Suddenly, Google is making great hardware


Here’s a brief history lesson for you. Three years ago, Google was where you turned to look up a recipe. To check your e-mail. To chat with your friends when you were supposed to be working. But in the tech equivalent of a blink of the eye, things today are much different. Throughout the last year, Google has released a string of incredible hardware products, not just a bunch of virtual services you use through another company’s device. Google really kicked it into gear in July 2012 with the Nexus 7, its first-ever tablet, that was priced at just $199. Reviewers went nuts. It wasn’t just a great tablet because it was so cheap, it was simply a great tablet. Even the iPad mini, which came out a few months later and sold for $130 more, wasn’t as good. Then came another string of winners: The Nexus 4 smartphone, which you can buy unlocked and without a contract for just $299. The Chromebook Pixel, a beautiful laptop with a stunning high-resolution touchscreen. And more recently, the Chromecast, a dongle that plugs directly into your TV and lets you beam video from your Android device, iPhone or iPad. There’s also the Moto X, a new smartphone from Google-owned Motorola that’s one of the most accessible and easy to use Android phones I’ve ever tested. And don’t forget Google Glass, the promising, Internet-connected eyewear that should hit the market next year.