I’ve been using a 2017 pixelbook as my laptop for years. This is the maxed out version; i7, 16G RAM, 512G drive, and runs linux on a VM internally via Crostini. I can run Intelij on it, Emacs, and everything else I need just fine.
Well, no… I’m lying.
It’s definitely slow. Since 2017 it’s been getting slower all the time as everything else is getting larger. Intelij is really just a hog these days on the chromebook. I no longer write Java on it anymore as intelij is just to slow on the system; rather I use my (still) overpowered desktop for that. Instead, I use emacs for Rust and Go which workds fine on the chromebook. But now, the keyboard is starting to die and the battery doesn’t last as long as it should. So time to replace.
To be honest, I love using ChromeOS. When I want to just browse, this thing just lights up and goes. Switching to dev mode is easy and backups are still simple too. (Though again, slow is the key word here.) Now that I want to replace my laptop with something else, I wanted something with more power and not tied down to microsoft or apple. And of course, still small enough so I can use it on a plane.
After asking on reddit for suggestions, I ended up ordering a framework laptop. This is a modular laptop that is also designed to be user-repairable. Meaning you can switch out 4 modular slots for things like USB-C and display ports, as well as switch out the keyboard, battery, drive, memory, etc. Unlike previous attempts at having a laptop with these requirements, this is a thin laptop that looks good. Folks on reddit really seemed to liked it.
Biggest issue in the reviews was the battery life apparently. That will be harder considering how long the pixelbook used to last. At least with Framework you can easily replace the battery. The other downside is that the company is new. No clue if they will be around long enough to get replacement parts. So there is a risk still.
You can get a framework with Windows or without… and they support Linux. It can be prebuilt or save a few bucks and get it in parts. Given how easy it is to put together, seems like a no brainer to get the DYI version. The idea is that it’s compariable to the Dell XPS 13.
Once I get it I’ll post here how it is going. Already forked the community Linux setup repository waiting for it’s arrival. It’s setup for the LTS Ubuntu release, so 20.04.