When comparing MacBook vs Chromebook Pixel 2015, the Slant community recommends MacBook for most people. In the question“What is the best laptop for programming?” MacBook is ranked 15th while Chromebook Pixel 2015 is ranked 29th. The most important reason people chose MacBook is:
macOS is based on XNU (Darwin) kernel, it's a [certified Unix](http://www.opengroup.org/openbrand/certificates/1190p.pdf) and arguably a lot more developer friendly than Windows. Development for Unix is native on macOS. There's a large selection of great development tools available for macOS. The operating system itself comes bundled with a powerful terminal emulator, called Terminal. Additionally, Apple provides tools, like Xcode, an IDE that contains a comprehensive collection of tools for developing macOS and iOS software, for free. You can also install [Homebrew](https://brew.sh/), an extremely useful package manager.
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Pro macOS is developer-friendly
macOS is based on XNU (Darwin) kernel, it's a certified Unix and arguably a lot more developer friendly than Windows. Development for Unix is native on macOS.
There's a large selection of great development tools available for macOS. The operating system itself comes bundled with a powerful terminal emulator, called Terminal. Additionally, Apple provides tools, like Xcode, an IDE that contains a comprehensive collection of tools for developing macOS and iOS software, for free.
You can also install Homebrew, an extremely useful package manager.
Pro Amazing display
Everything about the display is very good - from its high resolution (2304x1440) to the brightness (325 nitts), uniform brightness distribution (90%), and high contrast ratio (1000:1) with over 95% of the sRGB spectrum. Overall, a great display which will come in handy for people who work with visual arts.
Pro Decent battery life
The battery lasts around 7h30m of continuous web browsing which is about average for this class of laptops. Where this laptop's battery truly shines though is under heavy stress where it manages to last an impressive 2h35m under a total stress test (maxed out brightness and processor usage - circumstances that you are likely never going to encounter in the real world).
Pro Extremely portable
The laptop weighs just 2 pounds and is 13.1 mm thin. It's one of the thinnest and lightest laptops on the market and it's extremely portable and easy to carry around.
Pro Decent keyboard
Pro Excellent trackpad
The MacBook has a large 4.4 x 2.7-inch Force Touch trackpad with a Taptic Engine that delivers haptic feedback whenever the user taps on it to give them the impression that they are actually clicking on it. It also supports gestures and multi-finger swiping.
The accuracy is almost perfect and there's virtually no lag or stutter when using the trackpad.
Pro Available in 4 colors
The laptop is available in space gray, gold, silver and rose gold (pink) finishes.
Pro Very good speakers
The speakers, found above the keyboard produce loud and clear sound with minimal to no distortion whatsoever. They can be used for both listening to music and watching movies with no problem at all.
Pro Completely silent operation
Thanks to the Core M processor (which doesn't require a fan) and the SSD storage, there are no moving parts the in MacBook. It will operate in complete silence.
Pro 3:2 touchscreen 2560 x 1700 IPS LCD
The Google Chromebook Pixel LS has a 2560 x 1700 touchscreen IPS glossy display that is 3:2, which is great for programming giving more vertical space for text.
Pro Encourages cloud-oriented programming habits
With other OSes, one can get into the bad habit of writing code that runs strictly locally, or to write code that isn't backed up in a repository. Using Chrome OS as one's primary development machine forces one to get into better programming habits, designing code that will run on some cloud hosting environment and ensuring that code is committed to a repository.
Pro Able to replace Chrome OS with a full Linux install
The Chromebook Pixel uses a combination of SeaBios and processor that is able to install Linux fully on the hard drive, replacing Chrome OS.
Pro Two USB-C and two USB 3.0 type A
There are two USB-C ports on the Pixel LS, one on each side. This means that the included USB-C charging cable can plug on either side making it easier for the user to sit where they like without a cord going in the wrong direction to the nearest outlet. There are also two USB 3.0 ports on the left side of the device.
Pro Uses Coreboot / SeaBIOS rather than proprietary firmware
Con Connecting more than one thing requires a hub
The laptop comes with a single USB-C port that's used for charging as well as any other peripherals or external storage devices. Connecting more than one thing at a time requires using a USB hub.
Con Not very powerful
With an Intel Core M processor, the Macbook isn't a serious development laptop. While it will get the job done for lighter tasks, it will struggle with heavier jobs.
Con Non-free software
Apple doesn't release the source code for most of their software & firmware. This makes it significantly more difficult to customize, automate tasks, and verify security.
Con It's a bit hard to get used to the keyboard
The keys are pretty shallow, with a travel length of just 0.5mm. They still provide good feedback and the writing experience itself is not bad, but it's just a bit hard getting used to, especially if you are coming from a laptop that's not a MacBook.
Con Storage cannot be upgraded
The SSD is literally soldered on to the board, so it cannot be replaced or upgraded without some very advanced tooling.
Con Cannot develop for iOS directly
While one can write web apps targetting iOS on a Chromebook or other development machine, one can only develop native iOS apps on a Mac.
Con Cannot run Android development tools
Although some online IDEs make it possible to develop for Android, the Android development tools like "fastboot" and "adb" cannot be run on Chrome OS, making it difficult to install built apps on an actual phone.
Con Expensive for how limiting the default OS is
While cheaper than the last model, the Chromebook Pixel is pretty expensive at $999 or $1299. Considering how limiting the OS can be, both are a pretty high price point.