That mysterious Chromebook Pixel laptop we saw is real and it costs $1,299. That’s a hefty price tag for a device with only 32GB of storage (the 64GB model with LTE is $1449). But the screen… the 12.85-inch (3:2 aspect ratio) display has 4.3 million pixels with a 2560 x 1700 resolution (239 ppi). For comparison, the 13-inch MacBook Pro’s screen has a density of 227 ppi.
Google says the Chromebook Pixel “is a laptop that brings together the best in hardware, software, and design to inspire future innovation.” The screen itself has a 0.55mm layer of touch-enabled Gorilla Glass, allowing users to swipe and tap just as they would on a tablet. Google is simply taking that familiar tablet experience and transferring it over to the Chrome OS environment on a 3:2 screen it says is “designed for the web.”
Even though it has 32GB of onboard storage, Pixel owners will get 1 terabyte of Google Drive cloud storage for free for 3 years, so this is still firmly a cloud device. Whether PC users are still willing to only live (or mostly) in the cloud is up for debate. And beyond that, whether they’ll be enticed over to Google’s Chrome OS environment for a high res screen is a hard sell.
The Pixel body is engineered from machined aluminum with “nothing extraneous to distract you.” That means vents are hidden, screws are invisible and speakers are discretely tucked away. Google said there’s also a “piano hinge” for easy opening and closing, which also augments Wi-Fi and acts as a heatsink.
Full Pixel specs include a dual-core 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM, up to 5 hours of batter, Bluetooth 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, mini display port, and 2-in-1 card reader (SD and MMC). This is a full-powered laptop, and not a $200 “additional” machine as Chromebooks have traditionally been. However, for $1200 starting out, there are plenty of other machines you can buy with more robust software.
You can purchase the Chromebook Pixel now from the Google Play store, and it’ll ship in 3-5 days.