Why I still have a desktop machine

My development setup consists of a Chromebook Pixel and a Digital Ocean droplet. Alongside the browser, browser, I connect to my droplet using Secure Shell with tmux.

I also have a desktop machine. It’s connected to a Dell 24” screen providing 94 PPI. On that machine, I run Chrome and GNOME Terminal, so I can work on my desktop essentially the same way I use my Chromebook.

Occasionally I wonder why I need the desktop machine. Why not simply hook up the Chromebook to the external monitor and keyboard when I’m at my desk? Here’s why:

blurry fonts in Chrome OS versus crisp fonts in Fedora

Those two screenshots were both taken on the Dell monitor. On Fedora I can control the font rendering, especially to quantize stems to pixels. Chrome OS won’t let me do that, and the result is… fuzzy.

It’s not a problem on the Chromebook’s panel with its 239 PPI, but on the larger screen with triple the dot pitch, I can’t work comfortably with the blurred font.

I love my Pixel, but if I ever want to converge my split laptop/desktop to a single machine, then I’ll either need a 4K external screen (which my current Pixel won’t drive) or I’ll be switching back to a Linux laptop.