Google I/O: 4 Things to Look For in a New Chromebook Pixel

As the search king prepares for its annual Google I/O developer conference, a Fool considers what a new premium Chromebook might include.

Jun 23, 2014 at 8:21PM

Google Chromebook Pixel

Will we see a new Chromebook Pixel at Google I/O this week? Credit: Google

Google's (NASDAQ:GOOGL)(NASDAQ:GOOG) Chromebook is already disrupting the low end of the beleaguered laptop market. Can it do the same at the high end, challenging Apple's durable MacBook line?

We've yet to see it happen. The first Chromebook Pixel earned generally strong reviews but never took off in terms of sales. Even today, as low-end Chromebooks top the charts at, the LTE-enabled Pixel languishes as the 7,746th best seller in the e-tailer's Computers and Accessories store.

Yet I don't think Google is done with this end of the market; I'm expecting a new Pixel to be among the lineup at this week's Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco. Specifically, I'm looking for a machine with these four attributes.

1. Free access to Google Apps for Business. This ought to be a no-brainer. In March, Google announced plans to pay $15 for each new user brought in by an existing customer. Yet it needn't be this complicated in hawking a new Pixel. Simply offer a free limited-duration license to Google Apps for Business for every new buyer.

2. Include as many or more ports as other laptops. Even if the Pixel is optimized for the cloud, buying one shouldn't feel like a compromise. Instead, take a lesson from Microsoft and build a machine that's at least on par with more expensive competitive offerings.

3. Crazy features. A beautiful touchscreen display made the first Pixel stand out. So, go crazy. Try wireless charging or an experimental MU-MIMO chip for hyperfast Wi-Fi. Just don't make users depend on these add-ons.

4. A ridiculous amount of RAM and cloud storage. When Google first introduced Gmail, it came with 1GB of storage space. Competitors never recovered and today Gmail is one of the world's largest online email systems. Do the same with the Pixel. Ship it with 32 or even 64 GB of onboard RAM instead of the current 4-8 GB standard, and throw in at least 3 terabytes of online storage for photos, documents, etc.

The business case for a business-class Chromebook
IDC predicts that spending on cloud computing software, services, and technology are on pace to pass more than $100 billion this year, up 25%. That's a huge positive for Google because the Pixel -- and, frankly, every other Chromebook -- isn't just a laptop. Rather, it's an optimized gateway to the cloud services that are redefining our computing experience.

Consider Dropbox, the cloud file syncing service that commands a $10 billion pre-IPO valuation. There's also (NYSE:CRM), arguably the biggest name in online social collaboration software, a market that's expected to top $8 billion by 2018. With so much work performed in the cloud it makes sense to having a machine that's designed to deftly handle the e-services that help users get work done.

A new Pixel could be that kind of machine. Will we see it at this week's Google I/O? Why or why not? Leave your take in the space below.

Meanwhile, at Apple's top-secret lab ...
Even as Google prepares to wow the world with new products, Apple is working on a breakthrough that some early observers say could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!

Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple, Google (A and C class), and at the time of publication. Check out Tim's Web home and portfolio holdings, or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends, Apple, Google (A and C shares), and and owns shares of, Apple, Google (A and C class), and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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