Chromebook Pixel from Google: Pushing the cloud to the limit

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.

TOPICS: Mobility, Google, Laptops
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

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  • Chromebook Pixel from Google

    Look forward to your review.
    • This is a strong contender for worst product of the year.

      The Nexus Q won worst product of 2012 on Engadget from both the editors and the readers of the site.

      Looks like Google has a good shot of sealing up the award for worst product of 2013 with the Pixel. A $1500 Google Chrome laptop with a 3:2 screen and 1TB of cloud storage with a 100MB data limit over LTE. Hilarious.
  • Chromebook Pixel

    $1 299? Will you be buying one, James?
    • No

      I have an eval unit coming tomorrow.
      • I see real value in Chrome OS, but ...

        I'm really looking forward to your review. Chrome OS is impressive for a number of reasons. Chrome OS devices make a lot of sense for businesses, but a lot of the appeal is the initial cost of the devices. But, who is the target market for such an expensive Chrome OS device?
        • Who? Devs thats who...

          Considering the Chrome OS eco system is fairly limited, this device seems hopelessly pointless.... It would be like buying a Win RT device at $1300 (although with x86)... there are only 2 or three things that i can say, yes it might be for that....

          One: There hasn't been any high powered chrome books yet, so there is no insentive to write apps that are hardware intensive. This would change that, also it opens the door to touch based apps to chrome... so yea devs and other OEM's take note

          Two: A Chrome revision... it could be in preperation for a more touch friendly Chrome with a separate App store. Being more hardware intensive in and of itself and for bigger and bigger apps
          The other side of that coin (which is kind of third) is it could be in preporation for a merging of Chrome and Android hence the touch screen and the screen ratio. having just one app store for both. That said, I wouldn't say chrome would go the other way onto tablets.

          I see it happening with Win RT as well, as ARM gets more and more powerfull, i'd say Microsoft will unlock RT so it can run full apps from Pro... It is just an ARM emulation of x86 anyway, hence RT take up so much space...
          Makes sense goodle merging the OS's
          • Chrome OS eco system is fairly limited? mon oeuil

            Chrome ecosystem is Google ecosystem, simply the best.

            I can live, in fact I live very well outside MS ecosystem; in fact I avoid Microsoft products because I value my time.

            I cannot live outside Google ecosystem, unless I want to return back to last century, where Microsoft ruled.

            Chromebooks are tools for serious pros, people that value their time. People that appreciate traveling light.

            Is interesting to see the differences in strategy, and execution. Microsoft from 1 year were announcing the launch of the Windows Surface ReTard, and Pro. What happened to the Pro? nowhere to be seen, at least the 128 Go. chromebook in the other end, is making inroads, grabbing market share. I predicted Google Chromebook would be bigger than Microsoft Surface. It's happening. So, while MS is hiding their offer, Google comes and announce a device competing head to head with MS high end offering, the Pro.

            Goggle and partners are selling a lot of Chromebooks; now, quitely, they are going head to head into MS own turf, just after Microsoft failed to deliver! timing is the name of the game... So Ladies & Gentlemen, the contest is wide open...
          • This Google device is very, very far, from being a competitor to the MS Pro

            and ALL Chromebooks are simply for browsing, but dressed up as PCs, which they are not.

            In fact, the Chromebooks are very far from even competing against the $300-$400 PCs, which can run hundreds of thousands applications already in the Windows ecosystem, and also already include, a bunch of FREE BROWSERS. Imagine that! Free Browsers, whereas Google is pretending to be selling a PC while in reality it's just a browser with some free storage included. But, even when it comes to storage, the "lowly" PCs have huge advantages over the Google storage offers, since any PC can have unlimited storage, locally, via large capacity hard-drives, which don't have an expiration date on them.

            Stupid Google is still trying to throw things at the wall hoping for something to stick.
  • reminds of

    The Microsoft Surface ... Only die hard Google fans will buy it at that price, or DIY types who will attempt to load another OS. Good for Google, currently they have more fans than Microsoft.
    • You start off strong

      but always end with the most laughable statements.

      Keep trying! ;)
      William Farrel
    • true but

      I would argue that google has more freedom to experiment with products than microsoft. This sort of product helps with their HW design chops. Google does not have to sell a ton, just breaking even is fine for now. Those who dismiss google as an ad company miss the point. That just pays the bills. Though I am a google fan, this device is not at all appropriate for me, but I like to see where they are going with this sort of thing.
    • Google/Androids Core Market

      Google's Core market are not affluent and middle aged. Android following is strong because it is cheap and it has lots of free apps. This is not the same group that spends money on a pseudo laptop.
      Burger Meister
  • Seriously?

    $1,299.00 -$1,449.00 for a something you can't load programs on? P.T Barnum is alive and well.

    Google trying to take a page out of Apple's book, by simply figuring people will buy it because it's from The Chocolate Factory?
  • What a joke

    Who is going to pay a premium price for such a crippled product? It makes the Surface Pro look like the greatest deal ever -- it's exponentially more capable for 2/3rd the price.
    • Thinking the same thing...

      I thought, ok interesting concept. Then I saw the price and thought, "are they trying to make Microsoft look good?" The irony is that here in Switzerland they are saying that Google thinks with this notebook you will not want to buy a MacBook Air. Really? Google? That is what you are thinking? Wow you really need to get back to reality.
  • I wonder how fast an average user will blow through 100mb of LTE?

    Unless you've got free wi-fi everywhere you go, that $1499 will be a lot more expensive with regular overage charges.
  • I say nothing but laugh!

    $1400 for webbrowser!!
  • Not worth for $1300 IMO

    I'll stick with my Samsung chromeook.
    • I can see the appeal

      of cheaply priced Nexxus tablets and Chrome books. But this thing is way out of the ball park.
      Burger Meister
  • Chromebook Pixel from Google: Pushing the cloud to the limit

    Google thinks way too highly of themselves to offer such a device for $1300. No web browser only device is worth that much. Google is going to be shocked when they realize how few of these sell and how many get returned.