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Google's $199 Laptop for a Blue Christmas

Stocks in this article: GOOG AAPL MSFT AMZN INTC

Wahlman tells us that the $199 Acer/Google Chromebook might fit the bill for "those who do computing-intensive tasks, perhaps gamers."

Really? The Intel (INTC) Celeron processor and 2GB of memory will power "computing" intensity for "gamers?" I'm not sure these specs can effectively handle the arcade version of Pac-Man.

This approach shows that Google has no idea why Apple succeeds with consumers, business and educators. It doesn't produce, using Wahlman's words here, "disposable" products. It churns out aspirational ones that serve multiple purposes for a variety of users at several premium price points.

Wahlman already took care of your holiday shopping list for you: "For Christmas this year, why not buy half a dozen? It's only $1,200 or $1,500 depending on the version. One for each child and relative."

Each "child" or "relative" who receives a $199 or $249 Google Chromebook will respectfully hide the disappointment so many of us fear on Christmas morning when our Moms, Dads, Grandparents, wives or girlfriends fail miserably.

You're more likely to find consumers saving up between now and December so they can buy an iPad and an iPhone or a Macbook.

Somebody who can drop a thousand bucks or more on a device absolutely does not enter the marketplace with the convoluted mindset of buying 12 of the same hardly-sought-after thing. More is not necessarily better; often, it's much worse.

It would be like backing McDonalds (MCD) over Chipotle (CMG) because somebody with $10 can buy 10 hamburgers for every one loaded barbacoa burrito.

People who have the $10 to spare go for quality, wide-ranging utility and social status. They don't slum it.

This isn't fast food. It's not discount retail. Pardon my French, but the entire strategy sucks. It's bad for tech.

And Google can do better. Much better. That's what's makes this even more annoying to watch.

At the time of publication, the author was long AAPL.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.
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