Google steps further into the hardware fray, announces touchscreen Chromebook Pixel

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Google on Thursday took another step beyond its search engine beginnings, launching a new, Chrome OS-powered notebook that manages to step on both Microsoft's and Apple's turf.



The Chromebook Pixel was initially thought to be an elaborate hoax when a supposed promotional video showing off the device hit the Internet earlier in February. Yet Thursday brought a surprise announcement from the search giant that the first Google-designed and built notebook was in fact real and launching this year.

The Pixel will run Chrome OS, Google's own lightweight, browser-based operating system. The use of Chrome ? which Google is expected to begin converging with its Android mobile OS ? will mean a heavy focus on cloud storage and cloud services for Pixel owners, as the OS runs web apps almost exclusively. Reporting further on Google's announcement, Engadget confirmed that all Chromebook Pixels will ship with Quickoffice already installed. They will also have the ability to open and edit office documents natively within the Chrome browser.

Pixel


The Pixel sports a 12.9-inch LCD display with touchscreen capability, putting it into competition with Microsoft and its partners' touch-centric Windows 8 devices. At the same time, that touch display sports what Google says is the "highest pixel density... of any laptop screen on the market today." With 4.3 million pixels in total, the 2560x1700 display on Google's new notebook has a pixel density of 239ppi. By comparison, Apple's 15-inch and 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros have 220ppi and 227ppi densities, respectively.

The new notebook has two USB 2.0 ports, a Mini DisplayPort, and an SD card reader. Inside, the Pixel has a a 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 processor, Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity, and a 59WHr battery, which Google says will power the device for five hours.

Chromebook


The Chromebook Pixel will come in two builds: one with a 32GB SSD and another with a 64GB SSD. The 32GB model will have Wi-Fi connectivity only, while the 64GB model will have Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity. Purchase of either model will include 1TB of Google Drive cloud storage for three years. The 32GB unit will retail for $1,299, while the 64GB model will sell for $1,449.

The Chromebook Pixel is just the latest step by Google in what appears to be a larger quest to establish itself as a hardware company, in addition to its search engine, mobile OS, and Internet service provision activities. Google has already purchased Motorola, which it will use to attack the hardware segment from the mobile end, and the Pixel appears to attack it from the traditional computing end.

Recent days have also seen the reemergence of rumors that Google is preparing to open its own line of retail outlets, where customers could try out products such as the Chromebook Pixel before buying. Google would join, of course, Apple, but also Microsoft and Google partner/rival Samsung in relying on its own retail outlets to move its wares.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 228
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Can't wait for all their OEM licensees to figure out that they're now competitors.
  • Reply 2 of 228
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    [QUOTE"AppleInsider"]At the same time, that touch display sports what Google says is the "highest pixel density... of any laptop screen on the market today." [/QUOTE]

    The Verge stated Google's quote as the highest resolution of any notebook display. Interesting how the right quote can make all the difference. It's technically true that it's the highest PPI but it's such a nominal lead, at least over the RMBPs, that any reasonable person would say they are on par?


    I agree with this comment:

    [QUOTE]?What's interesting is how much it costs. It's hard to argue that there is an "Apple Tax" when the 13" Retina MBP starts at $1499 with an 128GB SSD whilst the Chromebook Pixel is $1299 for a 32GB SSD and isn't as full featured as a MacBook Pro. It really shows you what an achievement it was for Apple to come to market with Hi-DPI IPS displays last year at a reasonable price.

    [LIST]
    [*] http://pedantical.com/newest/2013/2/21/google-announces-chromebook-pixel-a-premium-chrome-os-laptop-shipping-next-week-for-1299
    [/LIST][/QUOTE]

    it all looks a bit cheap and the performance and capabilities are well below the RMBP but I'm glad to see another company trying to push into Retina displays. Hopefully we'll start seeing more of these from WinPC vendors which could help buoy the PC market which will help bring down Retina IPS display prices.
  • Reply 3 of 228
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member


    heh - they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.


    Thought I was watching an Apple ad.

  • Reply 4 of 228
    Touchscreen are nearly worthless on Laptops and destops....

    The excellent trackpads are far better in almost every way when using a laptop or desktop app. There might be a few paint program that would benefit form a touch screen, but quite limited....
  • Reply 5 of 228


    Nexus 4, 7, 10 and now ChromeBook. Will these four products be enough to fill a Google store?

  • Reply 6 of 228
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RobM View Post


    heh - they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.


    Thought I was watching an Apple ad.



    You said it.  Same look, same intonation, same phrasing.  Someone should do a side-by-side video of this and one of the Apple iPad or MacBook videos.

  • Reply 7 of 228


    Good, a touchscreen laptop. I'm glad to see they're not learning anything.

  • Reply 8 of 228

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RobM View Post


    heh - they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.


    Thought I was watching an Apple ad.



     


    Seriously!  This is Google's so called "culture":  Profiting from other company's work:  be that technology or content.  But at $1299, really?  what is Pixel's differentiation?   A touch screen with small SSD and only Chrome Apps?  I see it as an experiment for Google.  Google probably need to subsidize it with ad dollars.

  • Reply 9 of 228


    They just ripped this Chromebook to shreds on the live Vergecast (over at The Verge). I agree there is almost no audience for this thing beyond Google's own employees.

