Thursday, February 21, 2013

Google Chromebook Pixel – Mobile CAD Workstation or Overpriced Web Browser?


image from Pixel order page
Google just announced their newest piece of hardware, the Google Chromebook Pixel.  It’s a Chromebook so it runs on Google Chrome.  Want to know what that’s like?  Run the Google Chrome browser and nothing else.  That’s an over simplification but you can get a good idea of what it is like.

Google has been trying to sell Chromebooks for a while now and I have always been interested in them.  None of them have been powerful enough for my liking but they have been set at a good price.  Now that the Pixel is out and available for purchase and that Autodesk is making a major push for in the browser cloud based CAD software, could the Google Pixel be a viable candidate for a mobile CAD station?  I can’t honestly say yes or no until I get one (Google can you send me one to test please?) and try it out but my gut feeling is that it could be useful in certain situations. 


Obviously since it can’t possibly run most of Autodesk’s programs like AutoCAD or Revit it can’t be a full on CAD or BIM workstation.  It’s specs are pretty impressive and fall inline with most Ultrabooks.  Let’s take a quick look at some of the spec points:

  • 12.85-inch, 400 nit display at 2560 x 1700 resolution (239 PPI)
  • Gorilla Glass multi-touch screen
  • 32 GB storage (64 BG Option)
  • Backlit Chrome keyboard
  • HD Webcam
  • 2 x USB 2.0 ports
  • Mini display port
  • 2-in-1 card reader supporting: SD, MMC
  • Intel Core i5 Processor (Dual Core 1.8GHz)
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • 4 GB DDR3 RAM
  • 59 Wh battery


These specs are nice.  There are two models, the main one with 32 GB of storage and a second one with 64 GB of storage and LTE.  The storage spec is small I’ll admit but you can’t install software so that helps.  It also helps that Google will give you 1 Terabyte of Google Drive storage for three years.  After three years, well, pay up I guess.  This device probably won’t work well unless you are connected to the cloud anyway, so that LTE and WiFi connectivity mill probably be a must.

The price is amazing.  Amazingly huge!!  The 32GB model is priced at $1299 (U.S.D.) with the 64GB with LTE model is $1449!!  OUCH!!  These are Mac Book Prices.  The screen resolution is better than the Mac Book with Retina and the Pixel has a touch screen interface.  Another question is battery life.  Will it last all day?  My gut says no.  Google claims that it will give you up to five hours.  that probably means two to three.

Besides all of the possible negatives, there are many positives and many possibilities.  The nearly instant on is a huge deal.  Touch interface is very nice to use.  No maintenance is an IT manager’s dream.  It’s always up to date.  And the Chrome Web Store is very robust for a browser only market place.  Autodesk alone has AutoCAD WS, Pixlr-o-matic, Pixlr Editor, 123D Design, Homestyler, 123D Make, 123D Catch, Autodesk 360, and soon Fusion 360!  All of these should run on this Chromebook.  You have an AutoCAD (ish) program, a Photoshop (ish) program in Pixlr Editor, and soon a design program in Fusion 360.  Plus you can manage all of your files through Autodesk 360.  That’s just Autodesk.  Need to write a report?  Microsoft Web Apps or Microsoft 360 provide nearly full versions of their Office Programs.  The web browser is a valid operating system that can handle most work.  In this case I think the Google Chromebook Pixel has the potential of being a useful machine.

I may be crazy but I think that this device may be a viable mobile computer for designers.  Maybe a laptop is cheaper and it can load full AutoCAD.  But maybe this is a better machine than perhaps a tablet like the iPad or Nexus 10.  Buy one of those, add a keyboard, and your cost isn't much lower.  The Pixel is higher in cost but it has access to fuller software like AutoCAD WS for browsers (which can do much more than the AutoCAD WS App) and Microsoft Office 360. 

That all being said, why wouldn't we just purchase a Mac Book Air or Ultrabook and run Chrome on either one?  As cool and interesting as this device is to me, I don’t see myself or many others purchasing it.  But I so want it to work.



