12 Months of Chrome OS

For the last 12+ months, Chrome OS has been my daily driver. And for the most part, it has treated me okay for all that time. Recently, some issues have cropped up.

I have successfully used my PixelBook in my day to day life doing things. Telecommuting to work a few days a week. Taking online training for work. Doing basic photo editing. Talking with the family whilst traveling. Helping launch a great father/child program. I can run Linux apps, android apps, commercial apps, in addition to web based apps. It has been great.

And, the hardware is awesome. Thin, light, and has a battery to last all day working on it unplugged. The screen has served me well .

My problems started to come in one of the strengths of the platform: the automatic updates. Chrome OS will automatically download in the background any updates to the apps (besides the Linux apps, but I can deal with that), and will either install them and let you know in the case of apps, or will let you know that an OS update is ready, and I all need to do is reboot.

This is great, when it works. For most of the year, the OS updates came at a reasonable pace. They also added new features and fixed bugs without changing things on me without warning. However, this fall, the updates started getting few. I found odd since the PixelBook is the Google flagship for Chrome OS. There were even a few updates which skipped the PixelBook.

Then the last one hit, and performance took a dive. The worst part is, it is only sometimes. Sometimes I will move the mouse, and it takes a few to catch up. Video is choppy. Switching tabs or to a different app might take a few seconds. And no word from Google when the fix will come.

The performance issue would not be enough for me to stop using Chrome OS as Google does have a good track record of fixing things. Without any news on when it will be fix, I may have to start weighing my options.

The area this is really impacting me is my photography work-flow. As I mentioned last time, I am trying to get back into photography a bit more seriously and the lag makes it hard when I am trying to process more than a handful of photos.

My main concern for finding a replacement is to find a laptop of similar specs as the PixelBook, preferably without paying serious money for it.