Google takes on Apple with Chromebook Pixel, touchscreen and all

Uses will also get 12 free session of GoGo Inflight internet, 100MB of mobile broadband a month for two years from Verizon in the U.S., with a data plan of course.


The U.K. and U.S. will both see the Wi-Fi version, though Google is gifting just the States with an LTE variant. Both models are available for today through the Google Play Store and will be available soon through Google expects the Wi-Fi version to start shipping next week and LTE will hit the U.S. in April.

Price wise Google is marking the Wi-Fi version at $1,299/UK£1,049 and the LTE flavor $1,449. Cost reflects local storage capacities - 32GB for Wi-Fi only and 64GB in LTE.

The clear comparison on the cost front is against the MacBook Air, which Apple charges US$999 for the 11-inch version and $1,199 for the 13 inch.

However, though more expensive, Google justified the Pixel's price with its extra offerings.

"One terabyte of drive, that's very expensive, and that's included as well," Pichai said.

"That's not a straight forward comparison," he continued. "Air doesn't have high resolution or touch, and what you're getting from hardware is far superior."

Connected world

Programs are essentially like web apps, and the whole system is designed to be responsive and secure, although functionality does become limited when you're away from an internet connection.

Google's move into hardware is fascinating – attacking the homeland of Microsoft and former friend Apple.

Google Glass and partnerships with major hardware manufacturers on Nexus phones and tablets has illustrated the companies desire to provide not only software and services, but the devices on which it can run.

With Apple slowly cutting Google out of its own devices, and Microsoft also moving into making its own kit with things like the Surface, it's clear that controlling the products end to end is potentially vital.

Even if Pixel doesn't become a hit Google will still need hardware, and designing its own devices will make sure that it stays in the game.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.