Full Specs

Screen
12.85" display with a 3:2 aspect ratio
2560 x 1700 at 239 PPI
400 nit screen brightness
178° extra-wide viewing angle

Inputs
Gorilla® Glass multi-touch screen
Backlit Chrome keyboard
Clickable, etched-glass touchpad
Integrated 720p HD camera

Size / weight
297.7 x 224.6 x 16.2 mm
3.35 lbs / 1.52 kg

Industrial design
Machined from anodized aluminum
Active cooling with no visible vents
ENERGY STAR® certified

CPU
Intel® Core™ i5 processor (Dual Core 1.8GHz)
Intel® HD Graphics 4000 (Integrated)

Ports
2 x USB 2.0
mini display port
SD / MMC card reader

Memory
4GB DDR3 RAM

Storage
One terabyte Google Drive cloud storage for three years1
32GB solid state drive (64GB on LTE model)

Audio
Combo headphone/mic jack
Built-in microphone array
Integrated DSP for noise cancellation
Powerful stereo speakers tuned for clarity

Battery
Up to 5 hours of active use (59 Wh battery)3

Connectivity
Dual-band WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n 2x2
Bluetooth® 3.0
Built-in LTE modem (LTE model)

Goodies
One terabyte Google Drive cloud storage for three years1
12 free sessions of GoGo® Inflight Internet
100 MB/month for 2 years of mobile broadband from Verizon Wireless (LTE model). 
There was an error in this gadget

