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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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Uninstall Chrome -> Install real OS
By tayb on 2/21/2013 4:11:39 PM , Rating: 2
I cannot think of a single legitimate reason anyone would buy this unless their intentions were to remove Chrome OS and install something else such as Windows 7/8 or a Linux distro.

The 13 rMBP is $1,500 and has much better hardware.




By semiconshawn on 2/21/2013 4:58:22 PM , Rating: 2
Again though if put windows on it you have even less space and with no usb 3.0 externals and flash drives are just painfully slow.


RE: Uninstall Chrome -> Install real OS
By Reclaimer77 on 2/21/13, Rating: -1
RE: Uninstall Chrome -> Install real OS
By ritualm on 2/21/2013 5:56:37 PM , Rating: 2
That this is an oversized, stupidly expensive, glorified-web-browser ultrabook that cannot function without being always connected to the cloud.

Great hardware coupled with shoddy software is a terrible overall user experience, and the Pixel isn't changing this equation at all.


RE: Uninstall Chrome -> Install real OS
By UpSpin on 2/21/2013 6:01:15 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Uninstall Chrome -> Install real OS
By ritualm on 2/21/2013 6:10:38 PM , Rating: 2
And how does that matter?

Great screen, underpowered CPU/GPU combo, USB 2.0 connectivity, up to 64GB of storage? What the hell was Google thinking when it made this monstrosity?

My music collection alone is 25GB compressed, 100GB+ uncompressed. My limited movie collection is 60GB large. 1TB storage on the cloud sounds great... until you look at just how fast you can upload all of 1TB up there and your monthly bandwidth caps.

This hideous, disgusting rendition makes the failing Surface RT/Pro look good.


RE: Uninstall Chrome -> Install real OS
By Reclaimer77 on 2/21/13, Rating: -1
RE: Uninstall Chrome -> Install real OS
By ritualm on 2/21/2013 6:29:58 PM , Rating: 3
You are the reason I ran out of downvote points against your posts on the Tesla vs NYT article, sir, because you are too freaking stupid on untold levels.

And you're here publicly accusing me and others of trolling. Pot, kettle, black.

Grow a pair, internet tough guy.


RE: Uninstall Chrome -> Install real OS
By Reclaimer77 on 2/21/13, Rating: 0
By ritualm on 2/21/2013 6:39:44 PM , Rating: 3
Translation: I, Reclaimer77, suck at forming factual arguments.


RE: Uninstall Chrome -> Install real OS
By UpSpin on 2/21/2013 6:26:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And how does that matter?

It shows that what you say:
quote:
cannot function without being always connected to the cloud.

is nonsense.

Now you cannot complain about 'no offline work possible' any longer, so you start complaining about the 'underpowered CPU/GPU'. That device is no gaming laptop. It's as underpowered as the rest of the ultrabooks/Windows tablets. So it's not underpowered at all.

On any other SSD based ultrabook/tablet you won't fit your uncompressed music collection and limited movie collection, especially not on a Surface! So all of them are useless and garbage, too?
What the heck is wrong with you?


RE: Uninstall Chrome -> Install real OS
By ritualm on 2/21/2013 6:37:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
On any other SSD based ultrabook/tablet you won't fit your uncompressed music collection and limited movie collection, especially not on a Surface! So all of them are useless and garbage, too?

and
quote:
What the heck is wrong with you?

How apt. Sums up all your pro-Chromebook posts on this article in a nutshell.

Keep spinning this as a "I am right, you are wrong, shut the hell up!" jive talk, kid - you're trying your damned hardest to win at arguing on the internets.


By theapparition on 2/22/2013 10:48:50 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Keep spinning this as a "I am right, you are wrong, shut the hell up!" jive talk, kid - you're trying your damned hardest to win at arguing on the internets.


And yet you seem to be doing just the same with your multiple posts on the subject.

Just an observation.....carry on.


RE: Uninstall Chrome -> Install real OS
By tayb on 2/21/2013 6:22:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
MacBooks are an entirely different market. Why do people keep making this comparison?


