I reluctantly convinced myself that there is no market for mid-range chromebooks. In fact, there is no high-end market either, despite the existence of the Chromebook Pixel.
In the world of computers, there are:
- high-end, pricey, powerful models
- low-end, affordable, frustratingly underpowered model
- mid-range models, that cost somewhat more than the low-end, but perform so much better
Those who know their stuff buy and recommend mid-range computers. The extra money is well spent.
The Pixel is crazily overpriced for what you actually get. It is clearly a boutique product, sold and supported by the sugar-daddys at Google. Note that we are going on a year now, and no one else has moved to produce a high-end chromebook. Enough said.
Low-end chromebooks are the breakout success story of 2013. Acer announced that chromebooks are their best-selling products. Seemingly every PC maker has one, or is announcing one. Weirdly, no one is trying for the mid-range…
Let me define my terms: A mid-range chromebook has 4gb of ram, 32gb (or more) of storage, and a high-resolution display (say, 1920×1080). It sells for $400+. Who makes that today? No one. Who has a announced something in that category? No one.
Look around the current offerings. Everyone is stuck on 1366×768 screens. I don’t understand. The Nexus 7 (2013) has 1920×1200. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014) has 2560×1600. Why do android tablets routinely trounce chromebooks on screen quality?
As for ram, you basically have to settle for 2gb. Walmart and Costco both offer versions of the HP 14 that have 4gb. The Costco version, with 32gb of storage comes closest to my mid-range machine. It is dragged down by that crappy screen.
Acer, whose C720 series won all the awards last year, briefly sold a 4gb edition. Then they stopped. The 4gb edition is now only available from ebay resellers, at premium pricing.
Price is king in the land of chromebook. Straying above $300 is risky, based on what I see out there. I’d love to get a mid-range chromebook, I just don’t expect to see one for a couple of years.