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.

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