Print 106 comment(s) - last by fteoath64.. on Feb 28 at 4:04 AM

Google eschews the wedge form factor for a more brick-like design

Most Chromebooks thus far have been rather underpowered hardware-wise, to say the least.  And sales have been modest at best.

But Google Inc. (GOOG) appears eager to push the boundaries of its PC operating system experiment, debuting its first in-house designed Chromebook.  Dubbed the "Pixel", the laptop/Chromebook/ultrathin packs an Intel Corp. (INTC) Core i5 processor and Intel HD 4000 graphics.  4GB of DDR3 memory is also onboard.

The star of the show is a gorgeous 2.85-inch, 2560 x 1700 touchscreen display.  Similar to the smaller Retina MacBook Pro (13.3-inch 2,560 x 1,600) from Apple, Inc. (AAPL), the laptop features a backlit keyboard and hidden speakers.

But Google's Pixel diverges with the Retina MacBook Pro in other ways.  There's a third microphone included, designed to cancel unwanted noise from the keyboard when making video calls.  And Google has gone to great lengths to optimized the touchpad's "feel" and the latching mechanism.
 Pixel Chromebook
While the laptops are similar in maximum thickness (the Google laptop is a hair thicker), they look dramatically different.

A Wi-Fi model of the Pixel ships next week.  It packs 32 GB of NAND flash, along with a 1 TB Google Drive subscription (3-year) and an SD slot for expansion.  The price is $1,299 USD.  In April Google will drop an LTE version, which packs 64 GB of NAND and the same SD/Google Drive perks.  That version will fetch $1,449 USD.

Google's app ecosystem is pretty week, but perhaps its shiny new hardware will attract new developer interest.  Google showed off a slick touch-friendly Google+ app with the launch materials.

Sources: Google [1], [2; via Engadget]

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By xti on 2/21/2013 3:30:45 PM , Rating: 2
That version will fetch $1,449 USD.

and we were hating on the surface pro last week....

RE: $$$
By Varun on 2/21/2013 3:53:11 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah that's a hefty price for something that is basically just a web browser.

What's up with Google? Why don't they just ditch this idiot Chrome OS and stick with Android?

RE: $$$
By Reclaimer77 on 2/21/13, Rating: 0
RE: $$$
By semiconshawn on 2/21/2013 4:43:19 PM , Rating: 2
32gb ssd with no usb 3.0.

Also it's a touchscreen so it actually makes sense if you wanted to install Windows 8 to it.

Of course you would have even less available storage then and no fast usb connect for additional space. Its an even crappier windows machine than a chrome book.

RE: $$$
By Varun on 2/21/2013 4:44:10 PM , Rating: 2
Except it comes with no storage. 32 GB for $1300?

I don't think they are throwing down the gauntlet as much as they are looking foolish. Yes it's a nice looking machine, with decent specs. Due to their own product it's competing against a $299 device.

I mean, other manufacturers also have nice notebooks - the Thinkpad X1 Carbon Touch is a darn nice machine and it's got better specs than this with the exception of the resolution.

And the reason widescreen monitors are nice in Windows is that you can run two apps at the same time side by side. This 3:2 res is bizarre.

RE: $$$
By Reclaimer77 on 2/21/2013 5:24:31 PM , Rating: 2
Except it comes with no storage. 32 GB for $1300?

You can't get anywhere near that resolution, not even CLOSE, for less than that though. Google didn't make the rules, it's the market that dictated extreme price premiums for high resolution.

I agree the storage sucks, but since ChromeOS is a Cloud Computing concept device, having large amounts of physical storage would be defeating the point. Plus there's USB slots for that anyway.

I mean, other manufacturers also have nice notebooks - the Thinkpad X1 Carbon Touch is a darn nice machine and it's got better specs than this with the exception of the resolution.

I totally agree. But again, that's a big exception with that resolution apparently.

Again I'm not making an argument on the spec sheets. I just respect the concept.

RE: $$$
By UpSpin on 2/21/2013 6:17:03 PM , Rating: 2
It comes with 1TB free cloud storage! That's not nothing!

However if you don't use the cloud, then you won't buy this Chromebook, got it?

But people who constantly use cloudstorage on Windows already (those who buy DropBox/Evernote/... subscriptions), might have a good use for a Chromebook.

screen size:
Screens were 4:3 in the past, then 16:10 came and people complained how idiotic it is and how much better 4:3 for word processing is. Then 16:9 came and people complained that it's idiotic and how much better 16:10 is because it gives you more vertical pixels. Now Google moves back and offers 3:2, now people complain and try to defend how much better 16:9 is.
Honestly: 16:10/16:10 is great on a 24" Display because there you can fit two pages side by side and still read the text on it. On a 12" display however, text gets too tiny if you do some text processing. 16:10 is great on a notebook because it makes it handy, but maybe 3:2 is not that much different. And you know what? You still can fit two apps side by side :-)

RE: $$$
By ritualm on 2/21/2013 6:25:01 PM , Rating: 2
1TB free cloud storage for 3 years, hah! Kindly tell me how secure it really is to store 1TB of personal data at a place where you have no direct access or control?

