Who'll pay for a Pixel?

chromebook pixel

It's the best-looking and most useful device ever designed and manufactured by Google. Then again the Chromebook Pixel is also the first piece of hardware that Google has ever produced under its own steam.

It is a very lovely machine - but after trying one out for a few hours I'm bemused as to who would really pay £1049 for a laptop which has some serious limitations.

The Pixel, which Google says has the best screen with the highest pixel density of any on the market, is a great showcase for the search company's Chrome OS.

And a light, touchscreen laptop which leaps into action the moment you open it might perhaps provide competition for Apple's MacBook Air or any of the Windows Ultrabooks.

Test-driving the Pixel


For a very short visual overview of the Chromebook Pixel, click on the link below.

We're experimenting with a video platform called Tout - and this is one of my early efforts.

It also comes with huge amounts of cloud storage - a terabyte for three years - which Google says would cost you $1,800 alone, making the Pixel a bargain.

But then you have to consider the limitations of the Chrome OS - it's great if your life is in the "Cloud" and you want an always-online machine whose main function is email, web surfing and social media, but limited if you want to use other applications.

If you want to make a movie using a high-end video editing application,or play online games, then you will not find the Pixel much use.

Granted - many people won't need those capabilities, but then they would probably be happy with a tablet computer for half the price.

For more than £1000 most of us might expect an all-purpose machine, so it is hard to see this flying off the shelves.

But maybe that is not the point for a company that has so much money it can afford to have a few hobby products.

The process of designing and manufacturing the Pixel will have taught Google a lot about the hardware business - and with products like Google Glass on the horizon, that knowledge could prove very useful.

Rory Cellan-Jones Article written by Rory Cellan-Jones Rory Cellan-Jones Technology correspondent

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  • Comment number 104.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 103.

    If you use your laptop for any sort serious business type operations like Excel or Access then its useless. Also most companies would never save data in the "cloud" in other words external servers, very dangerous.

    Nope apart from the "social" media and web surfing the thing is useless.

  • rate this

    Comment number 102.

    @Joe (98),

    Hi Joe,

    I live in Finchampstead and BT have been rolling out infinity for the past few months so maybe worth checking out when yours will be enabled as I had to chase them after finding out from a neighbour (even though I registered with them to find out when it was available). I take your point though, I have a £300 laptop that I can play games on.

  • rate this

    Comment number 101.

    Right product, but at the wrong time and price.
    At some point in the near future, the thought of not being connected to the cloud wherever we are, will seem as unlikely as having a power cut. Yes, it happens, but so rarely as to be irrelevant.
    Fast forward to that time, and see this product for a couple of hundred pounds, and you've just seen the future for a lot of hardware.

  • rate this

    Comment number 100.

    It seems every time Rory submits a comment enabled blog, a certain proportion of people feel the need to either criticise the BBC, or Rory personally, for bias, inaccuracy etc. Don't get it myself. I'm generally tired of the righteous indignation of some people that seems to inhabit the web.
    Its boring.


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