It’s been a few hours since the Chromebook Pixel was announced and I’ve been gauging reactions from around the web.
To be blunt it isn’t good at all.
The things that made the leaked video seem fake are the same things people are complaining about. The weird 2560×1700 3:2ish pixel display, the square edges and Steve Jobs non-approved vertical touch interface for Chrome.
The new information today doesn’t make it any more enticing. The $1300-1450 price tag is a killer for a platform that recently found its sweet spot with $200-$250 Chromebooks from Acer and Samsung. I mean, you can buy 2 Samsung and 4 Acer Chromebooks for the price of one Pixel…without LTE. The specs, for a clearly high end computer aren’t inspiring either.
USB2 (where do they even find a MoBo chipset that doesn’t have USB3?) Only 5 hours of battery life (save $1050 and get 6.5 hours with the ARM-powered Samsung)? 4 GB RAM (I have a lot of tabs!)? Even 32/64 GB SSD? These are not super-impressive specs, especially not for a high end $1300 flagship machine.
But there are some really big ‘hidden’ benefits which will make many people happy. The biggest by far is the 1TB of Google Drive Cloud space over a three year period (this is up from the already impressive 100GB of space afforded to Acer and Samsung Chromebook customers). If you were to buy 1TB of Google Cloud space over a three year term on its own, it would cost you $50/month or $1800 over the three years. In other words, you are saving $500 here…and getting a free, amazing Chromebook.
For people big into Google Drive space, ‘buying’ a pixel is a no brainer.
Also, and here’s some bad news for Apple, Google employees are going to be getting these by the handful. Until now, Chomebooks and Chromeboxes have been underpowered and therefore underutilized at Google because they don’t have the kind of power that Google’s power user employees need. Most use MacBooks in my experience. Some use Linux. And since the Chinese hack a few testers use Windows.
That’s about to change. I’ve already talked to one Google IT person who told me that yes, these will be displacing some of current Mac and PC (Linux) hardware that covers Google’s campuses. With Google’s headcount (including Motorola) growing past 50,000, that’s a lot of Chomebooks (And a lot fewer MacBooks).
It’s true, of you are a Google employee, thee make perfect sense. You are on the web, you use Google services. You don’t ever need an IT Helpdesk person again.
And that brings us to the third group of people this is catered towards. People with a few bucks, low use of native apps that want to store their stuff in the Cloud. My parents come to mind. Facebook, lots of images to upload and no tech support calls to me. Yet, they get a really nice machine. Sold! If I can convince them to come up with the $1300. Otherwise its back to Samsung.
Stay tuned for our review (mine just landed at my doorstep!)