Google made an enormous mistake by canning the Pixelbook

OPINION: Google has a repute for nailing huge initiatives after a number of minor bumps within the street. Google Glass and Google Daydream have kicked the bucket in recent times.

And this week, On the sting reported that Google is canceling its subsequent Pixelbook laptop computer and shutting down the crew behind it. Given Google’s observe file, this shouldn’t come as a lot of a shock.

However to be trustworthy, I assumed the favored Pixelbook was one of many few units protected by Google’s guillotine, and I can’t fairly perceive the corporate’s reasoning for stopping it.

The Google Pixelbook was first launched in 2017 and was thought of a premium Chromebook that confirmed different producers that laptops working ChromeOS may supply as a lot fashion because the Home windows clamshell.

It wasn’t good, it featured poor audio system and a worth that was too near high-end Home windows laptops just like the MacBook Air. Nevertheless it was nonetheless an awesome possibility for individuals who just like the simplicity of ChromeOS however crave a premium pocket book.

In my eyes, the follow-up Pixelbook Go was even higher. Google has watered down the specs to present the wearable a extra inexpensive worth, coming in at simply £629. And whereas it’s attainable to seek out even cheaper Chromebooks, few have had such high quality steel development and the choice of a 4K display screen.

There are only a few Home windows laptops that may compete with the Pixelbook at this worth level – solely the Floor Laptop computer Go 2 involves thoughts. However sadly, Google hasn’t up to date the Pixelbook Go since 2020, so it feels a bit dated now.

That’s a disgrace, because it’s a good time for Chromebooks. Qualcomm has made huge strides with its laptop computer processors, seeing wonderful efficiency and energy effectivity for transportable units just like the Acer Chromebook Spin 513. And whereas Google beforehand caught with Intel chips, I don’t see why it couldn’t make a cope with Qualcomm not less than for the bottom configuration.

Top view of a black Pixelbook kept on a white background
Google Pixelbook Go Laptop computer

We’ve additionally began to see high-end options creeping into the Chromebook market. It’s now attainable to see Chromebooks with OLED panels and fingerprint scanners providing an identical expertise to Home windows laptops that price twice as a lot.

ChromeOS has additionally actually advanced through the years and is now an awesome different to Home windows for individuals who desire a extra streamlined working system. The rise of cloud streaming additionally permits Chromebooks to play video games, making them extra versatile than ever.

Since Google solely launched Google Stadia a number of years in the past, it might make a variety of sense for the corporate to push its personal Chromebook as the last word transportable platform for the cloud gaming service.

Home windows laptops additionally appear to be getting costlier. The Honor MagicBook collection was one of many best-priced Home windows laptops available on the market, however the newest MagicBook 14 (2022) mannequin is priced equally to Apple’s MacBook Air. Consequently, I totally count on Chromebooks to develop into a extra common possibility for these unwilling to spend over £1,000 on a laptop computer.

Honor MagicBook 14 (2022)

The Chromebook market appears stronger than ever, so it’s an actual marvel why Google determined to cancel future Pixelbook initiatives. It’s not an awesome look from the corporate that develops ChromeOS.

On the sting famous very nicely that the work on the Pixelbook is completed, as Google most likely solely needed to design it as a method to showcase the potential of future Chromebook laptops. However why cease there?

I’d like to see a foldable Pixelbook or different clamshell with a 4K OLED show at an inexpensive worth – think about what a killer that will be if it got here at an inexpensive worth.

It might be nice to see Google create its personal laptop computer chip, going the best way of the Apple M1. Studies from CNBC urged that Google plans to just do that after unveiling its Google Tensor chip for the Pixel smartphones. However with the Pixelbook wanting scrapped, I’m beginning to query whether or not this Google-made laptop computer chip will ever see the sunshine of day.

I additionally assume that abandoning Pixelbook plans will harm Google’s repute in the long term. It has canned so many {hardware} initiatives at this level that I might be hesitant to ever purchase Google {hardware} sooner or later.

With all that in thoughts, I feel it’s an enormous mistake for Google to cancel its plans for the Pixelbook. However Chromebook followers shouldn’t be too disenchanted as I’m certain the trade will proceed to thrive with firms like Acer, HP, Lenovo and Samsung main the best way.


Ctrl+Alt+Delete is our weekly PC-focused opinion column the place we delve deeper into the world of PCs, laptops, elements, peripherals and extra. Discover it on Trusted Critiques each Saturday afternoon.

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