Look at what Apple has done to prop up the entire personal computer, tablet, and smartphone industries. Competitors have no need to run their own expensive R&D groups (research and development) because Apple does it for them.
What do smartphones look like? iPhones. What do tablets look like? iPads. What do PC notebooks look like? The Mac. Along the way, we’ve seen competitor after competitor with iPhone killers, iPad killers, and Mac killers. Here’s another one.
Cheap vs. Useful
Nathan and I have worked many years at a Chicago-area private school. That means we manage many hundreds of Windows PCs, Macs, iPads, and a growing number of inexpensive Chromebooks. We like the Mac because it does not require much to administer. To be fair, we like Chromebooks for the same reason, even if students, teachers, or faculty cannot accomplish as much as with Windows PCs or Macs.
Google’s latest MacBook killer is the Pixelbook Go.
What makes it a Mac killer?
Nothing. What all Google’s cheap notebooks amount to depends upon your requirements. If all a student, teacher, or faculty member needs is an open browser with multiple tabs to access basic internet functions, they suffice and they’re dirt cheap.
Pixel Go has a bit more and somewhat less than previous Pixel models. At $650 it isn’t the cheapest Chrome OS hardware, doesn’t have the bells and whistles of any MacBook Air, does less than any Windows notebook-tablet-cum-hybrid, but remains easier to maintain privacy and security.
Hey, it’s Google we’re talking about. Privacy? Meh. Security is good, though, other than the fact that passwords in a school setting seem to have legs of their own.
Our experience in managing hundreds of such devices became obvious in a couple of years. Cheap is not necessarily better. Machines that don’t cost much don’t do much and don’t last long. Machines that can do anything– Macs can run Windows and Linux inside macOS– cost more and last longer.
Google Pixelbook Go resides in the middle. It’s priced higher than most, but costs less in maintenance and management.
With less expensive devices that do as much, and more expensive devices that do more, one has to wonder why Google bothers at all.