We all thought the same thing when we saw the announcement of Chromebook Pixel, didn’t we? Wireless only?! 3:2 screen?! $1299?! What?!
But you have to hand it to Google. They love to stir the pot, think outside the norm, push everyone to look out the window and image “what if”?
What if there was pervasive free or low-cost wireless connectivity outside our homes and offices?
What if mission-critical applications standardized on HTML5 rather than creating device-specific apps or (worse) old-school .EXEs?
What if the cloud was secure enough and easy enough for wider consumer and enterprise adoption?
In that near-Utopian world, the Chromebook Pixel would make perfect sense. But we’re not there yet. Not by a long shot.
Do I think the Chromebook Pixel will be a failure? Absolutely not. While it’s too expensive and requires a commitment to a variety of technologies that, while available, still aren’t ubiquitous, I don’t think that’s the goal here. What Google likes to do is demonstrate the possibilities, throw cash at a problem, and then let their community at it.
As an aspirational product, what the Chromebook Pixel will do is get more people to -think about where a true ‘net book makes sense. And it will likely cause some to take a second look at the $199 and $249 Chromebook, both lower cost alternatives, without some of the bells & whistles, but a relative steal. Count me in that segment.
Well played Google, well played.