Shared publicly  - 
 
Some initial thoughts on Google's Chromebook Pixel.

I'll share more in-depth impressions as I get to know the device.
45
1
James Russell's profile photoJulien Dodokal's profile photoMariano Iannuzzi's profile photoEric Stott's profile photo
45 comments
 
I have to say, prior to this I haven't had much interest in a Chromebook. Watching the video made me want one.

That said, I'll never have $1000+ to spend on a computer or laptop :-/
 
It's a piece of hardware but some people, like me, aren't even willing to pay that much for a Windows laptop. Pricing needs to be more on par with the Nexus line.
 
Not google's intended market, but I always thought the chromebook would be perfect for my grandmother. But at this, I'm not sure.
 
To some it will be. But given this as a starting point, I'm really excited to see what will happen over the next 2 years given ARM processor development.
I'm sure we'll see N4 style price/performance driven into the laptop market really quickly.
 
This device would make a lot more sense if they unify Chrome OS and Android soon.  If this device can get an update that allows Android apps to run that would be awesome and much more worth the high price point. Here's to google I/O!
 
Very good points. Not enough touch-centric apps to justify the touchscreen. Not enough apps, period, to buy a Chrome anything for me. At least if it ran Linux or even (God forbid!) Android apps there'd be potential.
 
I honestly think they're splitting their own market with Chrome OS. If this had been an Android machine we'd be seeing it fly off shelves like the Nexus devices.
 
+JR Raphael I love your articles.  Your writing rarely has typos and offers an appealing informality.  This is rare in the tech blogsphere and a sharp contrast to the articles found on CNET or TC.  While killing time at work, I prefer to read your articles.  Someone should give you props.  I guess I will.  Props, JR.  
 
Props. I like it. What is it short for?
 
Not sure their plan with this.  I think $149-299 is a good range for this type of computer but it would be tough to justify such a limited machine for that amount of money.
 
+Scott Haggerty If that were they case they should've waited to release this thing. I still say it's like Commodore trying to market the C= 128 and the Amiga at the same time. Two brands, two totally incompatible platforms. At least, although Apple's computers totally sucked, they went with one brand: Mac.
 
+James Russell I agree about Apple,, having 1 OS makes sense. Just thinking, if it 32 to 64 GB storage, that's room for APPs & some off line docs to work on with syncing to the 1TB drive space when connected. You would have to think +Google is thinking about this.
 
I don't think Android and ChromeOS will be merged anytime soon, especially after releasing a largely unattainable hero machine like the Pixel that doesn't feature any aspects of that merge.

I also think it will fail at that price. Not because of the simplicity of ChromeOS and the use of Web apps (because I really think that 'Packaged Apps' are the way of the future), but because it appears that 95% of the Pixel's web/cloud-based features could be replicated on an Mac or Windows (or Linux) machine, with the additional native features of those other OSs. With Pixel, you're paying a massive premium for the hardware, cloud storage and the fact that its the first laptop released directly by Google (there must be some value in that).
 
It's a pretty machine, but it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  Before the $249 Samsung chromebook and the $199 Acer version, Chrome OS was a niche market.  I bought a windows laptop for less than a $550.  No it isn't state of the art, but it's an i5 processor with 8 GB ram and over 300 GB hard drive.  If I had gone with SSD and an i7, it would probably have cost about $700.  I have to have a windows machine for the work I do, so Chrome wasn't even an option.

Most people that have these (aside from institutions) use them as secondary (or tertiary) machines.  The number of people willing to pay north of $1K for a secondary machine can't be that big.  

On the other hand, if this is the machine that they intend to unite with android at the launch of KLP, this could get really interesting.  (As +Scott Haggerty mentioned above)

Lastly, I completely agree with +Jordan Hurt. Keep up the good work!
 
Looks like a really nice device, but yeah, that price. 
 
Nice writeup +JR Raphael ! I can't afford one, but I'm very interested to see how successful it'll be.
 
I like the 1TB of Google Drive for 3 years ($1800) for free!
 
I'm thinking this is the initial launch deal. Maybe they'll offer it for less $ with less Drive storage eventually.
 
it certainly looks like a nice piece of hardware, but i still think it's really overpriced. for the amount they're asking, i'd expect twice the RAM and a hell of a lot more storage (i mean, let's face it: while 1TB of cloud storage is a nice bonus, it's still pretty painfully slow to upload even moderately large files on most American broadband connections.) i'd much rather have a standard HDD, but a hybrid drive would've been a good compromise. or, given how small SSD's are these days, they probably could've shoehorned both an SSD and HDD in there.

i also fail to really see the utility in having a Gorilla Glass display in this application either, but that's a small nit to pick i suppose.

i am curious about one thing though: since the hardware on this thing seems to be pretty standard laptop fare, i wonder if it'll be possible to install another OS in a dual-boot configuration?
 
I really honestly wish I could. Would be nice to have NFC in it too if this is suppose to be the cream if the crop
 
It's a total non starter at that price
 
newsflash....unlike the NEXUS 4, the new $1,300 Chromebook is not sold out on the Google Play store.  Devices are in stock and available for delivery soon. 
 
and if you watch the video by the guys who designed the PIXEL, then go watch some of the old AAPL videos of Jony Ive from three or four years ago and tell me that some big chunk of Google did not get sucked into the reality distortion field. it's frightening. something just went really really wrong at Google. 
 
