Google Chromebook Pixel Review

Introduction and Specifications

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
Operating System:
System Weight:
System Dimensions:
Software Extras:
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)
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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