When comparing Orion 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 12th while Orion is ranked 26th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Plug-ins including Pixlr image editor
Pro Built for front-end development
Orion was developed specifically for front-end development, making it a strong option for front-end developers thanks to features like syntax validation with ESLint and HTML content assist.
Pro Eclipse-like UI
Orion is developed by Eclipse and shares a lot in common with the Eclipse IDE UI.
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 No runtime environment
Does mostly do file editing, but without good project support, web terminal, build/runtime environment.
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.