Categories

AutoDesk (105) autocad (101) AutoCAD 2009 (40) augi (40) efficient (37) news (35) drafting (32) training (31) articles (30) CADaBlog (29) AutoCAD WS (23) Update (21) quick tip (20) mobile (19) review (19) video (19) Impression (15) 3D Mouse (14) Android (14) AutoCAD 2013 (14) cad (14) cadalyst (14) me (14) 3Dconnexion (13) AutoCAD 2010 (13) text (13) off topic (12) survey (12) Apps (11) hotfix (11) 3D (10) AU (10) AutoCAD 2011 (10) service pack (10) workstation (10) Autodesk Labs (9) annotation (9) blocks (9) cloud (9) fun (9) inventor (9) HP (8) Review-Product (8) autocad lt (8) videos (8) AutoCAD 2014 (7) Autodesk 360 (7) CAD Manager (7) CUI (7) Windows 8 (7) iOS (7) tips (7) IMSI Design (6) files (6) infinite skills (6) new (6) reference (6) ribbon (6) support (6) workaround (6) RSS (5) TurboViewer (5) cad standards (5) data (5) email (5) fields (5) google (5) guest post (5) paper space (5) printers (5) quotes (5) rant (5) tech (5) updates (5) 2D (4) AutoCAD Exchange (4) Mastering AutoCAD (4) SketchBook (4) TurboCAD (4) UI (4) action recorder (4) dimension (4) driver (4) fills (4) keyboard (4) layers (4) leaders (4) math (4) mobile workstation (4) pi (4) pi day (4) salary (4) selection (4) standards (4) styles (4) Amazon (3) Apple (3) AutoCAD 2012 (3) AutoCAD 2015 (3) AutoCAD 360 (3) AutoCAD Fundamentals (3) AutoCAD for Mac (3) Civil 3D (3) DVD (3) DWF (3) Fusion (3) Kindle Fire (3) Lenovo (3) Mac (3) Microsoft (3) Review-Software (3) Upgrade (3) Wiley (3) Windows Phone 8 (3) Windows RT (3) annimation (3) announcements (3) autodesk plm (3) book (3) contest (3) find (3) hardware (3) history (3) iPad (3) large format printing (3) lisp (3) menu browser (3) properties (3) purge (3) quick view (3) saas (3) sheet sets (3) tables (3) toolbars (3) weekend rant (3) what not to CAD (3) what not to do (3) #CADaBlogDVD2013 (2) 3D Modeling (2) 3ds Max (2) AutoCAD LT 2013 (2) AutoCAD LT for Mac (2) AutoCAD MAC (2) Autodesk. (2) BIM (2) CADSpeed (2) DWG (2) DXF (2) Designjet (2) Facecast (2) Freestyle (2) Fusion for Mac (2) GIS (2) George Omura (2) Mac OS (2) Mountain Lion (2) Novedge (2) Recomend (2) Review-Book (2) Revit LT (2) SpaceMouse Pro (2) Sybex (2) Tablet (2) Thinkstation (2) TurboReview (2) TurboViewer X (2) What Not To Do In AutoCAD (2) What's New (2) Windows (2) array (2) as-builts (2) beta (2) blog (2) circles (2) civil (2) civil design (2) collaboration (2) color (2) command alias (2) command line (2) commands (2) computer (2) copy (2) design (2) design review (2) download (2) eBook (2) file naming (2) filters (2) geek stuff (2) grid (2) hotnews (2) knowledge base (2) limits (2) look back (2) pallets (2) plotting (2) posts (2) press release (2) purchase (2) reference files (2) rental plans (2) sketchup (2) status bar (2) subscription (2) technology preview (2) tool pallet (2) tooltips (2) tv (2) units (2) video editing (2) viewer (2) webinar (2) 123D (1) 123D Catch (1) 123D Create (1) 123D Make (1) 2014 (1) 2015 (1) 3d Printing (1) ACAD/Medre.A (1) ADR (1) AEC (1) AUGI World (1) Apps Tab (1) AutoCAD Error (1) AutoCAD LT 2012 (1) AutoCAD LT 2014 (1) AutoCAD LT 2015 (1) AutoCAD Mechanical (1) AutoCAD Revit Suite (1) Autodesk BIM 360 (1) Autodesk Instant (1) Autodesk PLM 360 (1) Autodesk ReCap (1) Award (1) CAD Services (1) CADO (1) CTB (1) Camtasia (1) Communication Center (1) DWFx (1) Dassault Systemes (1) Death Star (1) Dell (1) Design Feed (1) Design Suites (1) DesignCAD (1) DoubleCAD (1) Duratec (1) E32 (1) ESET (1) ESRI (1) EliteBook (1) Epson (1) Error (1) Evernote (1) Exchange Apps (1) FAIL (1) ForceEffect (1) Free Form (1) Fusion 360 (1) GIS Day (1) GeoViewer (1) Geographic Information Systems (1) Geographic Location (1) Google Chromebook Pixel (1) HP Designjet T2300 eMFP (1) HP EliteBook (1) HP EliteBook 8570w (1) HP Z1 (1) Help (1) Homestyler (1) IT (1) Infocenter (1) Inforbix (1) InfraWorks (1) InfraWorks 360 Pro (1) Infrastructure Modeler (1) Instant (1) Inventor 2013 (1) Inventor 2013 SP1 (1) Inventor LT (1) JPEG 2000 (1) Kickstarter (1) Kindle (1) Language packs (1) Lenovo Thinkstation E32 (1) LizardTech (1) MS Exchange (1) Map 3D (1) Maya (1) MrSID (1) OS (1) OS X (1) Office Suite (1) Orange Juice Studios (1) P-Series (1) PLM (1) Photoshop (1) Pixel (1) Pixlr (1) Pixlr Express (1) Pixlr-o-matic (1) Plant (1) PogoPlug (1) Point Cloud (1) Project Artoo (1) Project Geppetto (1) Project Snap (1) R&D (1) Red Dot Award (1) Review-Service (1) Revit (1) Revit LT 2013 (1) Rhino (1) SDK (1) SMS (1) Secureload (1) Socialcam (1) Softimage (1) Solid Edge (1) SolidWorks (1) SpaceMouse Wireless (1) SpaceNavigator (1) Star Wars (1) SureColor (1) T-Series (1) TechSmith (1) The Future (1) Thinkstation E32 (1) Touch Screen (1) Trimble (1) TurboSite (1) TurboSite Reader (1) TurboViewer Pro (1) VBA (1) VOIP (1) Vault (1) Vault 2012 (1) Vela Systems (1) Visualization (1) WebOS (1) Welcome Screen (1) Windows Vista (1) Windows XP (1) Z1 (1) acad.doc (1) acad.lsp (1) acaddoc.lsp (1) acquisition (1) aerial (1) all-in-one (1) angles (1) archive (1) arcs (1) author (1) autocad 2012. autocad lt 2012 (1) autocad. autocad for mac (1) autodesk logo (1) background (1) break (1) burrito (1) celebrate (1) chrome (1) chrome os (1) chromebook (1) climate (1) communicate (1) constraints (1) construction (1) copier (1) crowd funding (1) customize (1) design process (1) designer (1) different language (1) dim style (1) draftsight (1) eMFP (1) ePrint (1) eTransmit (1) engineer (1) environment (1) event (1) feeds (1) filepath (1) folders (1) free (1) government fail (1) groups (1) guide (1) hatching (1) initial setup (1) input (1) install (1) intel (1) internet (1) interview (1) isometrics (1) jobs (1) labels (1) license software (1) linetype (1) livestream (1) logo (1) macro (1) malware (1) message (1) model space (1) modeling (1) multi leaders (1) navigation (1) newsletter (1) notifications (1) offset (1) opinion (1) options (1) overrides status bar (1) parametrics (1) patches (1) pgp (1) podcast (1) poll (1) polyline (1) prank (1) pricing (1) printers color (1) project draw (1) project workflow (1) recommend (1) redlines (1) rent (1) resume (1) reverse line direction (1) right click (1) save (1) scale (1) scanner (1) screen capture (1) sea turtles (1) settings (1) shortcuts (1) snap (1) software (1) solutions (1) sony (1) student (1) sustainability (1) system variables (1) tabs (1) tech snob (1) transparency (1) trial (1) undo (1) viewports (1) virus (1) webcast (1) wiki (1) workplace (1)

CAD Videos

Loading...