Technology

Meet Google’s new flagship, and very expensive, touch-friendly Chromebook

Chromebook Pixel backlit keyboard
Chromebook Pixel backlit keyboard
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Google today unveiled its new flagship, and very expensive, Chromebook – known simply as Pixel – for “power users who have fully embraced the cloud”.

Pixel “brings together the best in hardware, software and design to inspire the next generation of Chromebooks”, according to the not-so-humble words of Linus Upson, vice-president of engineering at Google.

The web-focused laptop is an ambitious rebrand of the Chromebook, a burgeoning device that, up until now, has been marketed and sold almost entirely on its low price point. This low price point has enabled Samsung’s entry-level Chromebook, available for $249, to remain the number one selling laptop on Amazon since launching 125 days ago.

Google Chromebook Pixel
Chromebook Pixel could easily be mistaken for a MacBook Pro

On paper, it’s a pretty powerful machine, but we’re not sure it needs to be. I’d happily trade some of that power to bring down Pixel’s hefty $1,299 WiFi-only price tag. Spend another few hundred dollars in April in the US and you’ll land yourself the 4G/LTE version.

One thing that we should focus on is Pixel’s screen, all 4.3 million pixels. That’s 239 pixels per inch, making it the highest pixel density of any laptop screen in the market today. Apple’s gorgeous 13-inch Retina display MacBook Pro has a slightly lower screen resolution at 227 pixels per inch, and its 15-inch counterpart, 220 pixels per inch. As a further comparison, Apple’s fourth-generation iPad has a screen resolution of 264 pixels per inch.

The display isn’t just great to look at either – it’s also touch-enabled. Users can “organise windows, swipe through apps, and edit photos” with tap, pinch to zoom, and swipe touch-gestures.

The backlit keyboard is a nice feature too. How Chromebook transforms from an economy netbook to a premium high-end device is something I don’t quite understand.

Pixel is available today to purchase on Google Play in the US and UK, and will begin shipping next week.

4 Comments

  1. @TigerTomBaer chrome OS is prbly most advanced OS there is out there. most are unfamilr with it, but from google devlprs, has to be top.

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Darren McCarra
Darren McCarra is co-editor of The Sociable. He has a keen interest in photography, all things mobile, and writing about technology and social media. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.