StoryGoogle Updates the Chromebook Pixel
Googleâ€™s vision of a cloud-computing future has another champion, the Â£800 Chromebook Pixel 2, with a high resolution screen and solid aluminium bodyGoogle has launched a new premium Chromebook â€“ the Pixel 2. It is faster than its predecessor and has a high resolution screen but it raises the question: does anyone really want to pay Â£800 for a glorified web browser.Googleâ€™s Chromebooks are designed to be a fast, cheap, portal to the internet costing under Â£250 and providing a browsing experience far better than similarly priced PCs. They are essentially a computer thatâ€™s just a web browser, capable of doing anything you can through the browser but not much more.In addition to being sharp, the Pixelâ€™s display boasts rich colours and wide viewing angles, even despite the touchscreenâ€™s glossy finish. The visibility is so good, in fact, that when my seatmate on a recent flight asked me to open the window shade, I could make out the contents of the screen, even with sunlight streaming in next to me.About the battery life: itâ€™s out-of-this-world good. The last Pixel was a disappointment in that regard, and most other Chromebooks are serviceable, but not stupendous. Google rates this Pixel as good for 12 hours, and in our own battery test, it clocked in at 14.The limitations are the opposite of the new MacBook: thereâ€™s plenty of processing power inside the Pixel, but there are some software limitations. Forget video editing or anything resembling heavy-duty gaming, for instance; there just arenâ€™t apps for those things on Chrome OS. For the basic tasks and mundanities we all slog through each day, though, Chrome OS is now more than enough. The biggest downside at this point is the local storage. Google really, really wants you to use Drive, so it gives you 1TB of online storage but only 32GB of hard drive space. Youâ€™ll fill that with photos and torrented copies of The Hobbit movies way too quickly.The standard Pixel 2 has lots of muscle, but thereâ€™s an even stronger kid on the block. If you really want to be the biggest Chromebook on the block, Google actually makes a Chromebook Pixel 2 LS version. Google says the â€œLSâ€ stands for â€œludicrous speed,â€ and that version packs an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Why would you ever need that kind of power on a Chromebook, which runs and stores most everything in the cloud? Iâ€™m sure a developer somewhere will figure it out.The new Chromebook Pixel is an improvement over its predecessor in every important wayâ€”itâ€™s the best kind of upgrade, the kind that keeps what worked about the previous model and upgrades everything else.Itâ€™s still the same kind of computer the first Pixel was, though. Its quality is excellent, but its operating system combined with its price makes it a nonsensical purchase for most people. Continue reading...
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Google's Chromebook Pixel has always been kind of a contradiction in terms. Whereas most Chromebooks ply the $300-and-below waters of budget laptops, the original Pixel was a high-end affair selling for well over $1000. Despite that contradiction, Google apparently had enough success with the concept to refresh the Pixel with Intel's Broadwell CPUs and reversible USB 3.0 ports. And it also knocked $300 off the starting price. ...Read more...
Google has unveiled its new Chromebook Pixel, and The Verge has its review up.The new Chromebook Pixel is slightly cheaper than its predecessor, at $999, but it's still wildly more expensive than other Chromebooks. It has almost the exact same design as the original, and thus is a beautiful machine. It still runs Chrome OS, which has advanced significantly in the past two years, but not enough to be a real replacement for what you can do on a Mac or a PC.But the improvements in battery life and speed are both huge. When you use it, the dichotomy between what your heart wants and what your brain says is almost bittersweet. It's an amazing laptop that I want to use all the time, but when I really need to do more intensive "computer" things, it's not quite enough.Core i5, 8GB RAM, 12.85" 2560x1700 touchscreen, 12 hours of battery life (The Verge got 14 hours), $999 - but ChromeOS.