Different market? This is a piece of computer hardware. It can run Windows, OSX, Linux, Chrome OS, or others. There is no different market. The point people are making is that notoriously overpriced Apple has a better deal on hardware. Go buy a rMBP and install Chrome OS. You'll have a better system than this. Or better yet just don't uninstall OSX and be able to do everything the Chrome OS can do inside your Chrome browser...

quote:
Look this isn't hard. Google has fostered a market with their Chromebooks. Yes, it's a very small market, but it's there nonetheless.


Google has fostered a nearly non-existent market selling $300 lightweight/portable machines running Chrome OS. IDC estimates fewer than 300,000 Chrome OS equipped devices have been sold. People are laughing because they beefed up the hardware on a cloud device... a device that fundamentally does not need beefy hardware.

You are the Google version of an Apple zealot.


RE: Uninstall Chrome -> Install real OS
By Reclaimer77 on 2/21/2013 6:32:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Different market? This is a piece of computer hardware.


???

Well if that's your argument then I demand my Epson be made to fit in my pocket just like my phone...

quote:
It can run Windows, OSX, Linux


Not officially. Officially it only runs ChromeOS.

Sorry but for you to insist Google is targeting the MacBook crowd with this is beyond delusional. These are two entirely different mobile segments. Fact, get over it and move on.


RE: Uninstall Chrome -> Install real OS
By tayb on 2/21/2013 6:44:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sorry but for you to insist Google is targeting the MacBook crowd with this is beyond delusional. These are two entirely different mobile segments. Fact, get over it and move on.


lawl.

Article title: "Touch-Screen 'Pixel' Chromebook Takes Aim at Retina MacBook Pros"
Subject: Comparing Pixel to Retina Macbook Pro

Yes. You're probably right. There is an entirely separate market segment for people who want high-resolution mobile displays running browser based operating systems. No one considering this laptop would ever comparison shop this to a MBP. I must be delusional. And you must be a Google fanboy.


RE: Uninstall Chrome -> Install real OS
By Reclaimer77 on 2/21/2013 6:51:20 PM , Rating: 2
I have not ever nor do I have plans to ever own a Chromebook. Dude seriously, what is with the hate? I'm being far more objective than you here.

quote:
Article title: "Touch-Screen 'Pixel' Chromebook Takes Aim at Retina MacBook Pros" Subject: Comparing Pixel to Retina Macbook Pro


Umm so we define reality based on DailyTech headlines, designed to grab reader attention???

quote:
No one considering this laptop would ever comparison shop this to a MBP.


No one who actually knows what ChromeOS is, no. I have to believe ChromeOS is a total non-starter for anyone looking into a OS X/Windows machine. If you can't agree...I don't know what to tell you.

quote:
And you must be a Google fanboy.


How am I being a fanboy here just because I'm not joining in with the hate-fest??


By tayb on 2/21/2013 11:25:30 PM , Rating: 2
We define reality based on reality. This is being compared to a rMBP because it is in the same price range as a rMBP and similar hardware. Anyone who considers this laptop would shop around for alternatives and without a doubt find the rMBP. No one considering a rMBP would consider the Pixel for the same reason no one else is considering the Pixel so I actually agree with you on that front. There is a reason this is being widely mocked all across the tech sphere.

rMbP = Pixel + Superior Hardware + Superior OS. I find it beyond silly that this is even an argument especially on a site that just absolutely blasted Apple for such a ridiculously overpriced laptop. Every computer has Chrome OS, it's called the Chrome browser. Hell even the Nexus 10 with a keyboard is an improvement due to the app selection. Hey, it has Chrome, Drive, Gmail, and a high res screen too...

If I had more time or even a slight hint of giving a damn I would go through your comments and find the ones where you blast Apple about the rMBP and post them here just for the fun of it.


RE: Uninstall Chrome -> Install real OS
By Helbore on 2/22/2013 9:28:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
No one who actually knows what ChromeOS is, no. I have to believe ChromeOS is a total non-starter for anyone looking into a OS X/Windows machine. If you can't agree...I don't know what to tell you.


So, you are saying that the Pixel is a laptop for morons?

The Chromebooks have a meagre marketshare. What they do have, they have because they are cheap. Now whilst there might be a market for an expensive Chromebook and that market consists of people who hate windows, hate OSX and a too stupid to buy a cheaper PC and install Linux on it, I have to assume that market is very limited.

