When comparing Neutron Drive vs Google VM Instance, the Slant community recommends Google VM Instance for most people. In the question“What are the best cloud IDEs?” Google VM Instance is ranked 14th while Neutron Drive is ranked 25th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Realtime collaboration
Collaborating with Neutron Docs works similar to Google Docs. You can invite a friend/coworker for pair program or assistance
Pro Syntax highlighting (40+ Language Modes)
Pro LaTeX syntax highlighting
Pro Detailed change tracking
You can enable auto save with changes tracking and get minute to minute tracking of changes. But not good for tracking time spent on a projects because every 30 days or 100 changes gets automatically deleted.
Pro Total environment control
Pro Can run any sort of web-based editor software
For example, one can run Jupyter Notebook on the VM.
Pro Real vi or Emacs editor
Pro Real Linux console
Con Does not support Git
Neutron Drive only saves to Gdrive or a private file server, so there is no github integration.
Con This is not a "cloud IDE," this is a remotely accessible virtual machine.
This topic is about the best cloud IDEs and having a Google VM Instance on the list is a bit of a stretch. That's not to say that the service isn't valuable or great, but it is a completely separate purpose. Granted, you can certainly install the necessary tools on your virtual machine to make it an IDE that is remotely accessible, but that's not exactly the ideal situation and not what someone looking for a cloud IDE is likely looking to do.
Con Can be expensive
If one selects a powerful type of instance or if one does not take care and remember to shut off the instance when it is not being used.
Con Less ideal if you have a slow internet connection
Though this applies to any Cloud IDE, as well.
Con Less ideal if you are mouse dependent
Assuming you are using Vi or Emacs, and not Jupyter or some other web-based editor that is running on the remote VM instance.