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Google Launches the Bugatti of Laptops

Stocks in this article: GOOG MSFT AAPL HPQ

Google Pixel basically says "Look, this is a laptop first, and as such there is zero compromise in the traditional laptop ergonomics. The touch interface is a nice extra capability that can evolve over time. Have fun with it." This is totally the right approach at this stage of the market.

No Apple laptop offers embedded cellular data connectivity (LTE), and aside from a rare couple of tablet exceptions, neither do the Windows 8 laptops. Google Pixel has you covered with Verizon LTE.

In essence, Google Pixel marries the best of Apple -- the Retina display -- with the best of the Windows 8 touchscreen capability, but it subtracts the horrible Windows interface, and bests them both with a 3:2 aspect ratio and a superior operating system, Chrome OS. Smackdown!

Google also drops the storage neutron bomb right onto Microsoft's and Apple's dining table. The Google Pixel includes 1 terabyte of cloud storage, for 3 years. Yes, you read that right -- 1 terabyte. You can access and share that giant 1 terabyte across all your PCs, laptops and smartphones.

How much does Apple and Microsoft charge for storage on their equivalent services, iCloud and SkyDrive? Apple says $100 for 50 gig and Microsoft says $50 for 100 gig Microsoft says $50 for 100 gig . In other words, 1 terabyte would cost $2,000 per year for Apple, and $500 per year for Microsoft.

For 3 years, that's $6,000 for Apple and $1,500 for Microsoft. In other words, the cloud storage alone costs more on Apple and Microsoft than Google charges for the entire Pixel laptop plus the storage! Google basically gives you this Bugatti-grade laptop FOR LESS THAN ZERO with purchase of 3 years of 1 terabyte storage.

In other words, the Google Pixel may have a price tag of $1,449, but its real cost is less than zero when compared to the competition's cloud storage pricing.

Still, what is the REAL reason Google bothered designing this record-breaking laptop, even though Google is effectively giving it away for free with the purchase of some cloud storage?

There are two reasons for this: 1. Google needed to bring to market an initial "hero" device that would inspire developers and other laptop makers -- Samsung, Acer, HP (HPQ), Lenovo and others -- to ditch Microsoft and increase their bets on Google as the new touch PC standard. This initial touchscreen reference PC -- the Google Pixel -- may not sell in the many millions, but it is what it will spawn that will be more important. 2. Make no mistake about it, this means that a Google tablet based on Chrome OS is coming, probably in well under 18 months from now. Such a tablet could be made very inexpensively, while providing superior characteristics -- security, ease of use -- to enterprises and kids/elderly people alike.

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