RE: $$$
By UpSpin on 2/21/2013 6:34:42 PM , Rating: 1
Ask the people who use Evernote/DropBox/Google Drive/MS SkyDrive, and even buy monthly subscriptions.
People use it, people trust it.

Just because it's in the cloud doesn't mean you don't have a physical copy on your desktop computer.
If you have some additional sensitive personal data, you can store it on the Chromebook and don't have to upload it to the cloud.

If you don't use the cloud, or don't trust it, then just ignore it, but don't complain that others want to use it.

RE: $$$
By ritualm on 2/21/2013 6:43:49 PM , Rating: 2
People use it, people trust it.

Trust? All it takes is one B&E. Just ask the guy who once had the @mat Twitter handle.

RE: $$$
By UpSpin on 2/21/2013 6:58:26 PM , Rating: 2
Just ask all the people running infected Windows computers who don't even know that they have a trojan on their computer.
The disadvantage of Windows, an advantage of Chrome OS and the cloud.

Your argument: 'all it takes is one B&E' is valid for every computer worldwide.

RE: $$$
By tayb on 2/21/2013 6:38:31 PM , Rating: 2
It comes with 1TB free cloud storage. Good deal! Then after 3 years you pay 8.5 cents a GB per month ($85/month if you're using it all).

I used Google Music when I had an Android phone. It was extremely enjoyable uploading my very meager 3GB collection of music. It only took a couple of days. Of course there is onboard storage but with pictures, music, and movies 32GB is not nearly enough.

This is a product at least a few years ahead.

RE: $$$
By UpSpin on 2/21/2013 6:45:16 PM , Rating: 2
There are people out there who actively use cloud storage and who currently pay lots of money for such a huge amount of storage. Just compare prices on DropBox.
Here, you get 1TB for 'free'.
After three years, most people buy a new and much better laptop, and if it's only because the battery lost half of its capacity after three years.

I don't understand why people have the desire to suddenly upload their music and movie library to this device.
How about documents? To do some work?

RE: $$$
By Flunk on 2/21/2013 4:45:15 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're missing the point. The hardware is basically useless because of the OS. There is really no need for all that hardware to run ChromeOS. Not only that, ChromeOS devices ship with locked firmware so you can't upgrade to a real version of Linux or Windows.

RE: $$$
By Reclaimer77 on 2/21/2013 4:53:10 PM , Rating: 2
Not missing the point, but this IS the first iteration of this product line you know?

You know I don't think Daily Tech even comes close to giving us a realistic impression of tech trends and consumer tastes. If it did there would be far less products out there, because anything that wasn't instantly "the best" would just disappear.

There is really no need for all that hardware to run ChromeOS.

Well if that's your argument than to be honest we don't need the hardware we have today. Windows runs just fine on a Core2Duo machine to this day.

Look I'm not saying this is a great thing, and your ass better run out and buy it today.

Not only that, ChromeOS devices ship with locked firmware so you can't upgrade to a real version of Linux or Windows.

It can be done, that's already been confirmed. Not saying it's easy or fun to do it, but it's possible.

RE: $$$
By ritualm on 2/22/2013 10:08:41 AM , Rating: 3
You ARE missing the point. Here, let me simplify things further:

The Chromebook is what you'd used to call a 'thin client' in the old days. It's a 'dumb' frontend that only handles data input/output, while a great majority of the data processing takes place on a remote server(s). Thus the sub-$500 Chromebooks makes sense at their price points.

Now Google is trying to make the business case of selling a thin client with the performance of a sorta-high-end ultrabook.

Explain to me why you need a dual-core Ivy Bridge CPU and a 1700v display to run remote HTML5 applications? What can the $1450 Chromebook Pixel do that the $300-ish Chromebook cannot?

Then there's the matter of "why are you putting out this much physical hardware, only to hamstring it with an operating system that consists of one web browser and nothing else?"

Its nearest competitor can do everything a Chromebook Pixel can and do more than just interact with cloud-based apps... for only $50 over the Pixel's sale price. Why would a sane person spend $1450 on a thin client that only does web browsing, when $50 more nets them an infinitely more capable laptop?

The value proposition of this "upgraded" Chromebook is awful. In a vacuum it barely makes any sense. Include alternatives and suddenly you're looking at a luxurious version of the Microsoft Surface Pro, but with less actual functions and abilities than Google's own Nexus 10 tablet!

You are functionally insane to think this is a good idea.

RE: $$$
By TheSlamma on 2/21/2013 3:53:00 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't the point of the Retina display that you can't see all the "pixels"?

Maybe back to the drawing board for the marketing department.

RE: $$$
By tlbj6142 on 2/21/2013 4:25:21 PM , Rating: 2
If it were April 1st, I wouldn't believe this article.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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