Chromebook Pixel: Is the large price tag justified?

Google recently launched its first in-house built laptop, the Chromebook Pixel, but as a cloud-centric laptop priced at over a £1000, is anyone crazy enough to buy it?

Google recently launched its first in-house built laptop, the Chromebook Pixel, but as a cloud-centric laptop priced at over a £1000, is anyone crazy enough to buy it?

The laptop certainly looks premium with a solid construction that demonstrates superbly the advantages of an in-house built device. The Pixel is finished in a smooth gunmetal casing, unblemished by screws or markings, that when closed becomes an elegant slab that is both thin [16.2mm thick] and not too heavy [1.52kg], thinner than a MacBook Air and just 0.44kg heavier.

The chassis’ sleek build is largely thanks to its cloud-based OS and storage configurations, coming equipped with only 32GB of internal hard drive space. The Pixel does come with a healthy 1TB of cloud storage on Google Drive, though this remains free for only three years, any longer and you’ll have to fork out more money. Google Drive’s terms of service has also been well reported as rather outrageous, and though doesn’t strip users of document ownership, as was widely misinterpreted on its release, does require the user’s consent to possible uses of said documents, in for example an advert. 

Any upload will indefinitely give Google license to said upload, so it might not be a great idea to save those half naked pictures of yourself at Kavos last year to the cloud, not unless you’re willing to potentially be all over the internet that is.

On the Pixel, Chrome OS works and looks better than ever. With an Intel Core i5 Processor [dual core, clocked to 1.8GHz] and 4GB of RAM the OS is quick and responsive. The device’s best feature, given its name unsurprisingly is, the 12.85 inch high-resolution touchscreen display, which is aided by an integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 card to create the most impressive retina-like display seen on any laptop to date with a resolution of 2560 x 1700 [239 PPI and a total of 4.3 million pixel].

For those who don’t want to leave grubby finger prints all over their brand new high-resolution display the laptop comes with a receptive glass trackpad, not dissimilar to those on Apple’s MacBook range. The backlit keyboard is also finished in a similar Apple-styled black plastic. Other features include two USB ports, mini display port, SD/MMC card reader, a 720p HD webcam, dual band WIFI, Bluetooth 3.0, and optional LTE [available around April if you’re willing to pay a little extra].

All in all the Chromebook Pixel is an impressively constructed laptop, that although offers some premium features, most notably the high-resolution touchscreen display, fails to live up to its large price tag. Sat alongside its competitors, the Pixel’s specifications aren’t particularly extraordinary. If you’re willing to lose out on display quality you can pick up a similarly equipped 13” MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. If you’ve set your mind on a Chromebook HP, Samsung and Acer offer cloud-based laptops with great features at much friendlier and reasonable prices. 

Ultimately with the Pixel I’m left wondering how Google could possibly justify the £1,049 price tag. Is the laptop’s chassis made of a rare metal? No. Is the glass trackpad handmade? No. In the end if anybody does end up buying the Pixel, that’s exactly what he or she will be doing, paying by the pixel, and for me, though the display is striking, the price just isn’t warranted.   

If you’re still crazy enough to buy it the Chromebook Pixel is available to buy now at £1,049 [Wi-Fi only model] over at the Google Play store.

What do you think of the Chromebook Pixel? What is your experience with it? If you don’t own one, would you buy it? Have your say in the comments section below, on Facebook or on Twitter.