+JR Raphael Don't you think it'd make a lot more sense if the Pixel was an Android device? I mean, Google owns a platform made around the concept of touch interface, with a big ecosystem of apps built for touch that are finally starting to be optimized for bigger screens.
The web, at the other side, is mostly still not touch friendly, developers are still beginning to feel the need to optimize their web apps and sites for touch oriented devices and different screen sizes. And, not even Chrome and its extension are touch friendly...
So, don't you think Android (or something based on it) would fit in the Pixel much better than Chrome OS does?
 
I disagree +Lucas Laurindo dos Santos I would not want this to be android, for a couple reasons.
One, android still doesn't have many tablet optimized apps. There's a reason the only popular android tablets are 7 inchers. Apps simply don't scale up that well, and they would look HORRIBLE on a nice screen like this.
Second, chromeOS promotes something that is sorely needed, and that is open Web standards and getting rid of apps. Apps are a shitty way to run a program when it can already be done on the Web. Installing a program onto a machine is the old way, and it WILL go away. Html 5 is the future, and Google is ushering in the future with chromeOS. Even android is the past imo. 
 
I'm slightly confused as to why a cloud-based device needs so much RAM & processing power. What processing are you actually doing on a Chromebook? 
 
+Dale Moore Well, sometimes technology evolves too fast for standards to follow. Actually, Chrome also depends on non-web standard "extensions" to have some extra functionalities, because even with HTML 5, web is still too limited.
Anyway, Android is open source, what means it's open enough not to create a closed ecosystem (like Windows, Mac and iOS did/do) but its APIs can evolve fast enough to follow technology evolution and compete against those closed environments. I do believe in standards and in HTML 5 potential, but standards need time to catch up, and we are in a moment of transitions, experimentations, unsure of how exactly the future of the personal computers will be, and HTML 5 was designed before all this.
Most Android apps are nothing but clients for cloud services, they are cloud apps, the real computing runs on cloud servers. Having a native client, however, has its advantages.
And if you think really really well, Dalvik is not that different from a web browser: both allow one same code to run on multiple platforms, modern JavaScript engines do even some sort of "Just-In-Time Compilation" to speed up code interpretation, just the way Dalvik does. Android apps have to be packaged and installed, but so do Chrome Web Store "apps", don't they? (also not standard...)
I mean, if Google has to develop a lot of workarounds in order to make Web fit in the needs of a modern OS, then what's the difference?

My final point is: today, Android is a reality, it's successful, well accepted, and it can run Chrome as well. So why not?
 
This is how standards get adopted. If Google can make ChromeOS, as is, wildly successful, it will spur developers to coalesce around the platform. In this case, the platform is the Web. When the Web wins, we all win. When closed ecosystems win, we all lose. Android is "open" in the way that kissing your sister is getting to first base. It still locks you in to the platform. It's not the Web. 
 
+Scott Haggerty I don't think it's gonna happen, specially after this announcement, but oh, how I wish it would!!
I was really expecting the rumors of Pixel were about a device that would be announced on Google I/O running Android KLP, the glorious merge of Chrome and Android, specially after they said it was a touch screen device...
That would be awesome, even with this price tag.
I still have some little hope, but it'd not make sense to announce this device now and then announce it'll be upgraded to Android KLP... But well, Google is a bit unpredictable sometimes, so who knows?
 
+Lucas Laurindo dos Santos It'd be pretty awesome if it could boot into both Chrome OS for desktop-like productivity and Android for a more touch-oriented tablet-like experience, but I'm not sure that's really what Google's going for with this platform. Chrome OS is just a very different type of experience than Android; it has its own set of advantages and drawbacks, depending on how you work and what you want to do with the device.
 
+JR Raphael along these lines I'm far more interested in Ubuntu on a phone/tablet that can be docked for the full screen desktop experience.
 
Ya, I am not sure that I would ever pay that kind of money for something so useless...

I guess it really puts a bright spot on Windows 8...
 
+JR Raphael So Google designed this themselves, did they also assemble it? I mean up to now they have always partnered with established manufacturers to 'make' devices (not including the false-started Q,) It seems pretty significant to me if this a fully Google device. Obviously this is not going to be a big seller but if they can make this themselves they can also make a $250 Chromebook and theoretically phones. Basically they are opening the door to becoming a hardware company.
 
+Jack Hodges They designed it in-house and then worked with a Taiwan-based OEM for the actual manufacturing process (but they aren't saying who the OEM is).
 
Ok thanks. That's not much different than what Apple does with Foxcom right? I remember with the Q they were planning on manufacturing it or at least assembling it themselves in the US. 
 
+Jack Hodges Yeah -- same basic concept. The Q was (briefly) manufactured in the U.S., though I don't know that they ever disclosed who specifically was making it (i.e. their own Google-run facility or a contracted third-party).
Bill le
 
i have the $250 one in australia its FANTAZTIC
 
Isn't this the whole reason for the cloud: to NOT have to have a screaming fast machine (hint: expensive)?

Why can't Google make it's Nexus 4 LTE instead of HSPA+ like it is doing with this laptop?

Can you clarify what a power cloud user is? A user that needs to browse multiple .xxx sites at once? This seems ridiculous. I have a multiple windows open on my chrome browser on my Lenovo Yoga (touch screen also) and it is decked out and still cheaper than this chrome computer.

This computer seems awful lame.
 
+Eric Stott Then don't buy it. That's why there's also a $249 lower-end option, as well as a variety of pricing options on other platforms; different people want different things. ;-)
Add a comment...