"Anyone who wants to run straight Linux on their Chromium OS device, and doesn't care about physical security. You're also better off having some knowledge of Linux tools and the command line in case things go funny, but it's not strictly necessary."
The bit about physical security seems to refer to the fact that for some reason you can't even password protect your machine.
But do they want the desktop market? As far as I've seen so far, Chrome OS devices are consumer targeted devices iPhones... only laptop/htpc shaped. Developers are just not the target audience.
It's probably not as powerful as you want but it already can do quite a lot.
Disclosure: I have financial interest in Apple succeeding. I also have worked on a project for Google regarding the new Chromebook pixel.
The 4GB RAM spec is more worrisome to me, and far less likely to be user upgradable.
- faster CPU (i5 2.5 vs 1.8 GHz)
- double the RAM (8 vs 4 GB)
- bigger HD (as you say)
- wider aspect ratio (Pixel has 100 extra pixels along the bottom in an overall smaller package)
- a bit higher (1.9 vs 1.6 cm)
- a bit heavier (1.62 vs 1.52 kg)
- bigger battery and runtime (74 vs 59Wh, reportedly 7 vs 5 hours)
Overall, a lot to be said for the rMBP. Good to have options.
- USB 3.0
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Optical In/Out
- Better Trackpad
Not to mention a company with a history of great support. There really isn't any good reason to buy a Pixel.
MagSafe is a big draw though, arguably as important as almost anything else. Comparing the screen on my MBA to the screen in the new Dell Developer laptop with IPS is a bummer though.
In all honesty, I've never even seen a USB3.0 device in the wild either. Not an argument against the option, of course.
edit: Actually, hotplug Thunderbolt is touchy in Linux 3.8 because Apple's thunderbolt implementation is back-ass-ward stupid, but that's not really a biggie, I don't use Thunderbolt for anything really (the display out is fine)
It's what Chrubuntu does, you can even choose to install to an SD card leaving the existing OS in place.
Or countless other Linux distros.
How good would a chromebook be for, say, developing a small rails app?
This product seems way out of line with Google's strategy.
It's underpowered, underfeatured hardware costs equivalent to an MB Air and almost MBP-r.
It's a shot across the bow of battleship Apple, but the low-cost Chromebooks are far more of a threat to both MS and Apple.