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Bill Bennett


Google’s Chromebook Pixel pushes boundaries

Chromebook Pixel
Chromebook Pixel

Google’s new flagship device is the Chromebook Pixel: a US$1,300 laptop with a Retina-like high-resolution touch screen and a 32GB SSD. It uses Google’s Chrome OS which means applications run in the browser, not as native apps. Two models are on sale in the US, one is Wi-Fi only, the other has 4G mobile networking.

The specification is quite a turnaround from earlier Chromebooks. Only last week I wrote about the unappetising cheap, low-end laptops sporting ordinary specifications. The Chromebook Pixel turns that description on its head. There’s enough power for demanding users thanks to a 1.8Ghz Intel Core i5, integrated graphics and 4GB of Ram.

Most of the extra money pays for the screen, which is a 12.85 inch display with a whopping 2560×1700 pixels – that’s more pixels per inch than Apple’s 13 inch MacBook Pro. It should much smoother, easier-to-read text and make graphics sharper – although users will only get the full access with specially updated web pages.

The other highlight is the touch screen, which paves the way for a ChromeOS tablet – that sounds more interesting to me than an Android tablet.

For now high density displays are still something of a freak-show. Google’s move suggests they will quickly become mainstream.

Google’s move is strategically interesting, the company is aiming for high-end users, not those worried about budgets. I suspect it’ll be taken seriously in corporate IT shops, especially those committed to the cloud and Google apps.



11 thoughts on “Google’s Chromebook Pixel pushes boundaries

  1. After setting up an Android ASUS Transforme Pad for my parents-in-law I have to say Chromebooks and Androids are becoming more attractive than Windows 8 tablets, including the world famous non-existent in New Zealand Microsoft Surface…

    If I didn’t have to use one or two Microsoft tools to manage some of the Geekzone sides I could happily live with an Android tablet instead of a laptop.

    Seriously, Microsoft Windows 8 is so ugly and hard to use, they are making a big mistake pushing a tablet OS into laptops/desktops and not even making the tablet itself available in the world market.

    Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    1. Agree. I’d love to see Google deliver a tablet with similar specs – that could break my iPad addiction. Those Windows 8 tablets are starting to look like a bust.

      1. No, they are aiming at the Internet. As in, streaming, cloud storage, web apps…

  2. “although users will only get the full access with specially updated web pages”
    Do you know that for a fact? My 1920×1200 tablet handles all webpages fine.

    1. The Chromebook will show all webpages. But some, OK a few, pages are now optimised for Retina and other high resolution displays.

      1. The thing is, pictures don’t look any worse and I posit that they don’t look much better on hidpi. It all depends on the encoding.

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