Infrastructure // PC & Servers
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2/21/2013
07:17 PM
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn
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Google Chromebook Pixel: Visual Tour

Meet the Google Chromebook Pixel. Come for the brilliant screen, but stay for the strong performance.
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Google's ambitions for Chrome OS laptops used to be modest. Google positioned them as second or third computers, devices to augment a primary PC. Chromebooks were sold as something that OS X and Windows PCs arguably were not: affordable, manageable and secure.

But the latest Chromebook comes with a different pitch. The Chromebook Pixel, introduced at a media event in San Francisco on Thursday, aspires to compete with leading portable computers, such as Apple's highly regarded MacBook Air and its higher-end MacBook Pro.

As such, it sports an Intel i5 processor, the same processor found in the MacBook Air. And it features a 12.85-inch, high-resolution 2560 x 1700 touchscreen display. At 239 pixels per inch, the Pixel's screen has the highest resolution on any currently shipping laptop, Google claims, higher than the 220 ppi MacBook Pro with Retina display (220 ppi until late 2012, then 227 ppi).

The Chromebook Pixel is at once a proof-of-concept, intended to push partners Acer, HP, Lenovo and Samsung to outdo this Google-branded device, and a declaration of design prowess. The Pixel is undeniably attractive and elegant. In contrast to the plastic $249 Samsung Chromebook, the aluminium-body Pixel feels like it's built to last.

Google's engineering competence shows. The display, for example, can be lifted from a closed position easily with a single finger, yet won't open on its own, thanks to magnets that hold it closed. To maintain the appropriate level of resistance, the display hinge is supported by a torsion bar that assists attempts to open the device and then pushes back against the pressure of fingers on the open touchscreen. A lot of thought went into the Pixel.

Google's attention to aesthetics is obvious too. Unlike the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, the Chromebook Pixel has no visible screws. Its body is unblemished anodized metal. Google has even omitted the icons typically used to designate laptop ports, a level of minimalism Apple has yet to embrace.

While some no doubt will prefer the curved aesthetic of the MacBook Air and Pro to the harder-edged Pixel, it's fair to say that Google is now at least playing in the same league as Apple when it comes to design. And that's something Apple should worry about.

The Chromebook Pixel starts at $1,299 for the Wi-Fi model, which can now be ordered and is scheduled to ship next week. If you want 4G LTE connectivity from Verizon, the price rises to $1,449, with shipping scheduled in April.

Though the LTE option costs more, Verizon's data plan doesn't require payment when cellular data service isn't used -- you can buy access for a day when necessary, without any subscription fee.

The Pixel also comes with two noteworthy free offers: 1 TB of Google Drive storage at no charge for three years (a $600 value annually) and 12 free Gogo in-air Internet passes, for accessing the Internet while on a plane.

Now dig into our slideshow to take a closer look at some of the Pixel's highlights. The clarity of the screen is best seen in person.

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Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
2/22/2013 | 9:16:58 PM
re: Google Chromebook Pixel: Visual Tour
What do you think, MacBook Air users? Looks aside, does this check the boxes you need?

Laurianne McLaughlin
InformationWeek
stickygum
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stickygum,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/23/2013 | 11:31:08 PM
re: Google Chromebook Pixel: Visual Tour
People always make fun of innovation. Did we see that before in the end of the 19th century horse and buggies owners making fun of the devil modern invention "the car"! Google believes in free software, cloud technology and compact, hassle free easy to use notebooks.Who to worry and spend more on word processors, anti-viri etc. Google Chrome is the computer of the future! Wait and see when Apple, Microsoft etc. start walking in the footsteps of big G!
pblanc108
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pblanc108,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/24/2013 | 3:06:53 PM
re: Google Chromebook Pixel: Visual Tour
This machine is s every limited in its power and productivity. The user is locked into google for everything. It cannot run the powerful software available to a Windows 8 machine. Have you tried win8. It is unbelievably fast, fluid and powerful.. It is rock teddy reliable and boots up in 9 seconds. We just upgraded to in 8 with touch screen machines as well as the Surface Pro. This brings computing into the future.
Google did not invent anything. They either copied others or bought I to technology. Larry and Sergey copied the idea for google from Mr. Li (Baidu). Google bought android. They are glorified copycats that make 97% of their revenue from selling good old fashion advertising. With the gorgeous win8 machines, the Surface Pro and the MacBook available,whlo In Their right mind would this thing google is peddling
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
2/25/2013 | 10:07:15 PM
re: Google Chromebook Pixel: Visual Tour
The user is locked into Google for account management but not much else. It provides access to the Web, which is more than Google. To argue that it's not a Windows machine misses the point. If you want a Windows machine, buy a Windows machine. You can access Windows via Chrome Remote Desktop if you want on the Pixel, but it's not about running Windows apps. It's a Web app machine.
Darker Emerald
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Darker Emerald,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/23/2013 | 4:45:31 AM
re: Google Chromebook Pixel: Visual Tour
Laughable at best.
Darker Emerald
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Darker Emerald,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/23/2013 | 4:51:45 AM
re: Google Chromebook Pixel: Visual Tour
If you buy this over any ultabook on the market you probably need to be taken to an insane asylum.. without an internet signal its an expensive paperweight, with one its a Facebook browser/ search engine. With a real computer at least you'd still have a useful machine (that could also do everything this can).

This is probably the only "computer" on earth I'd recommend you get an apple device instead (and I absolutely hate apple).
RockerT
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RockerT,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/24/2013 | 4:22:11 AM
re: Google Chromebook Pixel: Visual Tour
That screen pales in comparison to the macbook products. Why is apple the only company that gets how the screen, keyboard, touchpad and sound are what gets the most reaction from buyers? Close, but no cigar for google. Maybe at $600 - $700...
jrehg337
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jrehg337,
User Rank: Strategist
2/25/2013 | 1:58:25 PM
re: Google Chromebook Pixel: Visual Tour
Another case of flash over substance. Most of the slideshow dealt with looks. The serious user will be interested in how it actually works. And, as previously said, if it only runs through the Internet, then just like Apple you'll be tied to one vendor's idea of how you work. Thanks, but no thanks.
Server Market Splitsville
Server Market Splitsville
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