tomorrow, News hit the web that Google had decided to move away from first-party Chromebook hardware and that the Pixelbook team had been laid off. While it’s a huge upset and sad day for Chromebook lovers all around, I get it. Gabriel argued the move in his post and it makes sense if Google Slightly pulling back the reins on personnel resources That Pixelbook-specific team will get the axe.
to repeat what was said in that post, Google doesn’t need to make Pixelbooks for the Chromebook market to grow. As a matter of fact, they have only technically made two Pixelbooks in the 11 year lifespan of ChromeOS and when you count the Chromebook Pixel and Chromebook Pixel LS only make a total of 5 devices together. These are a small number of first-party hardware from the manufacturer of ChromeOS and each was built with the aim of pushing the market in some way or another. When a new Pixelbook is needed again, I’ll bet we’ll see one.
Google’s Chromebooks Had Special Sauce
With the wide variety of Chromebooks on the market at the moment and a large number of models still on the way in 2022 alone, there’s no real concern about Chromebook options dwindling anytime soon. Like with the Bold, Advanced Chromebook HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook and excellent mid-range options like acer chromebook spin 513, There is likely to be a Chromebook model that fits your needs.
So what was it about the Chromebook Pixel, Pixelbook, and Pixelbook Go that stood out? What was it about those laptops that garnered so much attention and praise? None of them had the most high-end specs compared to devices released in the same time frame. They didn’t have any tricks or tricks that were shocking and they didn’t run proprietary software that you can’t find on any other Chromebook. So why were they special at all?
i think the answer comes down to Aesthetics and attention to detail. Google seemed to always choose form over function with its first-party Chromebooks, and you not only saw it: you could feel it, too. To this day, the Pixelbook Go is a joy to pick up and use and the original Pixelbook still looks like a laptop that could have debuted in 2022 (if you ignore the bezels). The build quality isn’t just good: it’s great. The look and feel isn’t just unique: it’s class-leading.
Like other Google hardware (think Pixel phones, Nest Hub, etc.), these devices weren’t perfect, but they felt considered. They are felt tested, thoughtfully designed, and carefully crafted. It was like an entire team was just thinking about things like the feel of the hand, the look at the desk, and the strength of the material. The only other laptops I can draw parallels are Microsoft’s Surface devices and Apple’s MacBooks. Like Google’s own Chromebooks, those devices are in a different class when it comes to aesthetics, looks, quality and attention to small details.
Manufacturers need to step up
Now that Google seems to have completely run out of space – at least for the time being – what We need to see if some manufacturers are stepping into the gap. Although devices like the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook are a solid step in that direction, they still lack the fit and finish offered by Google in its devices. Call it a gut feeling or just a penchant for better things, but I’ve yet to pick a single Chromebook (or Windows laptop for that matter) that compares with the build quality of Google’s Chromebook, Apple’s MacBook, or Microsoft’s Surface device. match.
If that was the end of the story, I’d accept the fact that most laptop makers are either incompetent or indifferent to such high-end quality. But I don’t think it happens, And I think there may be more to the Chromebook space because of the way Google has invested in and is involved in the Chromebook market as a whole.
Unlike Windows laptops, Google really gets into Every single Chromebook which is sold. To varying degrees, they have their hands on each one, and that means they can help makers who aspire to do the same to build better Chromebooks. The HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is a perfect example: by HP’s admission, Google was very involved in the creation of that laptop and it really excels. It has all kinds of fun features and sets it apart from the rest of the lineup because it’s the best overall Chromebook you can buy right now.
But I can tell from handling it for weeks at this point that Google probably helped with the internals of this Chromebook, but not the exteriors. The Dragonfly feels great and is solidly built, but it lacks the attention to detail, fit, and finish that you’ll find in a first-party Google product. Is HP disabled for this? Don’t they care about that last detail in their laptop? I bet it isn’t, but They can use some help and constructive criticism from Google’s hardware team to take a device like Dragonfly from great to seriously amazing.
Perhaps some hardware OEM can step up where the Pixelbook left off and decide that they will make not only high-performance Chromebooks, but also high-end ones. Can Acer, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Dell or ASUS team up with Google and make a Pixelbook-esque device? It shouldn’t have the Pixelbook name or special Google branding, but it could be marketed as a device built in partnership with Google or something similar.
I think if consumers knew that there were some high-end alternatives out there that Google helped craft in a more Pixelbook-like way, they’d be less concerned about whether Google was making a new Chromebook or not. No more interested in it. Instead those devices. At the end of the day, people weren’t interested in Pixelbooks for their features or performance: it was all about content quality, feel, and look. Those are obstacles other OEMs can certainly overcome, and if they do, I think solid sales numbers can come from it.
Will we ever see something like this? It’s unclear for now, but with the Pixelbook exiting the scene, I think it will be well received. In the consumer market, in particular, when we look at the top end of the spectrum there is a slight hole. We have high-end Chromebooks in the enterprise sector, but not on the shelf at Best Buy. We don’t need a ton of devices out there, but a mature market needs some, especially with the void left by this latest news from Google. While the middle ground is certainly the meat and potatoes of the Chromebook market, there’s room for success even at the top. Here’s hoping we see some of the contenders as soon as possible.