Developers! Thoughts on the new Pixel C laptop/tablet for travel?

It’s that time of year again, where I see cool swanky new tablet / laptop hybrid things and start wondering if I could actually replace a Macbook Air for shorter / longer travel.

Anyone have any thoughts on Google’s new Pixel C? Anyone have experience writing code (or for that matter, writing long-form text, like a novel) with either Android or IOS as your main operating system? Would you leave the Macbook at home for a one week trip? A one month trip? Long-term?

  1. I know the software’s not quite there yet. I anticipate major issues being the lack of web dev tools for mobile OSes (I write a ton of front-end code!), and flaky alternatives to Sublime. I’m interested in figuring out if it’s “good enough”. For example, how’s Cloud9 on Android? Any workarounds I should know about?

  2. Anyone living tethered to Tmux / Vim on a Linode (or other VPS) full-time? I’m not drinking the Vim Koolaid (or well-aged single malt) yet, but might consider it if there’s a tangible reason for it.

  3. Is the hardware trade-off likely to hurt a lot? $500 - $600 buys quite a lot of laptop, running Intel 4th gen processors + the never-ending clunkiness of trying to make Ubuntu work on Windows hardware. Where should I expect to feel the pain on a Pixel C?

  4. Anyone figuring out a semi-reliable way to multi-task with multiple windows in Android? For example, how painful would it be to run two terminal sessions, a Cloud9 window, and a Rails tutorial window at the same time, switching between them constantly?

  5. Is there a compelling reason to consider an Ipad Air 2 over the Pixel C? They’re in the same ballpark, and though I’ve stuck with Android as a phone OS, I’m very used to working within the Apple ecosystem for work stuff (downloading El Capitan as I type this).

Note: I’m fairly anti-Windows these days, especially as a dev environment (haven’t used it since XP), so an older Surface isn’t likely to be a good alternative unless the Ubuntu support is rock solid :smile:

Thanks! All feedback appreciated.

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That’s a pity, because in that form-factor for writing code I think the Surface (Pro) is probably the best option. Like you mentioned - perhaps install Linux on it if you can?

For me I cannot see a mobile OS working for writing code, though YMMV.

Maybe someone else has something better to offer you in terms of actually giving meaningful answers to your questions… :wink:

I can’t imagine writing code on a mobile device. I think it’ll be a while before that is really feasible.

I tried to use an Android laptop (back in 2.2 days), and it sucks for writing code. I mainly do backends so a terminal + editor that can do remote is enough for me, but the awkwardness of the OS and the lack of some specific applications (DB viewer?) made me switch back to a normal linux thinkpad.

Yeah; I suspect Cloud9 or something similar might be the route I take if I try it. Or I’ll bite the bullet and grab something Windows, maybe dual boot Ubuntu (as someone suggested above) …worst case, I suppose I can use it as a backup machine + IE testing / troubleshooting.

This looks a lot cheaper than a Surface for that kind of thing: http://www.woot.com/offers/asus-transformer-book-chi-13-3-laptop-1?ref=cnt_wp_5_5

If you’re not in a big hurry, maybe hang on for a couple of weeks… Microsoft is having a big hardware event this coming week (6 October) with the SP4 expected to be announced:

If that happens you should see some good specials on the exisiting SP3’s in the coming weeks.

Dell is also set to announce a very nice looking new convertible:

If you’re perhaps considering notebooks, there’s also talk of the Dell XPS 13 getting a refresh soon.

i would skip the xps until it is confirmed the bugs from gens 1 and 2 are fixed in 3.

Unfortunately, I’m in the US from mid-October to mid-November, so the potential savings from waiting is vastly outweighed by having to buy that hardware at 2X the price in India later if I don’t grab something during this trip.

And yeah, I’ve been reading about the Ubuntu bugs in the XPS; it sounds like it’d be easier to crouton this on a Chromebook than do it with Dell’s “official” 'nix dev laptop. Such a shame…it’s a beautiful piece of hardware.

yeah, i worked on one at my last job and if it were not for the wifi and trackpad issues I’d have kept it. i used crouton on my chromebook and it works great.

Yeah it is a pity about those little niggles with Dell.

I see the new XPS 15 with the same infinity display as the XPS 13 is about to be released, and I have been waiting for that since I first saw the XPS 13. Hopefully not too many niggles in that one…

Also curious to see what Microsoft is going to be releasing with the Surface Pro 4 - there are rumours of a 14 inch screen which may tempt me as well…