MBA or Pixel?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by BlackMamba14, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. BlackMamba14 macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2011
    Looking to get a light laptop for work since I travel a lot, but can't decide between the MBA or Chromebook Pixel. I mainly need it for word processing and browsing the web. Is there any major advantages I would be missing out on by getting a Pixel? Or should I consider waiting for a retina MBA? Thanks
  2. Drew017 macrumors 65816


    May 29, 2011
    East coast, USA
    I highly recommend getting a MacBook air and staying away from the pixel. Remember that the pixel is almost useless without internet, and the MacBook air is much more versatile with Mac OS versus Chrome OS. The MacBook Air is also much lighter and thinner and (IMO) a much more quality machine because Apple has been making them for almost 5 years now (since 2008).
  3. DisplacedMic macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    i assume you've done your research and understand that the pixel is essentially a goole machine that can only run 1 for all of your word processing you would install another app.

    Strange to me, seems like it's moving in the wrong direction. Isn't this the big complaint Droid users (such as myself) make about Apple products, like the iPhone, for example?

    Either way, the pixel looks like a beautiful machine but i think it's priced at about twice what i would pay for it. just my opinion, not saying it's overpriced necessarily. but if it were a LOT cheaper i would get one for my kids, but i don't think it's a serious work-station contender.

    if you are just using it for word and internet it sounds like either would work so i don't think you'd regret purchasing either assuming you have near constant wifi acces. $1300 for a laptop with a 32gig hd seems a bit nutty to me. It's also a pound heavier than the 11"mba and half a pound heaver than the 13".

    otherwise it's definitely in range of the MBA...
  4. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    I'd be interested in the Pixel if it was running an actual proper OS, like OS X or Windows. Otherwise, it's way overpriced for what you get.
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    It seems the limiting factor of the Pixel is the OS, lack of local apps. I think for the price the MBA is a better option.
  6. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Pixel: Most of us here can't justify paying this much for a LIMITED laptop knowing the same$ can buy otherwise full-featured Macbook.

    But OK, you will NEVER do anything other than surf and word processing. Money is no object. You like the simplicity and frankly often time power = complexity.

    Taking those into consideration the remaining cons for me are: 5 hours batt they are not trying hard enough. Am always afraid of a small installed user base, because when you have a problem, who's gonna hold ur hands? but OK u will buy a total-care package no problem. Go for it. Very nice screen with lots of real estate for sure and built-in LTE nice.
  7. Idarzoid macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2013
    Let's not forget that you can install Linux on Pixel, that makes it much more functional.

    With Pixel's screen resolution and the fact that it's 3:2 ratio (I think) makes it quite attractive for coding.
  8. BlackMamba14 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2011
    If the Air was retina I think it would be a no brainer. But the ability to run Linux and the gorgeous display does make the Pixel quite enticing. Def would get LTE if I were to get a Pixel
  9. skaertus macrumors 68040


    Feb 23, 2009
    Have you considered the 13-inch MacBook Pro with a retina display instead?

    The Google Pixel looks like a wonderful piece of hardware, although I have never seen one in person. But it comes with ChromeOS, and then you will have to rely on web-based software, which is something that limits the capabilities of such a great machine. As good as it is, it is not meant to replace a real laptop for the time being.

    You can install Linux on it, but there are still several limitations. You will have to deal with the lack of drivers, or drivers which were poorly written. And, although I have not tried, I guess the installation is probably not as straightforward as it should be due to the lack of support.

    Yes, the display may be gorgeous, it has a great 3:2 format, a higher pixel density than any other laptop, it is light and looks like great build quality. But the base version comes with only 32 GB of storage, and it costs US$ 1,300. The storage will seriously limit its possibilities). The LTE version, which you are considering, comes with 64 GB (which is still low), but it costs US$ 1,450. Only US$ 50 less than the 13-inch retina MacBook Pro.

    The 13-inch retina MacBook Pro comes with a faster processor (2.5 GHz vs. 1.8 GHz of the Pixel), more RAM (8 GB vs. 4 GB of the Pixel), more storage (a 128 GB SSD versus 64 GB of the Pixel), and more connections (the Pixel has only 2 USB 2.0 ports). In addition, it has more battery life. The Pixel has a slightly higher screen resolution (2560x1700 versus 2560x1600 of the Mac), and it is just a little bit lighter (3.35 lbs vs. 3.57 lbs of the Mac). Not too much of a difference. And the MacBook Pro has the advantage of the operating systems: it comes with OS X, and you are able to install Windows or Linux on it, either using BootCamp or a virtual machine. With Pixel, you are limited to ChromeOS and to Linux with (supposedly) poor driver support.

