By now you have undoubtedly heard that the Chromebook Pixel is real and on sale, that’s why I’m here to tell you to not waste your money on buying one of these computers by Google. The Chromebook Pixel features a 12.85-inch touch-screen display, which is also high-res (2560 x 1700), is powered by an Intel i5 processor running at 1.8GHz, packs in 4 GB of DDR3 RAM, and has a 32 GB solid state drive for storage. Other notable features include a backlit keyboard and 1 TB of free Google Drive storage.
But at what cost? Well, $1299 for the WiFi only model, or $1499 for the WiFi+LTE model (which also comes with a 64GB solid state drive).
Despite the Chromebook Pixel looking pretty sleek, with its beautiful touch display, it’s just not worth the price tag. The thing you have to remember is, the Chromebook Pixel is strictly a web-based computer, it runs Chrome OS, meaning you won’t be using apps in the traditional sense. You’ll be using web apps and websites. First, it’s usually traditional apps that are optimized to take advantage of high quality displays such as Apple’s retina display, in fact, most websites probably won’t look that good on the display (if you don’t believe me, check out a website that isn’t optimized for Retina devices on a iPad with Retina display or a Retina MacBook Pro).
The second major issue with the Chromebook Pixel comes down to a reality check, when are you ever going to take advantage of that touch display when working on the web? My guess is not often (in reality), especially since its main source of input is a keyboard, remember it’s a computer — not a tablet. This type of form factor (a computer/laptop with a touch screen) has never been very popular for a reason, it’s just not ideal.
And let’s not forget that I previously wrote about how HP’s Chromebook is everything a Chromebook shouldn’t be, and really, Google’s new Chromebook Pixel is in the same ballpark of “why would anyone buy this?” For web-only computers, Chromebooks should be cheap and do one thing really well: allow people to surf the web and access web apps. When you use the Chromebook Pixel, there is no Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, or anything that really requires the kind of power that’s available in this computer. Now that may change in the future, but we’re still not there yet and won’t be anytime soon, at least not in the current Chromebook Pixel’s iteration.
And if those reasons weren’t enough, you can pick up a MacBook Pro with Retina display for $1499 or a Surface Pro for $899, both of which can do much more than the Chromebook Pixel.
If you want a Chromebook look into the Samsung Chromebook, which starts at $249.