Chromebook Pixel – The Saga Continues

On Thursday February 21 Google pulled the curtain back on the much rumored Chromebook Pixel. Here are the specifications.

    Screen

  • 12.85″ display with a 3:2 aspect ratio
  • 2560 x 1700 at 239 PPI
  • 400 nit screen brightness
  • 178° extra-wide viewing angle
  • Inputs

  • Gorilla® Glass multi-touch screen
  • Backlit Chrome keyboard
  • Clickable, etched-glass touchpad
  • Integrated 720p HD camera
  • Size / weight

  • 297.7 x 224.6 x 16.2 mm
  • 3.35 lbs / 1.52 kg
  • Industrial design

  • Machined from anodized aluminum
  • Active cooling with no visible vents
  • ENERGY STAR® certified
  • CPU

  • Intel® Core™ i5 processor (Dual Core 1.8GHz)
  • Intel® HD Graphics 4000 (Integrated)
  • Ports

  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • mini display port
  • SD / MMC card reader
  • Memory

  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage

  • One terabyte Google Drive cloud storage for three years
  • 32GB solid state drive (64GB on LTE model)
  • Audio

  • Combo headphone/mic jack
  • Built-in microphone array
  • Integrated DSP for noise cancellation
  • Powerful stereo speakers tuned for clarity
  • Connectivity

  • Dual-band WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n 2×2
  • Bluetooth® 3.0
  • Built-in LTE modem (LTE model)
  • Battery

  • Up to 5 hours of active use (59 Wh battery)
  • Suggested Retail Price

  • $1,299

The quality of the product is outstanding and I should be reaching for my plastic; but I’m not. A ZNet blog post by James Kendrick states it best.

So Google’s wonderful display on the Chromebook Pixel had the desired effect on me. It made me want a great display, so I bought a 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina Display. I don’t think it ended quite the way Google hoped it would, though.

Why did Jim abandon the Pixel and spend $200 more for an Apple?

Perceived value.

  • Apple Brand
  • OS X
  • 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
  • 128GB flash storage
  • 7 hours of battery operation

In reality the price of the Pixel may very well be a great value for a laptop of this build quality, but the market expected something different. In my opinion priced at $699 or $799 sale price would be viral and the Google Play store would be showing “Sold Out”.

Some things I would change to reach these price points.

  1. Replace Intel i5 with a low power ARM SoC (nVidia / Samsung / Qualcomm / LG / Others)
  2. As the product does not morph into a tablet, lose the touch screen
  3. Replace the anodized aluminum case with a stylish polycarbonate material
  4. Up battery operation to 7 hours

If the goal of Pixel was to make a statement the result has to be something different, something better, and something more affordable than a high end Ultra book or Mac book.

Hopefully the next round of Chromebooks will get there.

5 thoughts on “Chromebook Pixel – The Saga Continues

  1. I’m boycotting Apple, so I’m willing to pay more for a product of the same specs in order for it to not be made by them. That said, even aside from the boycott, the MacBook Pro line kind of pushes it for my current budget.. I’m learning towards a desktop computer right now. That said, If the ChromeBook Pixel 2.0 comes out with Haswel GT2/GT3, a sturdier hinge and keyboard, 4 times the SSD space and twice the RAM with Ubuntu instead of ChromeOS, that price is fine, and I’d be sore tempted to get one.

  2. I think the entire concept of the Chromebooks has failure written all over it. Who wants cloud storage instead of local storage? (And who trusts American cloud storage in the first place?) Who wants a pure browser-based operating system in a notebook? As long as such a machine costs more than 200 USD/EUR, it is simply over-priced for what it can do.

    At a price point of 1300 bucks or more, Google should at least provide that Terabyte for cloud storage free for the lifetime of the owner of the notebook and this thing should better include unlimited free 3G/LTE Internet access for life, too. THEN this concept would have a chance of succeeding. But in the current incarnation, it is entirely unattractive.

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