Google's new addition to the Chromebook range boosts it way out of the cheap-and-functional category into the Ultrabook class of sexy and desirable. But will that be enough to boost uptake of Google and partner's Chrome-powered devices?.
Power of the Pixel
The recent batch of Chromebook entrants like the $330 HP Pavilion model, may be more than feelers put out in a nascent market, but Google is being a little bolder. The new Chromebook Pixel comes with a US$ 1,299 Wi-Fi or a $1,449 LTE model price-tag, packing a Core Intel i5 processor, Flash memory, backlit keyboard and 1TB of cloud storage.
But the star of the show has to be the new 12.85-inch HD touchscreen display, offering a 2560×1700 screen (at 239 pixels-per-inch for 4.3 million of the tiniest dots) laid out in a 3:2 aspect display ratio. That will make the desktop and any media you throw at it really pop, and touch adds that essential new layer of interactivity for mobile-style apps.
Under the Hood
The new machine will be available in the U.S. and the U.K. from next week, with the LTE version out in April. Extra goodies include 12 free GoGo Inflight Internet passes for those who are regularly in the air, plus all the latest Google apps.
As you'd hope for the price, a lot of attention detail has gone into, and around, anodized aluminum case. Intrusions are kept to a minimum and with hidden speakers and vents, while the touchpad is made from etched glass.
Will this new, glossy, page in the Chromebook's hardware catalog manage to tempt you out of your Windows, Mac or Linux home? Or is the cloud-focus still too much to see you embrace it fully?