I Couldn’t Break the Surface Tension

Today, Microsoft started selling Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book, and I strongly considered buying either. During the past 10 days, I visited the company’s Fashion Valley store four different times specifically to play with the devices. The hardware dazzles, but I couldn’t get beyond Windows 10 when compared to benefits I receive using Chromebook Pixel LS. SB’s price, which starts at $1,499, is another impediment.

There is something to be said for straightforward, simple, and efficient computing, which Google gets right. Contextual sync is among Chrome OS’s biggest benefits. Little things, like popping my camera’s SD card into Pixel’s slot and the laptop backing up photos to Google Drive, which is accessible from the file manager as if local storage. Granted, there are application gaps, but the overall user experience fills them in.

Call me crazy, and you wouldn’t be the first. Another reason: I have cancelled and resubscribed to Tidal something like 5 times since signing up for the music streaming service on April 1, 2015. I returned to Tidal (again) on September 29, after dallying with Apple Music, which curation is best of class. Benefits are nothing if you can’t use them—on Pixel or Nexus 6P. Besides, I can’t give up the Tidal sound, no matter how much I try (because of the $19.99 monthly fee).

Lossless listening delights my ears, and the other streamers sound muddy and/or bassy by comparison. For speakers, I use Harman/Kardon Nova via Bluetooth or the fantastic Grado Labs RS1e headphones. Excuse me, while I cue up Ducktails “Into the Sky” from album St. Catherine.