What do you get when you combine Windows 8 touchscreen support with high-res Retina display? A Chromebook. Google's newest Chromebook, the Pixel, delivers the best of both of these worlds. This is a sleek looking laptop that has a responsive touchscreen and plenty of great features. What it doesn't have is a good price.
Since the price of the Pixel is, likely, the first thing that you'll notice, let's start there. Google is selling the Pixel and all its touchscreen wonderfulness for just over $1200. That's MacBook Pro territory. Then again, this laptop does have a lot to offer, so a price tag that's on the high side might (might) work here.
But, let's not forget what the Chromebook is all about. You have to be online to complete most tasks when you use this laptop. There's also the web app situation. The web apps available right now can't really compete with the likes of Mac or Windows software options. Keep the online and app factors in mind when considering that price tag. Let's move on.
Inside the Pixel
You will get one year of free 1TB cloud storage when you purchase a Pixel. This laptop also comes with a 4G LTE option that's worth considering. You will also get an Intel Core i5 processor, and the first laptop that was really made by Google (not outsourced to another company for Google).
Is all of this worth that price? Well, it depends on what you want out of the Chromebook. This laptop is a great buy if you want to stay online all the time. However, you won't be able to run standard programs like Office or Photoshop, so this is absolutely not the laptop for you if you want something more the norm. The Pixel does come with Google's alternatives to Photoshop and Office (Google Docs and Pixlr Express), but those are not yet comparable.
The Screen Saves It
Google has taken Apple's legendary Retina display, and combined that display with a touchscreen that's highly responsive and beautiful to use. This is a 12.85-inch, 2,560x1,700-pixel display, folks. It's also easy to use the touchscreen, which is definitely an added bonus.
The Pixel also has a SD Card Slot, Mini Display Port, two USB 2.0 ports, and microphone-headphone jack. No USB 3.0 port? Nope; not yet, and this might be a tie-breaker for some people (especially since you can purchase a $300 alternative with a USB 3.0 port).
A Real Option?
Is the Chromebook Pixel a real option in the laptop market, though? Some reviewers are pointing to Google's first laptop as an experiment of sorts. Or, something that works great as a second laptop. It's also a device worth considering if you don't want to use any traditional software, and you don't mind staying online all the time.
Otherwise, the Pixel is a really nice looking touchscreen laptop that needs some improvements. Google has done something really interesting here, but it's not quite enough -- not yet. Google is definitely getting into the game, though, so expect to see more laptops like this one (only better) from Google soon.