Google unveiled its most adventurous and pricey Chromebook laptop to date last night; the Chromebook Pixel. Looking like something that Apple may well have designed, the Pixel is the highest spec Chromebook to date.
Although Google won’t reveal exactly who makes the Pixel, we know that Google itself has put around 2 years of work into designing a premium Chromebook. Priced at £1049, it’s also much, much more expensive than the typical Chromebooks from Acer and Samsung.
The star attraction, as you might have guessed from the name, is the display. It’s a 12.85-inch screen with a high resolution of 2560 x 1700, equating to a sharp 239 pixels per inch. It seems Google liked Apple’s idea of a Retina display MacBook Pro, and so this is their shot at something similar.
The display offers 400 nits of brightness and a great 178 degree viewing angle, and it’s also touch-enabled, so you can swipe through pages and pinch to zoom. Unlike most laptops that use a widescreen 16:9 or a 4:3 aspect ratio, the Pixel uses an odd 3:2 ratio, which Google says is suited to the web, to reduce the need for scrolling through pages.
Google has adopted a popular mobile phone component for the Pixel; Gorilla Glass. A sheet of this protective glass covers the display and protects against scratches and such. Just above the display is a HD video camera, with two microphones tucked away inside for noise cancelling audio when on video calls.
Powering the Pixel is a 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 processor with 4 gigs of DDR3 RAM, with an integrated Intel HD 4000 chip supplying the graphics.
Connectivity-wise you have Wi-Fi (4G LTE is also in a second model), two USB 2.0 ports, a Mini DisplayPort for outputting video to a TV or larger monitor, an SD card reader and a headphone jack. The design itself is very premium and industrial, with plenty of metal used throughout and a sleek glass trackpad below the keyboard.
Being a Chromebook, the operating system installed is Google’s web-based and very lightweight Chrome OS. You’ll have access to the Chrome browser, Gmail for email, Maps and Google’s suite of productivity apps, and with everything based online its super-fast. Included with the deal is a whopping 1TB of cloud storage for 3 years, courtesy of Google Drive.
The Chromebook Pixel will launch in April for £1049 in the UK and $1299 in the US. The 4G LTE version will be exclusive to Verizon Wireless in the US with a price tag of $1449.