Feb 21 AT 6:32 PM Dustin Earley 61 Comments

Google announces the high-end Chromebook Pixel


Google has just announced their first personal entry into the world of notebook computing with the Chrome OS powered Chromebook Pixel; A $1,300 13-inch Retina caliber touchscreen laptop with top of the line specs all around.

When the first several Chromebooks were launched, there was a sort of standard included that laid out what the machines were for. Extremely affordable computing, available with little to no compromise. The Chromebook Pixel completely destroys that.

Coming in with a 12.85-inch 2560 x 1700 touch capable display, the Chromebook Pixel is aimed directly at Apple’s latest generation MackBook Pros, and MacBook Airs. Crafted with anodized aluminum, the Chromebook Pixel is powered by a dual-core Intel Core i5 clocked at 1.5GHz, along with 4GB of DDR3 RAM, Intel HD 4000 graphics, and features a 720p HD camera for video chatting. The base WiFi model comes with 32GB of on-board storage and one terabyte of Google Drive storage for three years, while the Verizon LTE enabled model comes with 64GB of storage at $1,450.

According to early hands on impressions, the Chromebook Pixel feels amazing. It boasts rounded corners to feel comfortable against your wrist, an extra sturdy hinge meant to last and the trackpad is one of the best ever produced.

As impressive as the Chromebook Pixel is, the timing stills feels a bit off. Chromebooks have been celebrated for their price. Hailed as the beginning of a technological revolution. A mere $200 can buy someone access to the largest collection of information the human race has ever known? Google is clearly on to something here. Take the same software that those $200 machines run, and throw it on to a machine that costs some $1,000 more, and Google’s master plan starts to get confusing.

If Google could have done something like turn a current MacBook Air into a $500-600 Chromebook, this would feel a bit different. Like Google made a competitive machine capable of handling anything anything Chrome OS can run, for a very attractive price. Instead, we’re left wondering what Google is thinking. Chrome’s Sundar Pichai says the Chromebook was crafted around strong design. Created for “those who demand premium hardware, those who are writing the next generation of applications.”

Right now, Chrome OS still feels like a browser, with little more to it. A $1,300 machine that runs just a browser then, hardly makes sense. If this is what developers need to be pushed to really take advantage of Chrome OS, so be it. You can buy a Chromebook Pixel and experience what is clearly some of the best designed high-end technology available to consumers. Someday, I imagine that hardware, especially the touchscreen and high-resolution display, will really shine. Just don’t buy a Chromebook Pixel right now and expect it to be an entirely different machine than the ones that cost $250.

If you want to experience Chrome OS on the absolute best hardware possible, the Chromebook Pixel is in stock in Google Play now.

gallery-lightbar gallery-connectivity gallery-hinge gallery-keyboard gallery-touch gallery-trackpad

Source: Chromebook Pixel

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • scubabum

    $1300 for a base WiFi model with 32GB storage is out of reach for most people.

    • Dustin Earley

      I can’t wrap my head around it. If I had loads of disposable income, I suppose maybe. But there’s just no way.

      • sandwich

        Simple – it’s aimed at the evidently-rich Apple crowd, who have money to waste on slick design and average performance.

      • epps720

        Google really seems to miss the mark when pricing their high end products. See Nexus Q!

        • rifat

          الهندوس بشر يعبدون بقر والشيعه بقر يعبدون بشر google

          • epps720

            google translate, translates your Arabaic to… Hindus humans worship cows and cow worship humans Shiites

            Don’t even know how to reply to this

          • Ibn

            clearly the device isnt for you

    • epps720

      I saw somewhere that you get 3tb of cloud storage but for only 3 years, which makes no sense. For that make it 128gb of cloud storage and they keep it forever.

      Either way $1,300+ is way too much IMHO.

      • zerosix

        The idea of free GBs for x years is absolutely weird. They make me spend more money. And $1.3k is not a small amount of money… It’s a f*king load of money! And all I get is a _browser_, no matter how high dpi or resolution is. And I get AMMMAZING 32Gb of space. That means, that if I go somewhere, where there is no Internet connection, I have to watch 1-2 HD films or 20 films in bad quality on that amazing screen.
        I love Google and think, that it’s the most innoative company nowadays, but some of their decisions are extremely weird.

    • Max.Steel

      It’s 1TB of storage not 32GB.

      • jamal adam

        32GB of on-board storage and the 1TB is for Google Drive and only lasts for 3 years.

        • Mike Honesu

          You keep whatever you stored on your 1TB forever. It doesnt disappear after 3 years LOL

        • Max.Steel

          It’s not 3 years. It’s for life.

    • jamal adam

      Most expensive browser lol

  • uknowme

    Yeah for the price I would purchase a full fledged touch screen laptop.

