TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT: Nowhere
Honestly. By the looks of it the Chromebook Pixel is pretty impressive but it just doesn’t fit. Previously Chromebooks were known to be cheap disposable laptops but with this one Google seem to have given up on that. Before dwelling into the specifics of this here’s a little about what the Chromebook Pixel actually is…
- Intel Core i5 processor
- Integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics
- 4GB of RAM
- 12.85-inch, 2560 x 1700 touchscreen panel
- 3:2 aspect ratio
- LED backlight keyboard
- Wifi only or Wifi + LTE models
- 32GB or 64GB of onboard storage
- Two USB 2.0 jacks, Mini DisplayPort, combo 3.5mm headset jack, SD card slot
- Dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0
- 720p webcam with dual microphones
- 5 hours of battery life
Oh and the basic wifi model (32GB) ships with a price tag of $1299 and the LTE one (64GB) will come later this April costing $1499. In case you’re wondering you can’t get a wifi model with 64GB of storage and neither can you get a LTE model with 32GB of storage.
It’s a standard issue premium laptop with a wonky 3:2 aspect ratio. The 12.85″ beautiful screen runs at a native resolution of 2560 x 1700. Oh and its a touchscreen by the way. The product design is posh, it looks incredibly bold and incredibly pleasing to the eye. A lot of design and construction elements have been borrowed from the Retina MacBook Pro. Vents hidden in the hindges, upward facing invisible speakers to name a few. The glass trackpad, unlike most laptops, is usable. What else? Oh…
The machine is a sight to behold. It looks amazing and I’ve come to appreciate many of the little ideas. For instance there’s a little mic hidden under the keyboard that cancels out background noises and keyboard disturbances during VoIP calls. The little slit of LEDs on top of the laptop looks really neat. The body is amazing, the edges are minimal and the overall build is great.
Google is also offering 1TB of free Google Drive Storage
The weird 3:2 aspect ratio. Now it can be argued that by making the width nearly equal to the length Google aims to deliver web content in a better manner but I’m not sure I agree. The ratio is terrible for viewing any sort of media content and developers might have to restructure a lot to make things in sync with such a display.
The touchscreen sucks. Yes, I’ve read a lot of reviews on the Pixel and most of them concur with my point.
Touch responsiveness is a different story — we don’t know if it’s software or hardware, but scrolling on the screen was much chunkier and laggier than we’d expect from what purports to be a high-end machine.
Now that is NOT something you expect from a premium product.
Just 32GB of storage? Oh God… But hey, you can’t play Black Ops 2 on this thing so who cares!
I believe that software is more essential than hardware but for the sake of the argument lets say that a great computing experience accounts 50% for the hardware and 50% software. Google have done well on the hardware front but the darn Pixel runs on Chrome OS. So at best the Chromebook Pixel is just half a laptop.
I’m a huge fan of the cloud but even for 1 second I’m not ready to accept that a web-based OS is the way to go. Chrome OS is very very shallow and buying something that runs on that would be folly. The other Chromebooks can still be considered because of their minimal price tag but $1299 for just web surfing is quite steep.
It’s especially steep when you consider that for $1499 you can get the 13″ Retina MacBook Pro. In terms of specs and price the MBP is at par with the Pixel but it does offer the added benefit of a real ecosystem on which you can get things done.
So $1299 for something that does nothing more than browse the web???????? Can I get a better machine with a deeper ecosystem and more storage for a similar price???????????
The Chromebook Pixel though a beautiful piece to behold sadly doesn’t fit anywhere. There is not a reason why you should spend this kind of money on a Chrome browser.
Maybe in a cloudy world this device could work but in this one it’s hard to think of a single reason why the Chromebook Pixel would make a good purchase.