Google has just entered the laptop market with the Chromebook Pixel, a first-party flagship for their non-Android, more cloud-based operating system. Here's what Google had to say:
Today we’re excited to announce our newest laptop—the Chromebook Pixel—which brings together the best in hardware, software and design to inspire the next generation of Chromebooks. With the Pixel, we set out to rethink all elements of a computer in order to design the best laptop possible, especially for power users who have fully embraced the cloud. The philosophy of Chrome has always been to minimize the “chrome” of the browser. In much the same way, the goal of the Pixel is to make the pixels disappear, giving people the best web experience.
It comes with some interesting specs, including a nearly 13-inch screen with a Retina-like 2560x1700 display, but made out of Gorilla Glass and sporting multitouch like an iPad or Android tablet. It's only got 32GB of on-board storage, but you get a whopping 1TB of cloud-storage for 3 years. An Intel dual-core Core i5 with HD Graphics 400 lies at its heart, along with 4GB of RAM and a battery that lasts up to 5 hours. And the price?
$1300 for Wi-Fi, $1450 for LTE.
Which is interesting.
Google subsidizes their mobile devices to keep the price down, but the Chromebook Pixel is premium priced. It costs more than Adobe CS6, and it can't even run Adobe CS6. It's got a Google store product page up that looks as though it were cut and pasted from Apple.com, and while it has features that don't exist on MacBooks, like multitouch, its cost puts it right between the, in some ways much more capable, MacBook Air and the Retina MacBook Pro.
Personally, the Pixel is a non-starter for me. I've tried using an iPad and a MacBook Air locked to Safari as an experiment, and I couldn't last more than an hour or so without needing (not wanting) real, native apps. Sure, Google Chrome OS has more hooks, but not enough. I still carry a MacBook Pro with me everywhere I go for a reason.
Would a Chromebook be a better choice than an iPad for my mom, and other empowered users? Maybe some. I don't think the cloud, even Google's, is sufficient yet, but we'll see how the early Chromebook adopters do.
If you want 1TB of Google Drive, the Pixel is definitely the cheapest, smartest way to go. Though I question how many people really have the bandwidth to exploit that much cloud storage. I know, with my monthly cost and data cap, I couldn't.
Right now, Pixel looks to be a computer for people who love Google more than their wallets or common sense.
And when exactly did Apple lose that market?