Linus Torvalds may consider Chromebook Pixel as his primary laptop

Linus Torvalds is a huge fan of Nexus 7, he wrote on his Google + stream how much he liked it. He was, however, not that excited about the early Chromebooks, but he did use one in kitchen (as a common PC to check calender etc).

Despite being the creator of the Linux kernel, he is a huge admirer of Apple’s Macbook Air due to it’s sleek design. He criticized PC vendors for using low res screens and cheap material in laptops.

He wrote on his Google + page, “So with even a $399 tablet doing 2560×1600 pixel displays, can we please just make that the new standard laptop resolution? Even at 11″? Please. Stop with the “retina” crap, just call it “reasonable resolution”. The fact that laptops stagnated ten years ago (and even regressed, in many cases) at around half that in both directions is just sad.”

When Google Chromebook Pixel came out, I was looking forward to Linus’ remark on the device. I wrote to him, but my mail probably got lost in the thousands of mails that he gets every day. But now the creator of Linux seems to have got his very own Pixel and he loves it. He writes on his Google+ page, “Hey, I’ve joined all the cool kids in having one of the new Google “Pixel” laptops (aka Chromebooks).  And it is a beautiful screen, to the point where I suspect I’ll make this my primary laptop. I tend to like my laptops slightly smaller, but I think I can lug around this 1.5kg monster despite feeling fairly strongly that a laptop should weigh 1kg or less.”

He repeated:

Because the screen really is that nice. And I really appreciate not just the pixels, but the form factor. I despise widescreen displays, but I had gotten resigned to them. Until now. 3:2, baby!

He then went ahead to tackle the complains people make about black-bar, “I don’t understand why people complain about “black bars”, when I can’t see why it would be any different to have “no pixels at all”, which is what the silly widescreen displays do.”

What will he run on the device would be of interest. Chrome OS is a Linux-based distribution but it doesn’t double up as a full fledged distro to do stuff that a kernel manager like Linus would do.

Linus says that he is “…still running ChromeOS on this thing, which is good enough for testing out some of my normal work habits (ie reading and writing email), but I expect to install a real distro on this soon enough. For a laptop to be useful to me, I need to not just read and write email, I need to be able to do compiles, have my own git repositories etc..”

He also has the Nexus 10 but he acknowledges that it can’t replace his laptop even it has “… tons of pixels, but on that one I didn’t get the feeling that I could use the pixels very well… Sure, I could run a web browser and make the text smaller, but without a keyboard I can’t reasonably write anything, and without the option of installing a full Linux distro I couldn’t see it replacing my laptop anyway, so getting a BT keyboard didn’t seem all that relevant either.”

He then criticized PC vendors for not investing resources in design of build quality of their laptop:

One thing that the Chromebook Pixel really brings home is how crap normal laptops have become. Why do PC manufacturers even bother any more? No wonder the PC business isn’t doing well, when they stick to just churning out more crappy stuff and think that “full HD” (aka 1080p) is somehow the epitome of greatness.

Now, since Linus also loves the Chromebook Pixel, will you be getting one? I am looking forward to mine as soon as I can get one here.

About Swapnil Bhartiya

A free software fund-a-mental-ist and Charles Bukowski fan, Swapnil also writes fiction and tries to find cracks in the paper armours of proprietary companies. Swapnil has been covering Linux and Free Software/Open Source since 2005.

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