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Google announced its high-end and high-priced Chromebook Pixel today. They're not gunning for the mainstream market, which is good, because the mainstream market won't be interested in a combination of its $1299 price and Chrome OS limitations like no iTunes. Most interesting to me is the phenomenal screen -- Retina-grade resolution, great color and brightness, and multitouch too boot. The $1499 model comes with Verizon LTE 4G networking but only in the USA. Here's my hands-on:
David Jacobowitz's profile photoBud Gibson's profile photoArvid Bux's profile photoStephen Shankland's profile photo
"Touch is a game changer over time. Over time I ended up using it more and more. I'm an old dog to which new tricks can be taught," Pichai said. For his daughter, "touch became the primary mode of input" for operations that ordinarily would use a mouse or trackpad."

I think we are raising a new generation of children who are going to be totally touch-oriented because they grew up with tablets but I am still happy using a mouse and keyboard. 
I feel like a huge part that people aren't talking about is the 1TB of Google Drive space that's included for 3 years... that's typically not cheap!  (on a side note, Google Music is better than iTunes anyways!)
What about the price point? Fine you have touch but for $200 more you get Macbook pro, an actual OS.
Great write up. Just ordered mine. Hope to get it soon. 
Where I find myself wanting to use touch is with my external monitor at my standing desk. I've actually tried to do gestures on it once or twice even thought it's not a touch screen.

That said, on the laptop, I have consistently found it more convenient to just use the trackpad and have never attempted to use touch on it (which isn't possible anyway).
+Tau-Mu Yi I beg to differ. For me the best thing about Retina/HiDPI screens is text, and that looks great on any Web page out there. With Apple's Retina-display products on the market for awhile, too, I find more and more graphics looking good on the Web. Among the ones I appreciate are Google Maps (tons of fine detail), YouTube (can take a lot more bandwidth though) and of course

The responsive design people are hard at work in the Web world and I expect nicer graphics to spread rapidly this year.

Re. touch, every page out there can be used with touch already -- just not necessarily multitouch. You can scroll and click "OK" buttons on the screen and all that stuff you can do with a mouse pointer. If I were buying a new machine tomorrow, I wouldn't pay extra for a touch screen, but it does work and probably is a future inevitability. Bring on the greasy fingerprints!
Although in some ways you're comparing the Chromebook Pixel with the MacBook Pro, I think the comparison in practice is with a different Chromebook. I don't think anyone other than a Chromebook convert will look twice at the Pixel unless they're well funded and curious. Thus I think the real competition is other Chromebooks.
+Stephen Shankland any thoughts on whether they are actually going after small businesses....the fact that they are bundling 1TB of free memory for three years. That alone would offset the high cost. The machine would be practically free over a three year period.
+Rajiv Vyas I'm not sure typical small businesses would be that enchanted given the price and Chrome OS limits. You do get 100GB of Google Drive for three years with the cheaper Chromebooks. 
Interesting machine. That price is not going to work, though.

Also, I think it's going to be a nichey person who wants that wonderful display but does not want to run proper imaging apps (PS, LR, etc).
I think pure web content production might work here. It's not for creation of art or high end photo editing.

But the VAST majority of photos published today are not undergoing any kind of high end editing. Further I suspect that a fair dose of those that are would actually look just as good as jpeg's directly out of the camera with a filter applied.
+David Jacobowitz Having used a MacBook Pro with a Retina display for several months, I hate going to any other screen. It's fantastic for photo editing (except that pixel-peeping operations like sharpening, noise reduction, and focus check actually are harder, because by definition the pixels are indistinguishable). But honestly, that's only a small part of what I do. I really appreciate the HiDPI lifestyle with text, text, text, and I spend hours a day staring at text. Also, graphics on HiDPI sites like Google Maps, Tumblr, and Facebook look much better.

In other words, high-resolution displays are well worth paying for IMO even if you're just consuming content.

That said, I think the Chromebook Pixel is chiefly suited for the high end of the market of Chromebook converts. In that sense it doesn't directly compete against a traditional PC. I agree the pricing isn't going to work for the vast majority of computer buyers (the $249 Samsung Chromebook is vastly more compelling there -- it's cheap enough that it's justifiable as a second machine). But within the  Chromebook segment, it's really fricking sweet.
+Stephen Shankland I think you are the target market for this product right now, and it makes sense. At a price point between $800 and $1000 I bet they'd get you.
+Bud Gibson For $800 I'd seriously consider it, if I needed a second computer. I use Chromebooks for hours a day often, and the approach works for me as long as I also have a traditional computer for Skype, iTunes, Spotify, Photoshop, Lightroom, and some other stuff. For $1300, I doubt I'd pull the trigger even with the great screen. That's a new lens on my camera...
+Arvid Bux Oh, thanks, I obviously need to try that. There hasn't been much point with crappy Chromebook speakers so far, but they're reasonably good on the Pixel.
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