Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pixel’s pricey LTE plans surface, no special treatment for Chromebook users this time

Chromebook Pixel LTE
If you didn’t already think Google’s Chromebook Pixel was a status symbol that is designed to prove the theory that Chrome OS will get better in real-time and one day make the hardware worth it, the LTE version (which ships April 8th) is sure to push you in that direction. Data plans for the LTE Pixel have been uncovered and they will bash your wallet almost as cruelly as the $1450 laptop. Day rates will start at $10, but after that you’ll be treated just like any prepaid data user.
When the Cr-48 was released, one of the most important features was the inclusion of Verizon Wireless 3G data. As if it wasn’t amazing enough that this free laptop was going around to create buzz for Chrome OS, to be able to access mobile data for free (or for a daily rate if you had a greater demand) was incredible. The Cr-48 program gave users 100MB per month for two years, with the ability to purchase unlimited data for $10 per day.
For the first Chromebook — again, which was free — that was pretty amazing. 100MB is just enough to grab a refresh of your RSS feeds or email while you were out, and if you found yourself in a place without WiFi you could pay the extra if you wanted. Two years ago on 3G, 100MB might last you a month but on the Chromebook Pixel, that’s obviously not going to be enough. Fortunately, Verizon Wireless is here to make sure your wallet is nice and thin while you enjoy the equally svelte Pixel.
Chromebook Pixel LTE
The LTE version of the Chromebook Pixel starts out with the same deal as the Cr-48: you can access 100MB of Internet each month for free on LTE, or you can pay for unlimited LTE for $10 per day. Two years later, on LTE, 100MB does not get you much, but again it’s enough for short updates when you absolutely need them. The daily unlimited rate is very good as well, and would be perfect for someone who is only using LTE a few times a month.
If you’d rather purchase a block of data and just use it throughout the week, there’s a few options available to you. You can pay $20 for 1GB, $35 for 3GB, or $50 for 5GB. These prices fall right in between what Verizon currently charges for contract and prepaid hotspot service, which allows you to connect other devices and use them as you wish. These prices are for a singe device, and unless Verizon Wireless is the only game in town you’ll find cheaper plans through either hotspot service built into your phone or through a dedicated line.
So there you have it. If you’ve absolutely got to have LTE in your Chrombook Pixel you’ll be shelling out an extra $150 for the privilege, and then Verizon will be sure to treat you like a prepaid customer while offering you just over 2GB of free data during their two year agreement with Google. You can’t share your data, you can’t add your Chromebook Pixel to your Verizon Wireless account if you’re already a customer. I suppose if you’re ready to spend almost $1,500 on a Chrome OS laptop, you don’t mind the monthly rates as much.

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