Would You Pay $1,299 for a Touchscreen Chromebook?

Paul Lilly

Google's Chromebook Pixel sports a touchscreen display with a 2560x1700 resolution.

It's not entirely clear what Google is thinking by launching a $1,299 Chromebook . Oh, haven't you heard? Google on Thursday unveiled the Chromebook Pixel , essentially a high-octane Chromebook with a 13.3-inch touchscreen display and 2560x1700 resolution. Google says it's the highest resolution of any notebook in its class, but that luxury doesn't come cheap, as it's also the highest priced Chromebook to date.

Google's strategy is curious. The Chromebook, built around Google's cloud-based Chrome OS, is an intriguing platform, though it's never been a very popular one. Why? Part of the reason is the dependency on cloud versus local storage. Perhaps the bigger reason, however, was the price tag. The Chromebook first debuted when netbooks were still a category, only netbooks were cheaper and better equipped.

It wasn't until netbooks were dead that Google finally came to its senses and encouraged third-party partners to release affordable Chromebooks. Samsung was the first to answer the call with a $249 model , and Acer responded with a $199 Chromebook . At long last, it finally made sense to consider a Chromebook, so of course Google followed suit by launching a model that costs $1,110 more than the cheapest alternative.

Wait, what? To be fair, the Chromebook Pixel is packing some horsepower. It has either an Intel Core i5 3427U or i5 3337U processor (Google simply lists it as Core i5 dual-core chip clocked at 1.8Ghz). The CPU is flanked by 4GB of DDR3 memory, 32GB or 64GB of onboard storage, dual-band Wi-Fi, LTE (optional), two USB 2.0 ports, SD/MMC card reader, HD webcam, Bluetooth 3.0, and premium features like custom tuned speakers with a DSP and aluminum construction.

Mashable posted a hands-on look at the Chromebook Pixel if you want to see the touchscreen in action. It's admittedly pretty slick, but even with the ultra high-resolution display and upgraded internals, are buyers ready to plunk down $1,299 (32GB, Wi-Fi) or $1,499 (64GB, Wi-Fi/LTE) for a Chromebook? Would you?

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