwriting is going to have to get a lot better before I'll accept anything marked up that way.


Crappy OCR is more reason to use it. It's not going to get better if it isn't exercised, and if there is a company that can collect enough data to make a good OCR, it's Google. Google has a vested interest in make a good OCR, now that I think about it.

Anyway, the handwriting recognition with MacOS has been pretty good, for what it's worth.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Experiments!
by ssokolow on Wed 4th Oct 2017 15:09 in reply to "RE[2]: Experiments!"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21


Hours with the keyboard versus minutes with the touchscreen.

In principle, I agree that a keyboard should be used more often, but the productivity gains when using the touchscreen were pretty dramatic.


It would be nice if there were an affordable alternative to using a Wacom Cintiq with an adjustable mount in place of my center monitor.

As-is, I have a sub-$100 Wacom tablet that I pretty much never use. (Though, to be fair, I also have horrendous handwriting and I'm programmer enough to feel comfortable typing the raw markup in places like LibreOffice's equation editor.)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Experiments!
by darknexus on Wed 4th Oct 2017 19:43 in reply to "RE[2]: Experiments!"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Anyway, the handwriting recognition with MacOS has been pretty good, for what it's worth.

I didn't know how good MacOS' Ink feature was because I've never once used a graphics tablet with a Mac. Heck, I've never used a graphics tablet at all and, as I'm not an artist, never thought of getting one. A pity I can't demo it with the trackpad. I wouldn't have thought of MacOS being pretty good because iOS sure isn't, to say the least and one would have thought Apple would have leveraged a good OCR technology if they had it.

Reply Parent Score: 2