Chromebook Pixel from Google: Pushing the cloud to the limit

Summary:Google has released the latest laptop in the Chromebook family which is the most powerful model yet. The Chromebook Pixel is sleek, fast, and has a high-resolution touchscreen to rival any Ultrabook.

Chromebook Pixel

The Google Chromebook family has taken a big leap forward with the introduction of the Chromebook Pixel. The Pixel sets a few firsts for a Chromebook, not the least of which is it comes with a high-resolution touchscreen.

Gallery: Google's new Chromebook - pretty as a Pixel

The aluminum case of the Pixel is reminiscient of the Macbook Pro, and the 2560 x 1700 resolution of the 12.85-inch display competes with the famous Retina Display. The touchscreen on the Pixel is a first for a Chromebook, although it's not clear how the Chrome OS can take full advantage of touch operation.

The hardware specs of the Chromebook Pixel rival that of any laptop:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5, 1.8 GHz
  • Display: 12.85-inch, 2560 x 1700, 239 PPI, 400 nit
  • Memory/storage: 4GB memory; 32GB storage (64GB LTE model)
  • Ports: 2-USB 2.0; miniDisplay port; 2-in-1 SD/MMC card reader; audio
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi (a/b/g/n) dual-band; Bluetooth 3.0
  • Battery: 59 Wh, up to 5 hours
  • Dimensions: 297.7 x 224.6 x 16.2 mm (11.72 x 8.84 x 0.63 inches)

The powerful hardware on the Pixel doesn't come cheaply, with the Wi-Fi model priced at $1,299. A model with LTE will be available in April for $1,449. Google is taking a big risk with this high-priced Chromebook as this is a cool thousand bucks more than the popular Samsung Chromebook.

The Pixel is available today in the U.S. and the UK from the Google Play store. Best Buy will be carrying the Pixel in the U.S. and Curry's PC World in the UK.

Google is adding freebies to help justify the high price of the Pixel. Buyers will get three years of 1 terabyte of storage on the Google Drive cloud storage. This free storage is accompanied by 12 free sessions of GoGo Inflight Internet service.

LTE service for models with LTE capability will be available through Verizon Wireless with buyers getting 100MB free per month. No details on the cost of plans with more data capacity have been provided.

My Chromebook Pixel evaluation unit will be here tomorrow so I can share thoughts on the super Chromebook from Google.

Google has confirmed that the Chromebook Pixel is being made by the company. It is a big step for Google to be entering the Chromebook market with a high-end laptop like the Pixel.

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Topics: Mobility, Google, Laptops

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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