The Pixel – Google’s $1,300 Chromebook Web Appliance

pixel-copySporting a sleek, stylish design and the most impressive stats you can imagine for a web appliance, Google launched The Pixel to largely negative reviews in the mainstream tech media.

A mere 16.2mm thick and weighing in a tick over 3 pounds the Pixel sports a 13 in display with a .55mm layer of Gorilla Glass bonded to the screen. The keyboard is backlit and the trackpad is made from the same hardened glass as the screen. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the dazzling 2560×1700 resolution screen with almost five hours of battery life at your disposal.

The biggest ding on the The Pixel seems to be that it has limited utility when not connected to the internet. Other criticisms, like the limited utility of the touchscreen, are common to notebooks and laptops as Microsoft discovered with Windows 8.

While there’s a temptation to pile on Google for creating an over-priced web appliance with limited utility, I would remind readers that the likes of AT&T and Comcast mocked Google Fiber when the concept was first announced and yet there are people praying to Google shrines across the country, pleading for the day when Google’s internet and entertainment service is available in their area.

If you look across the technology landscape internationally, the trend toward internet appliances is very much intact, particularly in countries like Japan where the appliance trend started. While this product may be a bit out in front of the market in the U.S., I’d be willing to bet that the future of laptops and notebook computers look more like the Pixel than the laptop you have on your desk today.

Still, when you can get a MacBook Air with a 13.3 in display for $200 less, I’m going to guess the Pixel is going to be, at best, a niche market product with limited potential for sales. All the same I’m keeping an open mind; the tech landscape is littered with the bodies of companies underestimating the big G.