Its kinda like saying the old three-wheeled car had a market, so there would be a market for a three-wheeled $100,000 sports car and that since the sort of people who would want to buy such a car obviously wouldn't be interested in buying a Porsche or a Mercedes, then its a totally different market and not worth comparing.

Well, yes, in a really twisted logic kind of way, that's true. But anyone who walked into a board meeting and used that logic would rightfully be laughed out onto the street. Or so you would hope, anyway.


RE: Uninstall Chrome -> Install real OS
By Reclaimer77 on 2/22/2013 11:01:06 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not saying there's a big market for these. But so what? What does Google lose by releasing this product? Nothing that I can see. It's not like they're a laptop manufacturer.

Although I think it should be embarrassing for other Windows laptop manufacturers that Google was somehow able to come out of nowhere with a laptop display that puts 99% of the ones out there to shame.

Still do NOT understand what is so goddamned controversial about this topic. It's ridiculous how polarized DT is over everything.


By Helbore on 2/22/2013 4:21:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Still do NOT understand what is so goddamned controversial about this topic.


Its not controversial. What else are people going to post in the comments section on this topic?


RE: Uninstall Chrome -> Install real OS
By TakinYourPoints on 2/21/2013 6:27:51 PM , Rating: 3
They're making that comparison because for only $50 over the 64GB version you can get a retina MBP with double the SSD storage, USB 3 and Thunderbolt, a real operating system with real applications, and the ability to run Chrome and all other Google apps (ChromeOS, functionally speaking), as well as the ability to run Windows, any flavor of Linux, whatever.

There is a huge mismatch between the quality of specific pieces of hardware in the Pixel (the display) and what it is capable of doing.

The bottom line is that the Pixel is objectively overpriced when it is only $50 cheaper than higher quality hardware that is capable of doing so much more.


RE: Uninstall Chrome -> Install real OS
By Reclaimer77 on 2/21/2013 6:43:51 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The bottom line is that the Pixel is objectively overpriced when it is only $50 cheaper than higher quality hardware that is capable of doing so much more.


You realize this is the exact same argument used against the MacBook Air line years ago, right? I should know, I milked it good :D You paid a huge premium for slick thin hardware, yet ended up with a far less capable product (no optical, poor storage, lack of ports etc etc)

And I don't disagree with what you're saying, as it's being couched. The problem is we're obviously comparing apples to oranges here.

Frankly the idea that any laptop priced over $1k is for general consumer use is a bit skewed. The Macbook's AND the Chromebook Pixel are both niche brands.

It also goes without saying that Google doesn't have Apple's supply chain efficiency when it comes to bringing a display panel of that caliber to the market.


By TakinYourPoints on 2/21/2013 8:02:04 PM , Rating: 3
The main strike against the MBA when it launched was that SSDs weren't affordable yet, otherwise the concept of dropping the optical drive and physical ports was sound.

It is sound, the ultrabook concept is the result of the MBA's huge success. Optical drives are a thing of the past, wifi and cellular tethering are ubiquitous, and two USB 3.0 ports when on the road are enough for most people. Putting the money into a good display, long battery life, good keyboard, good trackpad, high performance, all in a slim enclosure are all practical attributes for a portable laptop.

The dropping of on-board storage and a real OS at this price point is much much bigger question mark. What are the benefits of offloading so much to the cloud? It only makes sense at the $250 price point, otherwise it doesn't cost much more to get so much more.

quote:
Frankly the idea that any laptop priced over $1k is for general consumer use is a bit skewed. The Macbook's AND the Chromebook Pixel are both niche brands.


I wouldn't say so, Apple had about a third of laptop sales in the US last year and 90% of OEM PC sales over $1000. Again, other companies wouldn't be doing ultrabooks if the MBA wasn't such a big hit. ChromeOS is a different story, it sells in the hundreds of thousands, not tens of millions.

I say this as someone who loves Chrome, it is one of my favorite pieces of software out there and its a frigging web browser. :)

Perhaps the Pixel will make sense if it ends up at a quarter of its price in a couple years, otherwise there is just too much being given up IMHO. I do think that the traditional inexpensive ChromeOS notebooks are a viable "third" computer option for a household. They're so cheap that they're almost disposable, so why not?


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