The Chromebook Pixel is both a culmination of all Google has done to build its own ecosystem as well as a push to move more people into cloud computing, where they are more apt to rely on its services. Non-altruistic motives aside, the Chromebook Pixel looks to be a fantastic computer that would appeal to many (myself included).
There is little doubt Chrome hopes to go mainstream, no longer wishing to be an also-ran when compared to Windows and Mac. The price of $1,299 or $1,499 puts the Chromebook in MacBook and Ultrabook territory This may appeal to those who embrace the cloud-based model of computing Google is pushing. It also will be good news for developers who can leverage their Android and Chrome apps to newer levels of synchronization.As for the computer itself, the Pixel has excellent hardware that was crafted in the mold of a Steve Jobs focus on design. I still question the need for a touch screen, as it is unnecessary and probably inflated the cost. The 3:2 aspect ratio is not actually a bad decision, as Google is right about how web sites get crunched with today’s 16:9 world.
Based on most of the comments I read online I expect the Chromebook Pixel to appeal to a very narrow segment of the market. Many wrote that while the computer was appealing, the costs are too high for a device that can not run native Windows or OS X applications. For that amount of money a Windows Ultrabook or MacBook Air coupled with a Chrome browser would be a better alternative.
This is subject to one’s computing habits, of course. When swiping out of Chrome on my MacBook I often look at the row of unused applications on my Dock. And for my Spotify and Google Play Music have replaced iTunes, the last Apple-built, native application I was still using. Unless you work in an environment that requires strict Office fidelity, play games, or have specific native application needs there should not be a hesitation to completely go Google. For some this won’t work, but Google probably doesn’t mind: they can still feed your needs through the Chrome browser and Google apps.
Ultimately, Google is looking to do much the same with Chrome as it did with Android when it launched the Nexus line: push the operating system forward. The Pixel will be a niche device, so there is plenty of room at the lower price point and a wide opening in the middle for manufacturers to create a mid-priced Chromebook.
Here at TheAppPlanet I have become increasingly impressed with the ecosystem Google is building. While the primary mission here is still mobile apps, exploring how the computer grows into a cloud-based, mobile device is a fascinating area of discovery. So expect to hear more about Chrome and its growing OS and app ecosystem here.
Image credit: Google Chrome Blog