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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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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.

quote:
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.

quote:
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.


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