Why your future laptop may just be a Chromebook

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Google this week took the wraps off its newly minted Chromebook Pixel, a high-resolution touch screen device that's both pricey and appealing. You can read more about Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) latest Chromebook here, though I'll sum it up by saying that the Pixel has a gorgeous display, is slim, and also comes with a Core i5 processor with integrated HD 4000 graphics.

As I pored through its specifications and perused the video of the Chromebook Pixel, I couldn't help but wonder if the Chromebook may one day replace all laptops.

You see, when I wrote about Why I'm sticking with a laptop for work a couple of weeks ago, a number of readers chimed in to express why a laptop or desktop system is their only choice to get real work done as opposed to a tablet.

While it may appear that the great processing capabilities of a laptop allow it to triumph over the latter, I realized after giving the matter considerable thought that the real difference resides in the physical keyboard and the presence of a windowing system.

My recent transition from a 20-year (Yes, I started from Windows 3.11) Windows user to a Mac user appears to affirm this. While it took me a while to get used to the Mac version of my favorite apps or their equivalent, it wasn't long before I became as productive on the Mac as I was on Windows machines.

Today, many workers are conversant in two or more mobile operating systems, and popular apps are almost always available on all major platforms. My feeling is that while operating systems will not go away soon, their identity will only decrease in relevance as more work gets stored online or synchronized through the cloud.

Equipped with both a keyboard and native windowing capability--in the form of tabs and browser windows--the Chromebook may just become your future laptop. Do you agree or disagree? As usual, I look forward to hearing from you via tweet, email, or a note in the comments section below. - Paul Mah  (Twitter @paulmah)

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