  • Nate B.

    It’s attractive looking but it’s missing a bunch. I mean 1TB of cloud storage for free is very tempting and it comes with it for 3 years. Yes, the screen is gorgeous but it’s still missing things. It’s still not that powerful or a mainstream laptop to me. I mean it will cut all the basic needs and it’s much more powerful than the previous Chromebooks. I can’t really pin it. I think Google should make Chrome more than just a browser with extensions. I rather it be their own OS inside and out. Also, judging from the videos the screen is horrible with the touch. But I mean I don’t know if that was a final model or not. One thing I do like about Google, they aren’t scared to experiment. They’ll get there soon.

    • gmaninvan

      The only problem with that is that once that three years is up, that storage is horrendously expensive.

      Lets say Joe Blow completely fills that storage. Then what happens in three years? He gets hit with a $180 / month bill? Or has to offload everything off his drive?

      That isn’t really a feature to me. I don’t like thinking of my storage having a time limit.

      • Mike Honesu

        No the data you stored on that 1TB stays there at no cost.

        • gmaninvan

          I guess what I am trying to say is that this is worth it only if you need that much cloud storage since the cost of buying that much from drive for three years is $1800, making the laptop actually -$500. Savings, if you were to buy it anyways. The only real catalyst for this would be an apps for business account holder that had a senior executive that wanted a simple premium machine.

      • Kujira

        FYI, buying desired amount of hard drives and installing in on server computer will basically allow you to have unlimited amount of storage with no monthly fees.

        My point is, these amounts we are talking (~10TB) are relevantly cheap now-a-days.

        • gmaninvan

          Although I agree, the software to run a cloud server is either paid or clunky like mycloud. FTP is also not nearly as intuitive as google drive.

  • pjamies

    Great looking product, horrible price point … Epic Fail!, which is Sad :(

  • Chris Kari

    Three BIG problems with this whole clouds thing:

    Privacy – Allowing others to data mine you & pay for the privilege.. WTF??

    Bandwidth – Most people still don’t have the bandwidth to make use of a terabyte of cloud storage.
    Recently I tried out Crash plan & a few others to backup my important stuff. It turned out to be just not feasible due to insufficient bandwidth to deal with the volume of data.

    Security – Every day I am reading about major internet security failures.
    Most people are still blissfully ignorant of how hostile the public internet is.

    My solution is a good NAS. My own personal storage under my control.

    This latest chromebook device seems to be for vanity not practicality.
    I agree with the author of the article.. No comprende..

    • pjamies

      Chris, Sorry to mention this, but your privacy issues are about 10+yrs too late!
      You already exist all over the web, and that is just a fact of modern life.
      Bandwidth is subjective to what you are doing with it. A Chrome book will not be
      backing up almost anything as all data will already be saved to the cloud.
      A NAS solution, is only good if you are hooked up to it!, OR if you open it up to the
      web which goes back to your privacy issues..
      So, please re-think your current issues…

      Just saying ..

  • tagstar

    This chrome book still suffers from some Apple bad design aspects that millions overlook.

    Basically it’s the front of the case where your hands rest has a sharp angle. Why not round those corners in the form factor? I’m talking about the case lid/notch. Round that tip where your thumbs rest.

    16GB of RAM would be more appealing. How fast can an i5 be just being a dual core. If you want to be top of the line go quad.

    Needs a 1GB SSD. Anything less is so last year.

    • tagstar

      I’m not sure why this is rocket science, but round those corners for the Macbook PRO and this Chrome Pixel:


      • tagstar

        It’s rocket science because they still haven’t figured it out. I had my macbook pro for just an hour before I noticed this flaw.

  • Max.Steel

    First the Nexus Q and now this? Is Google drunk?

  • Kaote

    Price is way off, that said its a good looking machine.

    • stenzor

      It’s so beautiful.. If only it was $500 cheaper at least

  • kazahani

    I propose that we re-name this.

    It should now be called the wtf-book.

  • jcommaroto

    I have to join the chorus here. Unless there is something we are missing about Chrome OS this seems like an insane move. Looks great but I suspect the crowd with the cash to toss away on something like this is going to go Apple.

    I want to see Google succeed on the desktop/laptop but it needs a real operating system to do it. I can think of no way to justify the cost based on the OS and real capabilities.

  • jamal adam

    I think that they need to develop ChromeOS more, to the point of it not being just a browser but a full fledged OS that is capable of competing with the likes of Windows or Mac OSX. At the end of the day, for $1,300, we are still looking at a laptop with very nice hardware but one that is only a browser. That’s just asking for too much for so little.

  • donger

    $1,300 is a lot for something like this with that little storage. What people had in mind with premium would be 2x the current prices for Chromebooks.

