Google has gone and created something surprising:
It’s almost comical, which I mean in the best way, but Google has produced an extremely stylish (if familiar) new notebook, running the company’s web-centric Chrome OS operating system. We’ve taken a look at Chromebooks in the past – if most of your computing needs revolve entirely around the web browser, you’ll likely be satisfied.
If you need to do anything else, then Chromebooks aren’t for you, not yet.
The Chromebook Pixel is unlike any other Chrome OS-powered product yet released. It’s clad entirely in a sleek aluminum frame, with a hinge that sticks out the back (embedded in which are some of the Wi-Fi antennas). The screen measures 12.85 inches diagonally, and offers users a resolution of 2560×1700. That’s not a typo: it’s based around a 3:2 aspect ratio.
It has over 4 million pixels in its display, and has a higher pixel density than anything else on the market, giving 10-20 more pixels per inch than even the Retina MacBook Pros. Moreover, this bad boy’s a touchscreen, too, clad in Corning’s Gorilla Glass. The IPS panel means you’ll get 178 degree viewing angles.
If you want to compare that to other standard notebooks, it’s roughly 16:10.67. So while it sounds weird, it just means that the screen’s going to be a bit taller, but not nearly as tall as the older 4:3 laptops. Inside is a dual-core Intel Core i5 CPU running at 1.8GHz. For the moment, it’s almost overblown, considering the lightweight OS it ships with – but it’s clear that Google is looking to the future with this product, and wants a Chromebook that can handle what they’ll inevitably bring to the table.
Depending on which version you pick, you’ll get either 32GB or 64GB SSD storage, as well as 4GB of RAM. Graphics are handled by the on-die HD 4000 GPU. Two USB 2.0 ports. SD card slot. Backlit keyboard. Longer than average range Wi-Fi (reportedly). Bluetooth 3.0. 720p webcam. Cool stereo speakers that sit beneath the keyboard, instead of taking up extra room on the sides.
The 64GB model also comes with an integrated LTE radio. Both notebooks give the user a 3-year subscription to Google Drive, with 1TB of cloud storage space, and 12 free Gogo in-air sessions. The LTE model also includes 100MB of free data per month for the next two years.
It measures 11.7 x 8.8 x 0.64 inches (297.7 x 224.6 x 16.2 mm), and weighs a surprisingly heavy 3.35 pounds. The 52WHr battery, which isn’t removable, as far as we know, will net you roughly five hours of battery life on a charge.
Oh yeah, and it costs $1300. It’s gorgeous, but it’s also expensive, for what you get – an OS not really optimized for touch, a dual-core i5 CPU, and only 32GB of storage. What you’re mostly paying for in this case is the screen – but then you can get a very similar one in a 13-inch MacBook Pro, which also gives you a faster CPU, better battery life, and four times the storage space for not that much more (or the same price, if you’re a student). True, you lose out on that free cloud storage, but….
If you spring for the 64GB model with LTE, you’ll have to shell out an additional $150, as Google’s pricing that model at $1449. I have no doubt that the Chromebook Pixel is a beauty to browse the web on, but at $1300, it’s a hard pill to swallow. Given how Google has been a company to eat some of the cost in order to provide products at reasonable prices (see the Nexus line of Android devices), it’s pretty surprising to see this pop up.
Then again, it’s clear that the Pixel is Google’s attempt at putting out a truly premium product, and if history is any indication, there’s always somebody willing to pay that kind of dough. Don’t get me wrong – the Chromebook Pixel seems really cool, but boy howdy, that is one pricey machine.
Sound off in the comments – would you buy one? What price do you think is fair?