The main appeal of the Samsung Chromebook and its ilk has been price. For $250, you could afford to pick one up and see if you were going to like it. You could give one as a gift to that family member who considered it a biological imperative to click on every link they came across, leaving you to scrub the shame off of their hard drive the next time you were over for a visit.
It seemed, for a while, that the whole point of Chrome OS was to offer something for those who rely on the web exclusively. When offered with inexpensive hardware, this all makes perfect sense. When you offer that web-only experience in one of the most expensive (non-Apple) consumer laptops on the market, the least you can do is make it so power users don’t have to work too hard to get more out of that gorgeous hardware.
Like all Chromebooks before it, the Pixel offers a Developer Mode. It’s triggered by a simple toggle switch which, if flipped, allows the user to sit outside of the Chrome OS sandbox and get creative. This version of Chrome OS takes things further with a semi-writable BIOS. Unlike all previous Chrome OS hardware, the Pixel offers a secondary BIOS that is not Read Only, and is accessible in Developer Mode. This means that installing other operating systems is as simple as booting from an SD card or USB stick with a Linux image and then installing, just like you would on any other computer that’s not “protected” with Secure Boot.
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