This is the first Google-designed laptop. not one that was farmed out to a partner like Acer or Samsung. And Google has upped the ante, adding a high-res touch-screen. with a pixel density greater than that of Apple’s vaunted Retina screens, and a real Intel Core i5 processor. But the 3.3-pound Pixel also has a high-end sticker price: it starts at a whopping $1,299. That goes to $1,449 for the step-up model, which adds a built-in 4G LTE cellular modem
Pricing starts at a lofty $1,299; Web-based Chrome OS requires you to be online to do most tasks. Web apps can’t yet compare to most Windows or Mac software, especially for mediacentric activities like video. Despite impressive hardware specs and solid industrial design, the Chromebook Pixel’s high price and cloud OS limitations make it impossible to recommend for the vast majority of users.
The slick-looking, Intel-powered Google Chromebook Pixel combines the touch screen support of Windows 8 with the MacBook Pro’s high-res Retina display. It also includes three years of free 1TB cloud storage, and has a 4G LTE option.
For die-hard denizens of the cloud, this may look to be the ultimate online-only laptop. But like its less-expensive predecessors, the Chromebook Pixel comes with a long list of caveats all of which are amplified by its high price. The screen is gorgeous, but, unlike Windows 8, which has been designed to interact well with touch the Chrome OS itself is not particularly touch-friendly right now
Until Google can provide a Web app ecosystem that’s as robust as the vast software libraries for Mac and Windows, and a cloud-based architecture that’s as convenient as working on your local hard drive, this sort of high-end Chromebook is going to remain a tough sell.