Who is a Premium Chromebook For?

A leaked video seems to show a high resolution, touchscreen Chromebook with a design reminiscent of a MacBook Pro. Whether this is real or not, it’s interesting to consider whether a premium Chromebook would make sense. It’s to my understanding that a Chromebook is a cheap and cheerful way of getting on the web fast. Any device with that large a high resolution touchscreen display (and a GPU to power it) will not be able to be sustainably sold for under £300. This laptop won’t be cheap, and therefore will turn most prospective buyers away instantly. Some may even argue that if only dealing with the web, a screen with such a high pixel density is pointless – many sites still don’t support ‘retina’ resolution. Furthermore, Chrome OS in its current state isn’t very touch friendly, and from Windows 8 we’ve learnt that the only viable touchscreen laptops are convertibles. From the video, it really doesn’t look like the Chromebook Pixel is at all convertible – It looks like a Samsungesque MacBook clone.

Even if the Chromebook pixel had amazing hardware and an innovative design, would many people buy it? Probably not. If you need to get in and out of the web fast, who needs 4 million pixels, a touchscreen and arm ache?

Update 21/2/13: Google have officially announced the Chromebook Pixel.