The Chromebook Pixel was released today in the US and UK for a whopping $1299, catching many people by surprise. Although there have been rumours of the high-end Chrome OS ultrabook, nobody was really expecting an announcement from Google so soon. Not unlike other Chromebooks, the Pixel is meant to be used by individuals who interact exclusively with content on the cloud, whether it be documents on Google Drive, your music library on Google Music, or movies and television shows on Netflix. Other than the price, what makes the Pixel stand out from the rest of the Chromebook crowd is the higher-end hardware featured in the device.
The Pixel was designed and built entirely by Google. The machine has a 12.85-inch 3:2 ratio display claiming to offer 18 percent more vertical space than 16:9 computers. This is because Google has designed the Pixel to be tailored perfectly for viewing web pages, and as such, has decided to make the screen almost as tall as it is wide. The screen boasts an impressive 2560 x 1700 resolution, offering a 239ppi, beating out the Macbook Pro with Retina Display’s 227ppi. What’s more, the Pixel’s Gorilla Glass display doubles as a capacitive touch screen.
Inside, we find a dual-core 1.8Ghz Core i5 processor and 4GB of RAM. There are two models of the Chromebook Pixel to choose from, with the 32GB WiFi model, or the Verizon LTE model that includes a 64GB SSD. For those that buy the Chromebook Pixel, Google is offering 1TB of Google Drive storage for three years, the expected lifespan of the machine.
Interestingly, the Pixel includes a triple-microphone configuration, helping to improve noise cancellation. The speakers are hidden under the keyboard next to one of the three microphones, so we’ll see how that works out. An HD camera, smooth glass trackpad, two USB 3.0 ports, a mini displayport, mic/headphone jack, and SD card reader round out the features. As for connectivity, there is no ethernet port, but WiFi and Bluetooth are onboard. As mentioned above, a Verizon LTE model will be available in the States for those that have never heard of the mobile hotspot feature on their phones. Considering the high-end HD display, the Pixel’s battery life is unsurprisingly poor. Google has rated the Pixel at a measly five hours.
The only way for us Canadians to get our hands on the Pixel will be at American Best Buy locations. I really don’t get why Google is stiffing us Canadians. In this case however, I’m not sure I really care.
Would any of our readers consider paying $1299 for a Chromebook?