Google's Chromebook Pixel has two killer features that MacBooks don't. Maybe it's time for Apple to rethink the MacBook concept.
The 3.3-pound Google Chromebook Pixel sports a 12.85-inch, 2,560x1,700-pixel display and an Intel Core i5 processor. (Credit: Stephen Shankland/CNET)
By Brooke Crothers
Thank you, Google. For obsoleting my MacBook.
Question: What two killer hardware features are missing on MacBooks? My answer: a touch screen and 4G.
What a coincidence. Just what Google is offering on the Chromebook Pixel. And in a package that comes close to matching the MacBook's aesthetics.
Not everyone may agree with that. Take the laptop flat-earthers. They will say touch is stupid (or "pointless" as one columnist said) on a laptop. Yeah right, just like the mouse was a stupid idea.
Then there's Apple's your-arm-wants-to-fall-off on vertical touch surfaces excuse. That will eventually give way to a touch-screen MacBook of some sort. You heard it here first.
The point is, Google knows (they're not stupid) that touch is important on a laptop. As does Microsoft (Windows 8 and Surface). That leaves Apple in Luddite land.
4G: And some might say that a Chromebook needs 4G more than a MacBook because the Chromebook is so immersed in the cloud. Hmm, my MacBook spends lots of time in the cloud too. And the last time I used it on the road, I was constantly hauling out my Verizon MiFi or running down my iPhone's battery with the Personal Hotspot. Come on, LTE belongs in a laptop.
And the operating system? I believe that cool hardware is the first step in luring consumers to a new operating environment.
While Chrome OS is still a work in progress (and lacks key features that many users need), with the success of Android, I do think it's possible that an improved Chrome OS combined with a second-generation Chromebook Pixel could reel in more consumers.