This week Google announced the Chromebook Pixel. I was personally excited by this announcement; I have been waiting for a premium model since the introduction of the original Chromebooks. The Chromebook Pixel was introduced with a lot of high end specs including:
- 12.85″ display with a 3:2 aspect ratio 2560 x 1700, at 239 PPI
- Touchscreen with Gorilla Glass 3
- Intel Core i5 Processor (Dual Core 1.8GHz)
- Intel HD Graphics 4000 (Integrated)
- Dual-band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n 2×2
- 4 GB DDR3 RAM
- 32 GB Solid State Drive
- Up to 5 hours of active use (59 Wh battery)
The specifications above are very similar to the specifications of an Apple Macbook Air, as is the cost. With the introduction of the Chromebook Pixel, many have commented on the practicality and cost of a premium device.
Many of the comments can be found on a post on TechCrunch. Many of the comments are highlighting the differences between a desktop PC or Mac and the Chromebook Pixel.
For example, one complaint is that ChromeOS is not a “full OS” with access to local applications such as Word, or Photoshop. Chrome is essentially a browser that is available for free on the PC and the Mac.
But these comments miss the point. This product was built to experience the cloud at its best. In Chromebook Review: A Laptop Built for the Cloud I detailed the benefits of the Chromebook. The Chromebook is the first time businesses have seen a low cost, easy to deploy solution for accessing cloud software. Deploying a Chromebook is as simple as giving it to employees and asking them to login with their Google Apps accounts.
By introducing a Chromebook it has built itself, Google is now competing with its suppliers. It did the same thing with the Nexus Phone, which was a showcase Android device that other manufacturers could look to. The same can be said for the Chromebook. They want a device out there that can provide the best experience around Google’s web services.
Google has a very specific strategy here. Yes, Google have released this as a consumer device, and yes it is quite expensive for a product with a very basic operating system. Google has a long term strategy that it has followed before:
- Release consumer products first
- Gather lots of feedback on current models,
- Deliver products derived from the feedback it has received.
I see the Chromebook Pixel as an extra layer in Google’s enterprise and business strategy. They have released the product to the consumer market to find issues and improve the device for eventual business customers.
The Chromebook Pixel is an expensive product but by the time Google releases this as a business product they will have lowered the cost. It will also appear under their managed deployment options which will provide replacement swaps and warranties at a low cost for business.
Business executives will also love this product. Many have been waiting for a premium product to be added to the Chromebook lineup. I am sure that when the Pixel is offered to businesses, the Chromebooks’ general popularity will skyrocket as business execs now have a premium option to choose for themselves.
Image credit: Google