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and now to try the pixelbook

Short followup to previous commentary on the Pixel Slate. The Pixelbook (sans go) was Google's previous effort at a unified form factor, a 2in1 with attached keyboard. In many ways, they are quite similar in capability, with similar specs as well.

Unlike the Slate, the Pixelbook isn't on perpetual fire sale. Google will still attempt to charge you $999 for a new one, three years later. However, I was able to find a used one for less than half that price, at which point it becomes a much better value. It's aged fairly well, as I don't think there are any competing devices that truly outclass it.

Most of my previous comments are still relevant, with the qualifier that anything the Slate is great at, the Pixelbook is merely very good at. The screen in particular is slightly less outstanding, but still very pleasing. Balancing that, the attached keyboard is an enormous improvement, though that only brings it into the realm of passable.

As an entertainment travel device, it's very heavy for a tablet, my longstanding complaint for 2in1 devices. It is much sturdier in tent mode, however, so it won't fall over if a mosquito sneezes nearby. The speakers are kinda bad, especially since they fire through the keyboard, and therefore away from screen in most multimedia modes. Bring headphones.

As a work device, its ability to function as a real laptop with keyboard crushes the Slate. The tactile feel of the keys are weird. They're soft rubber I think? Would not want to use it as my only device, but there's nothing I couldn't accomplish with it if necessary.

I'm building up quite a stable of Chromebooks, which seems rather excessive considering their limitations. However, the downside is tempered by a few things. They're fast and easy to keep updated. There's no effort to maintaining one, so there's no extra effort to maintaining two. As simple appliances to lookup Charlize Theron movies, there's a certain convenience in having one in every room, and if this means Google shows me more ads for such movies, that's a devil bargain I'm willing to make.

Posted 19 Jul 2020 22:08 by tedu Updated: 19 Jul 2020 22:08
Tagged: computers

a month with the pixel slate

I was supposed to be spending the past month or so traveling. That didn’t go quite as planned, but I nevertheless spent some time preparing for the trip, and as part of that, set up a Google Pixel Slate to take along. Even though I didn’t actually complete the experiment, most of the effort was validating it could work, and I think it would have been fine.

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Posted 09 Apr 2020 13:50 by tedu Updated: 09 Apr 2020 13:50
Tagged: computers software

proto retro ripper

I built a Ryzen system and setup an Epyc server. But something was missing. What could it be? Let’s build a new gaming PC to find out.

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Posted 11 Feb 2020 13:09 by tedu Updated: 12 Feb 2020 05:40
Tagged: computers

putting stuff in a proliant dl325

I have an old server, but it’s about ten years old, and I’ve been a really good boy this year, so I demanded Santa replace it. Actually, I built a Ryzen desktop and it was kinda cool, so I figured I need an Epyc server to match. Just a question of which one and what to put in it. For background, the current server is an old ebay sourced 8x Xeon with 8GB RAM Dell. It’s actually pretty adequate, but OS upgrades require I put shoes on and walk across town to the data center. I’ve been thinking about a virtualized base to make that easier and faster.

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Posted 19 Dec 2019 15:38 by tedu Updated: 19 Dec 2019 15:48
Tagged: computers review

ryzen build (for openbsd)

I like my computers fast and light, and thus the preference for Thinkpad X1 models and the like. But recently I’ve been playing more with my Samsung ultrabook and it’s definitely a step back in the performance department. But then I thought, what if we get a really fast desktop and remote into it? The classic solving a problem by turning it into two problems.

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Posted 01 Dec 2019 21:57 by tedu Updated: 01 Dec 2019 21:57
Tagged: computers

samsung ativ book 9

The Samsung ATIV Book 9 (note: no Plus) is a slightly older laptop from 2015, but I happened to find one on the cheap. In essence, it is the PC version of the 12 inch retina macbook. I thought it would make a good alternative travel laptop, but the usual selling price is a bit steep unless you find a good bargain. I did, so here I am and here it is.

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Posted 21 Oct 2019 22:35 by tedu Updated: 21 Oct 2019 23:18
Tagged: computers review

Thinkpad X1 Carbon 6

I got a new Thinkpad, the 6th gen (2018) X1 Carbon, herein referred to as the t6x1c because why not. I’m not the first to get this laptop, and I’m sure some complete reviews are out there, but a few more personal notes I found interesting.

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Posted 13 Mar 2019 21:51 by tedu Updated: 13 Mar 2019 21:51
Tagged: computers

razer blade stealth

I tried out a new laptop.

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Posted 22 Dec 2018 22:16 by tedu Updated: 24 Dec 2018 04:04
Tagged: computers review

protectli router

My ERL melted itself. Again. Time for a replacement. I went with a Protectli FW4A. It’s a small industrial enclosure, fanless, with four ethernet ports.

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Posted 29 Nov 2018 18:39 by tedu Updated: 12 Dec 2018 18:39
Tagged: computers openbsd

light screens vs dark screens

How best to use a computer at night?

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Posted 27 Jul 2017 18:54 by tedu Updated: 10 Aug 2017 15:12
Tagged: computers software