Rumors started surfacing early this month that Google was in the final stages of preparing to release a new high end Chromebook dubbed Pixels. This at first didn’t sound realistic, especially now as Google seems to boast in the glory of the success of Android as a tablet and smartphone operating system, but the Pixel is real. Today, Google announced the Chromebook Pixel in San Francisco.
Apple is one company most popular for producing and marketing high end devices running special operating system – and Google is now going to give them a run for its money with this high end notebook for those who would prefer an amazing high end notebook rather than a tablet. The specs of this notebook rival some of the most powerful notebooks in the market including Windows’ Ultrabook and Apple’s MacBooks. What is most impressive with the notebook though is the amazing 2560 x 1700 pixels 12.85″ touch screen with an impressive 239 ppi display density – setting the record for the most clear display and highest resolution for a notebook ever according to Google. This display quality dubbed Chrome honcho is comparable to Apple’s ‘Retina’ display.
The Chromebook Pixel has a screen display ratio of 3:2, moving away from the most recent trend of widescreen displays over the recent past. Google says that it drifted away from the traditional 16:9 and 16:10 screen resolutions because the internet ‘needs more height’ for less scrolling – a perfect balance for lengthy web pages and less width.
The touchscreen capability is another justification for the hype. Google is providing a number of web applications that are specially developed for the touch screen. These applications are developed with emphasis on online application including Google+ photo sharing and are optimized to seamlessly work with third party applications and tools to encourage users and developers to develop touch-friendly web services and websites. Google estimates that within a couple of months, it will provide new web-based Office applications Quick Office which will be a direct competitor to Microsoft’s Office 2013. Google acquired Quick Office last year to complement its popular web applications Google Docs that aim at business users who prefer to go for applications that are more compatible with Microsoft Office and other office applications.
More on design, the Google Chromebook is a magnificent industrial design – featuring 3.35 lbs aluminum body with a textured untapered finish just like most high end thin notebooks and was largely inspired by Apple’s MacBook Air. It has hidden screws, speakers and vents and has a number of unlabeled ports. With an Intel core i5 processor, the Chromebook clearly is more of a PC than a mobile device, thereby packing sufficient power for any processing or gaming requirement. There are other Chromebooks in the market, of course, include those from Samsung and Acer, but this is one of a kind. For a price of $1,299, you can have a chromebook Pixel with these features:
Input: Gorilla® Glass multi-touch screen, Backlit Chrome keyboard, Fully clickable, etched-glass touchpad and HD Webcam
Screen: 12.85″ 2560 x 1700 pixels 3:2 aspect ratio screen with at 239 PPI, 400 nit and 178° extra-wide viewing angle.
Ports: 2 x USB 2.0, mini-display port and 2-in-1 SD, MMC card reader
Processor: Dual Core 1.8GHz Intel® Core™ i5 processor with Integrated Intel® HD Graphics 4000
Memory: 4 GB RAM, 32 GB solid state drive (64 GB for LTE model)
Build: 297.7 x 224.6 x 16.2 mm (3.35lb / 1.52kg); Active cooling (no visible vents)
Battery: 59 Wh battery providing up to 5 hours of active use
With the Pixel, you also get 1 terabyte of Google Drive cloud storage for 3 years free, 12 free sessions of GoGo Inflight Internet and 100 MB of mobile broadband from Verizon Wireless (LTE model) per month for 2 years.
Google announced the Chrome OS four years ago, but there had been a lot of skepticism the entire time regarding the future of the operating system. Many, including me, speculated that Google would shelve Chrome and focus on Android for notebooks, but it is now clear Google is going all the way. With this high end, high priced notebook, has Google set the pace for the next popular notebook or will it die a natural death. We just wait and see.