    I do not see a point in getting the Pixel, especially the higher-end one, unless you need the 1 TB storage that comes with it. The 13-inch retina MacBook Pro feels like a much better choice in all aspects. Even the Air, without the retina display, looks like a better choice to me. The Pixel is too impractical.
  10. SMDBill macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2013
    Pixel if the money is not an issue. For your needs it has functionality to use Skydrive (MS Office online apps) or Google Docs for word processing, or even Zoho office and others. For web browsing Chrome is fast and would be great on the Pixel.

    If you already own a Mac, you can set up your Pixel to remote desktop right into your Mac (or Linux or Windows PC) for any situation where you may need to run a native app from any operating system. So you get the functionality of Chrome OS for most of your needs and the ability to use your current machine for anytime you're away from home and need the specific application or capability. PLUS you can dual boot Linux if you want, as well.

    There are a lot of Chromebook haters or people who do not see the need, but the offline apps make a big difference and you can install extensions/apps for about anything you need. If you ever require more powerful programs, such as Adobe's Creative Suite or full fledged MS Office, then the Chromebook may not be what you need. If remote desktop suits your needs, then you have access to every program you have on your machine at home without having to lug the home machine around :)

    Edit: my post in NO way is a slam at a Macbook Air. That's just an awesome machine. But if you want the display with a unique OS and similar functionality, althought different in how you get to them, on a gorgeous display without money being an issue, the Pixel is my recommendation. Plus the screen aspect ratio 3:2 is perfect for web browsing, which today's 16:9 displays are NOT unless you live mostly in full screen video mode.
  11. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
  12. dbroncos78087 macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    I really like my MBA and don't regret getting it for a moment. I will echo the sentiments of the others who stated that the Pixel is a glorified Chrome browser.

    I can't take anyone seriously (not saying you) who gives me grief about buying an Apple just because it's an Apple all while advocating a Chromebook, when it really is just paying for the Google name.
  13. stchman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 16, 2012
    St. Louis, MO
    The Chromebook Pixel is more of an experiment than something that consumers would want to buy.
  14. ctyrider macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2012
    It's sort of silly to come to a MacBook Air forum and expect an objective recommendation between an Air and a Google laptop.

    I will say that while Air is a great laptop - I am oddly intrigued by Pixel. Love the industrial design, the screen, the always-on LTE, and the minimalistic hassle-free computing model. If money wasn't an object - I would certainly give Pixel a try. I think Google is onto something here.
  15. Woodcrest64 macrumors 65816


    Aug 14, 2006
    Macbook Air by a long shot because of the software support.
  16. torana355 macrumors 68030

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    Ive said it many times but the MBA is one of the best computers ive ever used. I use it more then my current Gen 27" iMac. I have not used the Pixel so i cant really comment on that.
  17. heyadol, Apr 29, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013

    heyadol macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2004
    Since I purchased my Chromebook (cheapo Samsung Arm model w/ 3G) I've stopped using my MBA. I have a Mac Mini at home so I still get the OS X experience but I really like my Chromebook. Until I need to do something serious (like use Photoshop/Illustrator or any other Handbrake), it sucks searching around for a web-based crappy alternative. Still, I can usually wait until I get home so it's not bad.

    I'm in China on vacation right now, being stuck with mostly non-working Google apps is a bummer when I see my travel buddy, using the MBA that I compelled him to buy, accessing everything by using Tor and some obfuscating proxy stuff.

    Back on topic, I've been debating the Pixel as well. The screen looks great and I miss the backlit keyboard. Unfortunately, there is nothing the Chromebook can do that a MacBook cannot (including running various builds of Linux) so it is hard to justify the cost. Even if you add in the 1GB Google drive and 12 GoGo in-flight WiFi passes, they expire after 3 years and the Google drive is dependent on internet access. LTE would be nice but it is hard to justify the cost...

    The best argument I've heard in favor of the Pixel is about being minimalist and not buying stuff that you may not need. Well since they cost about the same you could just live in the Chrome browser for the same experience couldn't you? Ultimately if I upgrade (which would probably require an 11" Retina MBA) I will choose the more functional device.

    I like my Chromebook but it's not compelling enough to make me give up my Mac.
    Oops, I forgot the Pixel has a touch screen so there is something the Chromebook can do that a MacBook can't.
  18. secretpact macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2007
    At this point, Pixel is still new. If you can, wait till they work out the bugs in the hardware, then decide. Me? I would not leave my MBA :)
  19. sparkie7 macrumors 68010


    Oct 17, 2008
    Chromebook Pixel looks like a prototype in every way. It is just a (tool)box with one tool. LOL.

    The MBA is like a Swiss Army Knife. With several tools, and a helluva lot more refined and streamlined in every way.

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