Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Chromebook Pixel Designed to Fail

2012-06-26 09.42.15

It’s funny, but sometimes you’d think that some projects were designed to fail. Take, for example, the Google Chromebook Pixel (not pictured here). It aims to be a handsome, sleek, notebook like the MacBook Air (yes, that’s the one pictured here), yet failing quite miserably. The Chromebook Pixel does quite successfully eclipse the MacBook Air in being more expensive.

Let’s face it. The Chromebook Pixel costs more than the MacBook Air (US$1299 vs US$1199), yet has just a miserable 32GB of local storage, and an OS that depends on the Internet to run. It’s a full-fledged notebook, at least in terms of hardware, but without the software that you’d typically use a notebook for. It should probably be priced like a premium tablet. US$1199 seems pretty much to pay for a notebook that doesn’t work like a notebook.

The stellar hardware specification of the Chromebook Pixel is its retina display resolution of 2560×1700. Apple hasn’t done retina resolution yet on its MacBook Air. Apart from the display, the Chomebook Pixel is pretty much hardware-wise what you’d expect from any other great notebook. Except, well, in its severe lack of local storage. It comes with just 32GB of flash storage in the basic model, although you get 1TB of cloud based storage from Google Drive. A higher-end model with 64GB of flash storage and LTE modem built in carries a US$1449 price tag.

The Chromebook Pixel looks pretty good. Not quite like the way the MacBook Air is, but pretty good enough. It could be a pretty good alternative to the MacBook Air if you like a pretty looking notebook, but aren’t interested in OS X. Or you really think you need the 2560×1700 resolution retina display.

What if being somewhat permanently tethered to the Internet isn’t your cup of tea? Well, you could dump Chrome OS and probably get Linux to run in its place. Or perhaps maybe even Windows. Oh, but the paltry 32GB of flash storage could leave you with little space left after the OS is installed.

See what I mean, I’m not sure what exactly the Chromebook Pixel is good for, or who is the targeted user.

I have, for several times now, seriously considered a Chromebook. I’m still not convinced it could replace my regular notebook.

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