  • Reply 10 of 228
    Whether touch screens will prove useful is something that will take time to determine. PC oriented sights always profess love from the latest from MSFT. If these devices sell well, there will be more and more of them in a year or two. If they are used mainly as laptops, we will see less and less.
    However, the Pixel device is an odd combination of things. It runs a very limited OS but sells at a price similar to full featured laptops. I cannot see them selling very many of these.
  • Reply 11 of 228

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Good, a touchscreen laptop. I'm glad to see they're not learning anything.



     


    The beauty is, it's there, invisibly, and no one's forcing you to use it. So who gives a damn?


     


    They will sell zero of these.

  • Reply 12 of 228
    The price point is horrible if they want to actually break into the consumer space. For considerably less you can pick up a mid-range win8 laptop or an Air.
  • Reply 13 of 228


    Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

    …it's there, invisibly, and no one's forcing you to use it.


     


    Yep. That's just the thing; if it doesn't need to be used, what the heck is the point in having it anyway? image

  • Reply 14 of 228
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 717member
    Pretty cool. I'm excited to see Google press on with high quality hardware Chrome. Every little thing that digs away at MS is good in my eyes. Google/Android/Samsung will keep Apple sharper than MS ever could.

    I'm sure Apple feels the pressure to go retina on all their hardware. Pretty cool on the Wi-Fi LTE connectivity. All Apple's hardware needs that, in my humble opinion, including the iPods.
  • Reply 15 of 228
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,331member


    So let me get this straight:


     


    For $1500, I get a laptop running a crippled, cloud based OS, with no support for running ANY professional applications (like the creative suite), nor games, and with 32GB of storage? That looks like a shameless, thicker knockoff of a Macbook Air? Where do I signup???


     


    Seriously, unreal. How do Google's designers sleep at night, releasing something that looks SO similar? Who exactly is the target market for this? Someone who for some reason wants to run a crippled OS on an ultra high resolution display with no storage space for $1500? I thought the video leaked a couple weeks ago HAD to be a fake, becuase I didn't believe Google would be THAT shameless in the design. Not just the design- the ad, the narration, camera angles, lines, etc are ALL trademark Apple- I had to pinch myself to realize I wasn't watching an Apple product release ad. 

  • Reply 16 of 228
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    drwam wrote: »
    Whether touch screens will prove useful is something that will take time to determine.

    I'm not against the inclusion but I shake my head in disapproval with the video focusing so much on it like it's a valid replacement for a keyboard and trackpad. It doesn't even fa hybrid that will fold over to become a tablet.

    I do like the 3:2 aspect ratio, which I miss from my 4:3 12" PowerBook. I also like the simple design (which I don't think was "stolen" from Apple), the thin edge around the display, and inclusion of mDP for video out. Too bad they didn't spring for TB but I doubt their OS could handle it, but least Google didn't go VGA.
  • Reply 17 of 228

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RobM View Post


    heh - they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.


    Thought I was watching an Apple ad.



     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by malax View Post


    You said it.  Same look, same intonation, same phrasing.  Someone should do a side-by-side video of this and one of the Apple iPad or MacBook videos.



     


    This video looks EXACTLY like the Apple product release videos they post to their website immediately after their presentation. The ONLY things missing are the British accent and the bright white backdrop.


     


    Oh yeah, and the much more superior device. 

  • Reply 18 of 228


    So a very expensive machine that cant even run Photoshop... iPad seems to be a lot more usable at 1/2 price!

  • Reply 19 of 228
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    slurpy wrote: »
    So let me get this straight:

    For $1500, I get a laptop running a crippled, cloud based OS, with no support for running ANY professional applications (like the creative suite), and with 32GB of storage? That looks like a shameless, thicker knockoff of a Macbook Air? Where do I signup???

    Seriously, unreal. How do Google's designers sleep at night, releasing something that looks SO similar? Who exactly is the target market for this? Someone who for some reason wants to run a crippled OS on an ultra high resolution display with no storage space for $1500? I thought the video leaked a couple weeks ago HAD to be a fake, becuase I didn't believe Google would be THAT shameless in the design. Not just the design- the ad, the narration, camera angles, lines, etc are ALL trademark Apple- I had to pinch myself to realize I wasn't watching an Apple product release ad. 

    Ignore the OS completely as you can install Windows on it and it is Linux so you do have other options. Just look at the HW and see if it's a better deal over a 13" RMBP.
  • Reply 20 of 228


    This is just absolutely pathetic in every possible way. How can anyone support this company, even passively?


     


    Look at the website, even. Everything, down to the last detail, has been copied. Scroll down to the darkened image. Keyboard lights up. 


     


    And I love how stupid they had to be. "Oh, the MacBook Pro has 2560x1600? Better make ours 2560x1700!" "But sir, that will make everything warped…" "Screw that, just change the display ratio!"


     


    Can the two be compared, since they're different sizes?


     


    And look at this:







    • One terabyte Google Drive cloud storage for three years1


    • 32GB solid state drive (64GB on LTE model)2




     


    32 gigs of storage on the device, and then a terabyte of cloud… but after three years you have to pay for it if you want to add more files. Hilarious.

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