by Anton Shilov
02/21/2013 | 11:35 PM
Google on Thursday unveiled the world’s first premium laptop based on Chrome operating system. Just as reported earlier this month, Google Pixel comes with a retina-class display, powerful Intel Core i5 microprocessor as well as 4G/LTE connectivity. As expected, Google Chrome will be the most expensive Chromebook PC that will cost starting from $1299.
Google Chromebook Pixel comes with 12.85” display with 3:2 aspect ratio and 2560*1700 resolution (239ppi pixel density) and 400 nit screen brightness. The display features multi-touch technology and is covered with Gorilla Glass multi-touch screen. Pixel is powered by Intel dual-core Core i5 processor (1.80GHz) with HD Graphics 4000 integrated graphics adapter. The Pixel laptop comes with 4GB DDR3 memory, 32GB solid-state storage (64GB on 4G/LTE model) in addition to 1TB Google Drive cloud storage, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n 2x2, Bluetooth 3.0, stereo speakers, USB ports, SD/MMC card reader, 720p webcam, microphone, 4G/LTE modem and so on.
The body of the Pixel is made from an anodized aluminum alloy to create a smooth and durable surface; vents are hidden, screws are invisible and the stereo speakers are seamlessly tucked away beneath the backlit keyboard. The touchpad is made from etched glass, analyzed and honed using a laser microscope to ensure precise navigation.
The Pixel weighs 1.52 kilograms (3.35 pounds), a little less than Apple MacBook Pro 13” (1.62kg, 3.57 pounds). The laptop can operate for up to 5 hours (on 59Wh battery), which is hardly a lot by today’s standards for Microsoft Windows-based notebooks. In fact, Chromebook Pixel features battery life that is 2 hours shorter compared to that of Apple MacBook Pro with 13” retina-class screen (on 72Wh battery) that is equipped with considerably more powerful Intel Core i5 2.50GHz (with 3.10GHz TurboBoost speed) processor.
So far, Google Chrome-based laptops have been pretty basic and were aimed at various Internet geeks and people with basic needs. Google Pixel is a vast departure from the previous positioning of Chromebooks as it is clearly a premium product. Given the fact that there is no demanding/professional software for Chrome OS, the only premium features of the device are high-resolution multi-touch display and aluminum case.
Given that Chrome operating system can still be considered as exotics, the Google Pixel may end up as a limited edition product, not as a serious attempt to grab a PC market share. It is pretty hard to imagine one buying a $1000+ PC that is powered by an operating system heavily based on cloud technologies. Perhaps, Google hopes to show PC makers how a revolutionary Chromebook should look like and what features can attract attention of the end-users. Maybe, Pixel concept will ignite developers to create even more technically advanced concepts and similarly innovative mass products.
Google Pixel will be available for purchase starting today on Google Play in the U.S. and U.K., and soon on BestBuy.com. The Wi-Fi version ($1299, £1049) will start shipping next week and the 4G/LTE version ($1449) will ship in the U.S. in April.