Google Unveils Chromebook Pixel Touch Screen Notebook Powered By Chrome OS

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News Posted: Thu, Feb 21 2013 5:59 PM
Graduating from rumor to confirmation, Google's touch-enabled Chromebook is officially real. It's called Chromebook Pixel, just as Google teased in a YouTube video earlier this month, and with it comes a "rethinking" of the Chrome ecosystem, much in the same way Microsoft "reimagined" Windows when it introduced Windows 8.

"Today we’re excited to announce our newest laptop—the Chromebook Pixel—which brings together the best in hardware, software and design to inspire the next generation of Chromebooks," Google stated in a blog post. "With the Pixel, we set out to rethink all elements of a computer in order to design the best laptop possible, especially for power users who have fully embraced the cloud. The philosophy of Chrome has always been to minimize the 'chrome' of the browser. In much the same way, the goal of the Pixel is to make the pixels disappear, giving people the best web experience."

Google Chromebook Pixel

As its name implies, the Chromebook Pixel is focused on the display, which according to Google features the highest pixel density (239 pixels per inch) of any laptop screen on the market today. That works out to 4.3 million pixels spread across a 12.85-inch panel with a 3:2 photographic format designed for the web. In more direct terms, it has a 2650x1700 resolution, besting even Dell's U3011 30-inch monitor that we love so much.

It has a 0.55mm layer of touch-enabled Gorilla Glass fused directly to the screen. Google says this allows for smooth touch interactions while preserving picture clarity. You can tap, pinch-to-zoom, and swipe, just like a tablet.

Chromebook Pixel Hinge

The chassis is made from an anodized aluminum alloy. Vents and screws are hidden from view, but you won't have any trouble seeing the keyboard, which has an LED backlight. As for the touchpad, it's made from etched glass, "analyzed and honed using a laser microscope to ensure precise navigation."

This isn't just another Chromebook, or even a Chromebook with touch; for all intents and purposes, it's a luxury laptop with a price tag to match. There are two models to choose from, a 32GB version with Wi-Fi for $1,299 and a 64GB model with Wi-Fi and 4G LTE connectivity for $1,449. Both are a long ways from regular Chromebooks, which can be had for as little as $199.

Other hardware consists of a Intel Core i5 processor (dual-core clocked at 1.8GHz), 4GB of DDR3 memory, HD webcam, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, 2-in-1 memory card reader (SD, MMC), two USB 2.0 ports, a mini DisplayPort, headphone/microphone jack, built-in microphone array, and "powerful speakers" powered by a custom DSP.


Still, it's an expensive proposition, though if it comes as any consolation, Google tosses in 1TB of Google Drive Cloud Storage for 3 years and 12 free sessions of GoGo Inflight Internet service.

If you ask Google about the price tag, they'll tell you that the Chromebook Pixel compares nicely with Apple's MacBook Air, which starts at $1,199 for a 13-inch model sans touch. Whether consumers see it that way remains to be seen, and we won't have to wait long to find out. The Chromebook Pixel is available to order right this very moment through Google Play.
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sevags replied on Fri, Feb 22 2013 1:51 AM

I see the value and the market it's targeted for and I myself would be interested in such a device but only if I was as to install win7 onto it... Otherwise that's a lot of money to spend to be tied to a new as of get unproven OS.

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digitaldd replied on Fri, Feb 22 2013 1:56 PM

Couldn't you just buy a decent Ultrabook with a touch screen pick up a 32GB small USB stick that doesn't protrude from the laptop much and install Chrome on that and save your self a boat load of money?

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mhenriday replied on Sat, Feb 23 2013 5:12 AM

Love that display resolution - and I'm willing to wager that the colour reproduction is also outstanding ! What I'm hoping is that the screen technology involved will spread to other makers, so that we can get it in laptops - and why not desktop monitors ? - at a price range which means that those who pay for their own toys without tax writeoffs can afford to purchase them. In any event, this device, like others recently created by Google, shows the firm is willing to put its money where its mouth is in presenting technological advances to a wider public. Kudos !...

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digitaldd replied on Mon, Feb 25 2013 10:25 AM

mhenriday:

Love that display resolution - and I'm willing to wager that the colour reproduction is also outstanding ! What I'm hoping is that the screen technology involved will spread to other makers, so that we can get it in laptops - and why not desktop monitors ? - at a price range which means that those who pay for their own toys without tax writeoffs can afford to purchase them. In any event, this device, like others recently created by Google, shows the firm is willing to put its money where its mouth is in presenting technological advances to a wider public. Kudos !...

Henri

 

A 3:2 aspect ratio display? that means you will have black bars somewhere on every single video you attempt to playback full screen no matter what the resolution. 2560x1700 is odd, 2560x1440 which is a 16:9 aspect ratio would make a lot more sense. just my 2 cents.

 

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mhenriday replied on Mon, Feb 25 2013 10:46 AM

Personally, I much prefer a 16:10 to a 16:9 aspect ratio when working on a computer, but the 2650 (not 2560)/1700 spoken of here is closer to 15.6:10. Those black bars don't worry me at all....

Henri

 

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