  • Kevs87

    I really don’t know what strategy comes behind this… but i guess this one won’t be OUT OF STOCK

  • Kelly

    Sell me this with Ubuntu 12.10 on it (only with a non-annoying UI), for $450, and you got yourself a deal, Google.

  • alexanderharri3

    For that price….at least throw in 64GB SSD in the base price! It’s just a web browser with unfinished quickoffice….for lackluster compatibility offline.

  • E-man

    The video makes it seem like it’s the most expensive tablet out there that comes with a keyboard.

  • domi1k

    I just don’t get this… way too expensive.. they should have waited for Haswell anyway..
    At least put an ssd inside.. 32GB? hell my phone got more storage!

  • da9el

    very well written!

  • Esoth

    Maybe this is just the first step in an overhaul of Chrome OS. Perhaps it’ll even merge with Android, what with the inclusion of a touch screen and all…

    • jcommaroto

      That is my hope. That this is the first step towards a merger or at least finding a way to get Android apps onto these machines. Otherwise this seems silly.

    • aluzeros

      they should just merge the two, it would be so much better, now your looking towards something ubuntu is trying to do.

  • Jorge Vieira

    I don’t think google is completely off. They might be going the same route and logic apple has of iOS. I can’t tell you how many people I know that buy Mac Pro or Air and sometimes paying over 1500 and use it a purely a web browser and text editor (chrome can haldne both quite well). That’s who google is going after. The non-tech person that is not computer wiz/spec junkie but still wants high end and something that feels great and looks great aka MacBooks.
    Google can also be thinking the majority of people now a days using these laptops that will end up buying this laptop is the same people that we told by a tablet not a laptop.

    The only thing that seems odd is the price but they did build it in house they probably got taxed cause they are money bags google.

    • Jorge Vieira

      PS three years of google cloud storage at 1tb over the course of three years is 1900 dollars at a month rate. So if you think about it that way it’s a great deal.

  • ibap

    Good looker, but do they think they’re competing with Apple high-end laptops? Just seems like people will say that it looks really good, but not buy it.

  • smeghead68

    Whoa back the truck up! $1300 up front and in three years i have to pay even more? Why would i buy this over a Mac?

    • Jorge Vieira

      Cause by then you’d by the new chrome book and get another 3 years free duh!

  • Stella

    The Chromebook Pixel is a gorgeous looking computer and the screen is impressive. I have to agree with most of the comments and say the price point is off. The should have made a $600-800 Chromebook.

  • aryin

    looks kind of thick, $1300 is too. Will wait and see what they have to offer.

  • TA10N

    Another way to look at it… 1 TB of storage on Google drive is $49 a month. $1300 over 3 years works out to $36. If you are already a 1TB user this laptop is free.

  • CoolNickname

    Google had to make up for the very limited OS with the price, but decided not to do it.
    I do realize, that many do use their Macbooks entirely as Webbrowsers or even just as Facebook Machines, but we’re talking about 1300 bucks here and for that price you might want to have an ability to use some real software on the machine.

  • virexed

    This is the description in the play store…

    “The Chromebook Pixel is a laptop that brings together the best in hardware, software, and design to inspire future innovation.”

    Keywords: inspire future innovation. I think Google is treating this like the Nexus One back in the early Android days. The press pretty much labeled the Nexus One as a failure but what it really did was open peoples eyes to what Android can do.

    If Chrome OS can evolve much like Android then we’ll see a lot more devices like the Chromebook Pixel.

    Just my thoughts.

  • thel0nerang3r

    3:2 aspect ratio? That is the only let down for me.

    • szabolcs

      That is actually the biggest + for me (developer). I hated wide screens from the first time they started making them. I need VERTICAL space in an IDE!!

  • Dylan Friedman

    Looks to be a beautiful device. But, considering how much Chrome OS is incapable of doing, its wayyyyy too expensive.

  • Nathan D.

    I can get a good gaming rig for that much money.

  • szabolcs

    If they sold this with Debian pre-installed, I’d order one immediately. I am just SICK of having to solve linux issues EVERY time I buy new HW. Which is not too often I might add – about once in 5~7 years (I don’t use my PC for gaming; just development and media). I hate the concept of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_obsolescence.

  • kzlife

    It do look nice :o but I’m not happy with the chrome OS neither the price..

  • kusic

    How much is chrome OS limited when off-line? Is it working actually or not? I mean there are still a lot of places without signal (underground, countryside etc.)

  • jacobsloan

    I suspect they’re just trying to challenge the Chromebook market with Pixel. Few people may but it, but it’ll set a new standard in what is possible and raise expectations. Google likely wants to distance the Chromebooks from the netbooks of yesteryear and position them as a viable option for people seeking a high-end laptop.