Rumors had been going around cyberspace after news emerged Google was going to hold a news event on Thursday morning. While there wasn’t any official word from the tech giant regarding what they would announced, speculation was rampant that a touchscreen Chrome device would be unveiled. And boy did it prove to be true. This was exactly the objective of the press conference as Google unveiled the new Chrome touchscreen laptop.
This is another step in the right direction for Google as it looks to consolidate its position in the gadgets’ market. After having seen off competition from mobile devices and also the threats to its status as the leading search engine, Google is in a position to consolidate and that is what it seems to be doing. Called the Chromebook Pixel, the device is a high-end one and costs a steep $1,299. This is only for the Wi-Fi exclusive version. A $1,449 model that carries built-in LTE wireless connectivity is also going to be sold.
According to the latest reports about the Chromebook Pixel, the LTE version is expected to go on sale from April. Verizon Wireless would be offering specially priced packages for people who own a Chromebook Pixel. Still, the device is a departure from the usual Chrome devices. Firstly, none of the existing gadgets feature touchscreen technology. Moreover, none of them is priced as highly. You can buy a Chrome device for as low as $199 but Google seems to have shunned the low-price approach.
For now, Google plans to sell their new Chrome device through its own Google Play store online. The computers would also be available through Best Buy with consumers getting the chance to test them before purchasing. However, they would have to convince people to part with the kind of cash they are asking for. After all, people would demand value for money and unless the Chromebook Pixel provides that, the average person wouldn’t want to spend any money on it.
More significantly, this is the first move by Google that shows it is making the most of its acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Having paid billions of dollars for the company, Google might be expecting to recover a large chunk of the amount through the new Chromebook Pixel. There is still the risk though that the device might suffer the same fate as the much hyped Nexus Q. Despite being touted as a cutting edge music streaming gadget, the Nexus Q failed upon release so much so that Google had to pull it.
One thing which Google cannot ignore is that several other leading gadget makers are working on laptops which can be operated by gestures alone. Unveiling a touchscreen laptop at this juncture might not generate the kind of buzz expected of a new top of the line device. The reaction from critics and most importantly the public would only become clearer in the days to come. Till then, Google can work on promoting the Chromebook Pixel and ensure people line up to buy it when it finally goes up for sale.