Well it is official. Google took the wraps off of the Chromebook Pixel, their newest, less than “best-kept-secret”. And as expected, the new Chromebook family flagship is certainly aiming to impress, with a pretty impressive compliment of hardware.
What sets the Pixel apart from it’s predecessors is that it is targeted specifically at power users who live completely in the cloud. And power is something the Pixel is not short on. Sporting a Core i5 processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM, a 32 GB SSD (64GB for the LTE model), and an Intel HD 4000 GPU, and a whopping 1TB of Google Drive Cloud Storage, the Pixel definitely comes ready to work.
But in true Google fashion, the masters of search were not content to simply slap great hardware together. The attention to detail and the user experience is visible all over, Starting with the Display. The Pixels display is truly extraordinary, serving up a complete visual wonder with a 2560×1700, 12.85″ high density screen, with 4.3 millions pixels at a density of 239ppi. That is even higher than the 220ppi of the Macbook Pro Retina Display. Google VP Sundar Pichai said they also made the decision to give the striking display a 3:2 aspect ratio instead of the more common 16:10 because “We (Google) looked at what people would do with this device, and given that the web still focuses on content that is meant to be displayed horizontally, the design team decided to discard the idea of a screen with the more common (16:10) resolution and went with 3:2”. The beautiful display has a .55mm layer of TOUGH-ENABLED Gorilla Glass fused to the screen. Google says the screen “gives you smooth interactions while preserving picture clarity” And the details continue in the smooth piano hinges, which Pichai says has the feel of a “very premium car door”. The design team also added rounded corners to the aluminum body to make it feel more comfortable when held. And keeping with the entire theme of the Pixel being a premium device, Pichai stated they on frequent occasions ended up designing their own parts just to meet it’s specs. To illustrate that point, the team added a third microphone to the Pixel so it cancels out no only background noise, but also the noise generated as you type on the keyboard. And rounding out the hardware compliment, the Pixel has a 720p webcam for those Google Hangouts and Video Chats.
Obviously, all this power and attention to detail has a pricetag. And in the US it will set you back $1,299 for the Basic WiFi version and the LTE version coming in April will pack a 64GB SSD and a pricetag of $1,449. Obviously this puts the Pixel into the Premium Laptop category. As Pichai says, that is exactly the market they were aiming for. ““There’s a set of users who are really committed to living completely in the cloud,” he said, and Google wanted to build the perfect laptop for them..
Powerful hardware, groundbreaking Touch-Screen Display, and exceptional engineering aside, the Pixel still has yet to prove itself to the market. And given consumers can pick up a full featured Macbook Air for $1299 with a 128GB SSD, It remains seem if the consumer marketplace is ready to buy a $1300 laptop that can only run web based apps, and requires an active internet connection for 90% of it’s functionality.