Google Announces The Chromebook Pixel

21 February 2013

The Verge:

Other than touch response, though, this is probably the fastest Chromebook we’ve ever used. That’s thanks to an Intel Core i5 processor, which powers the machine and — unfortunately — also seems to join with the display to keep the battery life to a ho-hum five hours. There’s a paltry 32 GB of storage on board, which should serve as a reminder that Google really, really wants you to keep everything in the cloud. To help, the company is offering 1TB of storage for three years along with every Pixel.

This laptop would have been a lot more desirable before Apple cut the prices on the thirteen-inch Retina MacBook Pro. If Apple hadn’t changed the prices of the thirteen-inch1 Retina MacBook Pro, there would be a $400 difference between the Pixel and the Pro. That’s quite a significant price gap, which might have allowed the Pixel to carve out some marketshare. $400 is a significant price differential to make consumers skip over the limitations of Chrome OS and seriously consider buying a Pixel.

However, Apple did drop prices. The base thirteen-inch Pro was reduced from $1699 to $1499. As a result, I think the Pixel is a much tougher proposition. The “Mac penalty”2 is now just $200, and for that you get an actual computer where you can get actual Office, actual Pages, actual games, actual video editor, actual photo browser, etcetera etcetera …

I do want to thank Google for their generosity with bundled storage, though. One terabyte is plenty for anyone who will use this machine, as you will be constrained by network bandwidth caps long before you hit your storage limits. Granted, it only lasts for three year but still — it is a million times better than iCloud’s free tier.

1 The Pixel has a screen that measures 12.85 inches diagonally.

2 I’m not happy with this phrase, but I couldn’t think of anything better.