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Google laptop shows Apple a thing or two

By Brooke Crothers (CNet): Thank you, Google. For obsoleting my MacBook.
Question: What two killer hardware features are missing on MacBooks? My answer: a touch screen and 4G.
What a coincidence. Just what Google is offering on the Chromebook Pixel. And in a package that comes close to matching the MacBook’s aesthetics. (I’m focusing strictly on the hardware for the moment.)
Google is saying, at least in the case of touch, hey Apple, you don’t get it.
Not everyone may agree with that. Take the laptop flat-earthers. They will say touch is stupid (or “pointless” as one columnist said) on a laptop. Yeah right, just like the mouse was a stupid idea.

Then there’s Apple’s your-arm-wants-to-fall-off on vertical touch surfaces excuse. That will eventually give way to a touch-screen MacBook of some sort. You heard it here first.
The point is, Google knows (they’re not stupid) that touch is important on a laptop. As does Microsoft (Windows 8 and Surface). That leaves Apple in Luddite land.
4G: And some might say that a Chromebook needs 4G more than a MacBook because the Chromebook is so immersed in the cloud. Hmm, my MacBook spends lots of time in the cloud too. And the last time I used it on the road, I was constantly hauling out my Verizon MiFi or running down my iPhone’s battery with the Personal Hotspot. Come on, LTE belongs in a laptop.
And the operating system? I believe that cool hardware is the first step in luring consumers to a new operating environment.
While Chrome OS is still a work in progress (and lacks key features that many users need), with the success of Android, I do think it’s possible that an improved Chrome OS combined with a second-generation Chromebook Pixel could reel in more consumers.
Google certainly has my attention.

Published Date: Saturday, February 23rd, 2013 | 11:43 PM

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