Google Chromebook Pixel Review

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Earlier this year, Google did something almost ground-breaking when it introduced the Chromebook Pixel. Sure, the Chromebook line as a whole has existed for a few years, but the entire premise of such a range of notebooks revolved around only a couple of design goals. One of those was accessibility, and almost by default, the other was affordability. The original Chromebooks were priced at $500 or less -- in some cases, far less. The reason seemed obvious: Chrome OS was a great operating system for those who did little more than browse the Web and connect to cloud-based services such as Evernote, but it served less of a purpose in the productivity-minded "real world."


The Chromebook Pixel on the other hand, is perhaps the most curious gadget launch of the year. It's an extreme combination of premium parts and design coupled with a fledgling operating system. It's an odd melding of premium and basic features rolled into a single device. And this time around, Google priced out an expensive offering to be sure. Much like other Chromebooks, it's also difficult to categorize versus other products in the market. Before we begin to break down the pros and cons of owning such a marvel, let's take a look at what's under the hood.

Google Chromebook Pixel
Specifications & Features
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Intel Core i5-3427U (Dual-Core 1.8 GHz)
Intel HD 4000 Integrated Graphics Core
Chrome OS
12.85-inch Touch-Enabled Display with 2560 x 1700 resolution (239ppi)
32GB or 64GB SSD (SD expansion slot is available as well)
4GB DDR3 RAM
720p front-facing HD webcam
Stereo Speakers, 3.5mm microphone / headphone combo jack
802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0
 2 x USB 2.0, SD, 3.5mm headphone/mic, mini-DisplayPort
59Wh battery (estimated 5 hours of use)
3.35 pounds
297.7 × 224.6 × 16.2 mm
1 TB Google Drive Storage for 3 years, 12 Gogo (in-flight Wi-Fi) sessions
$1299 (32GB Wi-Fi only model); $1499 (64GB Verizon LTE-enabled model)




The Pixel is about as far away from cut and dry as one will find in the notebook arena. It's built to set a precedent perhaps, but it's a machine that many will have a hard time justifying its price tag. In many ways, the Pixel feels like it exists simply because it can, and while Google must know that too few of these will be sold, it's the concept that counts. This is proof that technology companies can still produce extraordinary things that may not necessarily be adopted by the masses, yet the masses will still no doubt pause to appreciate, while the industry could very well take a few cues from a product like the Chromebook Pixel.

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I wonder if there is a way to scrap Chrome OS for a linux Distro...

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Yes. In fact, that's what Linus Torvalds himself uses. See http://www.zdnet.com/chromebooks-biggest-fan-linus-torvalds-7000012842/

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@SlientMajor1ty

Thanks, this really opens up my interest towards this product. The idea I can use an expandable SD is a major perk. Not really a fan of the idea you are forced to use verizons LTE. Fast sure, but expensive for what you get.

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@Shadizzle: Crouton seems to be the best way to run Linux on a Chromebook: https://github.com/dnschneid/crouton#readme

Re LTE, 2 years of LTE service @ 100 MB/month are bundled with the Pixel's purchase price. I use cellular data as a backup when Wi-Fi is unavailable, and in 2.5 years of using Chromebooks, I have blown through the 100 mb monthly quota exactly once; a 24-hour day pass (unlimited data) cost $9.95. 1 terabyte of Google Drive storage for 3 years is also included with a new Pixel. For the first 2-3 years, there are really no other ownership costs beyond initial purchase price.

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Hp continues to innovate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBUg6GT1Jxc

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