Google Chromebook Pixel: Justify the cost by considering the extras

February 21, 2013
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Google officially announced the Chromebook Pixel and despite the decent set of specs, it is hard to ignore the price tag. We covered the Chromebook Pixel here in this post, however for those who missed that -- the price is $1,299 for the Wi-Fi only model and $1,499 for a model equipped with LTE. The LTE model also has double the storage as compared to the Wi-Fi only model, but that is beside the point. The point here is that these are some expensive Chromebooks.

There are some that felt the current line of Chromebooks were expensive given they are basically a browser and, when you bump that price up to well over a grand -- that must become almost unthinkable. And yes, we realize the specs are supposed to make up for that price bump. Still, we are talking Chrome OS here. Price ranting aside, lets shift the focus over to trying to justify the cost.

We saw this done with the previous model Chromebooks. Trying to justify the price by adding in the extra perks. The Chromebook Pixel includes two freebies -- GoGo Inflight Internet and Google Drive cloud storage. We realize the GoGo access may not be as good for those who rarely travel, however that is a $168 perk (based on a GoGo Inflight all-day pass cost of $14). The other and the more beneficial here is the Drive storage. Those who purchase the Chromebook Pixel will get 1TB of free storage for three years. This amount of storage is $49.99, which when looked at over the cost of three years is $1,799.64.

Granted, we couldn't logically say that you should buy the Chromebook Pixel just because of the free storage. But if you happen to have a 1TB account with Google or have been considering upgrading to that -- the Chromebook Pixel may be worthy of consideration. After all, the storage when combined with the GoGo comes to $1,967.64. Not a bad deal in that respect. Nonetheless, even when justifying the cost by considering the extras, it somehow may feel nicer to buy multiple regular Chromebooks and give them away to friends and family. But really, that last thought only comes because we are not using 1TB of Google Drive storage.


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  • Mike Kitzman

    It may sound like a nice argument for the price, but remember, that it is free for 3 years. That is admittedly a decent amount of time, but Google wants you start putting your stuff in the Google drive, and over three years you could put a lot of stuff in a terabyte. However, once that three years is up, and you have been using it, you are more likely to continue using it, rather than dump so you start paying for a subscription. Maybe not the full terabyte subscription, but even a lesser one gives Google more money. I don’t really think that you can justify the cost of this Ultrabook by saying that they give you free stuff. It isn’t free, they want to hook you into an eventual subscription.

    I find this chromebook a bit hard to swallow.

    • Bob Bigellow

      In three years, you just buy another high end Chromebook and if it comes with a TB of storage for 3 years, you’re good to go.

      Or, if in 3 years, Google Fiber is available in your area, you get a free TB with that as well.

      I think the argument being made here is that if you ALREADY put a lot into the cloud, or plan to soon, you may be better off buying this device than to spend the next 3 years paying $49.99 per month and getting nothing else out of it than storage.

      There are plenty of people who are heavily invested in the cloud and are already paying heavily for cloud storage. For that same $49.99 per month, Dropbox only gives you 500 MB. So, Google Drive is already an inexpensive form of cloud storage for those already invested in the cloud and Chromebooks are for those already invested in the cloud. Anyone who will get a high end Chromebook must be heavily invested in the cloud, so this is simply a product being marketed to the likely candidates for such a product. This isn’t Mercedes trying to convince farmers to buy their tractors. This is a high end cloud device providing an option to those who are already invested heavily in the cloud.

  • Matt

    Agreed, Mike. Considering past releases of the Chromebook (the $249 version, for example), the main different between those and the Pixel is the screen. Granted, it is a very nice screen, but is it worth $1,000? Not to me.