Chromebook Pixel Offers Google-Centric World Starting at $1,299
Google's Chromebook Pixel has the best display on any laptop with optional 4G LTE, 1TB of cloud storage and a very un-Chromebook-like starting price.Google introduced the Chromebook Pixel laptop Feb. 21, moving far more swiftly than the rumors had led us to expect. But its timing wasn't Google's only surprise. To date, the search king has used hardware partners Acer, Samsung, Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard to acquaint the world with a premise of the Chromebook as a very inexpensive, very Internet-reliant and cloud-focused laptop that's rarely a user's primary PC. But with the Pixel Google changed that definition. While the Acer C7 Chromebook sells for $199 and the Samsung Chromebook for $249, the Pixel sells for $1,299 with WiFi-only connectivity and $1,449 with built-in Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. The Pixel has a 12.85-inch display and, as the rumors told us to expect, a touch-screen and a resolution of 2560 by 1700, giving it the most pixels ever put into a laptop.
The Pixel's mesmerizing screen was part of Google's plan, as it said, to make its cloud-focused laptop "disappear." But it still paid plenty of attention to what's left sitting on the desk.
"Nice, but ouch!" wrote Hyers. Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg agreed that the Pixel isn't for everyone. "It's Google's articulation of their vision of personal computing in a personal cloud world," he told eWEEK. "While the low-end $249 devices reflected the limited functionality of the experience, Google's asking for a leap of faith here from consumers. A MacBook Air is cheaper; a MacBook Pro with a Retina display costs only a little more. Both run Chrome very well and do a whole lot more," Gartenberg continued. "This is not a mass-market device." The WiFi version of the Pixel is now available in the Google Play store, for consumers in the United States and the U.K., and will begin shipping in three to five days. In a few days, it will also be available at Best Buy in the United States and Currys in the U.K. The LTE version will begin shipping in the United States in April. "It's one of the most exciting times in the history of personal computing," wrote Upson. "We hope you enjoy what's next." Follow Michelle Maisto on Twitter.