StoryGoogle Updates the Chromebook Pixel
from on (#5C3N)
The best Chromebook is also, easily, the most expensive Chromebook. For some people, though, it[he]#039[/he]s worth the money.
by Brandon Chester from on (#516M)
Google's Chrome OS has always been similar to Microsoft Windows in how one company provides the operating system for many different manufacturers to use on their own devices. But two years ago, Google decided to create a Chromebook which was solely Google branded and designed. Although Chromebooks typically aim at the inexpensive part of the laptop market, this Google branded Chromebook had specifications that put it in line with high end Ultrabooks, and an equally high price tag. It was the original Chromebook Pixel, and its name referred to its 2560x1700 IPS display. At 239ppi it had the highest pixel density of any laptop in the world when it was released, and the rest of its specs were also impressive. But its starting price of $1299 was quite a barrier to entry, and Chrome OS was more limited at that time than it is today.That brings us to the new Chromebook Pixel which was released just last week. At first glance, you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between this new model and the old one. It has a similar high resolution display, and the same aluminum body with flat edges. But a look at the sides of the chassis will reveal a pair of highly versatile USB Type-C ports, and a figurative look inside will show one of Intel's new Broadwell CPUs which enables high performance and stellar battery life. To learn more about how the new Pixel improves on the original, read on for the full review.
from on (#4W0C)
Chromebooks are cheap. They work best that way. Itâ€™s rare to find one north of $400, and the sweet spot is between $200 and $300. While they've got shortcomings, the cost is reasonable for what you get. In some cases, the limitations are even desirable.Only one Chromebook has truly gone against that grainâ€”the Chromebook Pixel. It was the polar opposite of every other device bearing the name. The Pixel was high-quality hardware where others are low-rent, but even though it cost five times what you could pay for a regular Chromebook it didn't really do much more. It's a laptop as nice as it is niche.
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...
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.
by Brandon Chester from on (#4QX8)
Two years ago Google released the original Chromebook Pixel to the world. To this day it has remained the most premium and expensive Chromebook ever made, with specifications that rivaled Ultrabooks more so than Chromebooks.at the time. Its display was also one of the first HiDPI displays to be put on a laptop, which is where the name Chromebook Pixel comes from. Unfortunately, Chrome OS was still in its early days when the original Pixel launched, and it suffered both from a high barrier to entry with its price, and a lack of software functionality that buyers of expensive laptops required. Since that time, Google has continually improved their cloud based applications offerings to have more features and work more seamlessly with existing file formats used by desktop software like Microsoft Office.That brings us to today, with the launch of the new Chromebook Pixel. On first glance, it's difficult to tell this new Pixel from the old one. The chassis has remained largely the same, including its dimensions and its mass. But a careful examination will reveal that this new Pixel makes some huge improvements over the original model, and adopts some new technologies that will be very important going into the future. To get an idea of how this year's Chromebook Pixel compares to the old model, I've put together a chart with the key specifications of both versions below.Chromebook Pixel (2013)Chromebook Pixel (2015)Dimensions11.72 x 8.84 x 0.64"11.72 x 8.84 x 0.64"Mass1.52kg1.52kgCPUCore i5-3337U (2 cores + HT)Core i5-5200U (2 cores + HT)L3 Cache3MB3MBBase CPU Clock1.8GHz2.2GHzMax CPU Turbo2.7GHz2.7GHzGPUIntel HD 4000Intel HD 5500System Memory4GB DDR3L-16008GB DDR3L-1600Storage32GB SSD32GBDisplay12.85" 2560x1700 IPS LCD12.85" 2560x1700 IPS LCDBattery59 Wh59 WhPorts2 x USB2, Mini DisplayPort, 3.5mm audio,2 x USB Type-C, 2 x USB3, 3.5mm audio, SD cardConnectivity2x2 802.11a/b/g/n + BT 3.02x2 802.11a/b/g/n/ac + BT 4.0Launch Price$1299$999Like I said above, there are some aspects of this new Pixel that are unchanged from the original. The size, shape, and mass of the laptop remains the same, as do the the basic specifications of its display. But once you move beyond the physical aspects of the device, things become much more interesting. The first big change is to the CPU, which makes sense given that its been two years since the original Pixel was launched. This new model adopts the i5-5200U which is one of Intel's Broadwell-U CPUs. It's a 2.2GHz dual core part which can turbo up to 2.7GHz when required. The GPU also moves up to Intel's HD 5500 graphics from the HD 4000 graphics on the older Ivy Bridge model. While there will be some degree of performance improvement from the new CPU, the real improvement it helps to bring is greatly improved battery life. Google's battery life estimate for the new Pixel is 12 hours, which is a massive increase over the 5 hours of battery life estimated for the original Pixel.Perhaps the biggest change of all on the new Pixel is its new port configuration. The original model had two USB 2.0 ports, a Mini DisplayPort output, and your standard 3.5mm audio jack and charging port. The new Pixel does away with the dedicated Mini DisplayPort as well as the power jack, and instead replaces both of them with an incredibly versatile standard that we're finally seeing come to market. Much like the MacBook that Apple launched two days ago, the new Chromebook Pixel features the new USB Type-C standard for both expansion, connections, and charging. However, Google has recognized the benefit of being able to both charge and connect devices simultaneously, and so they've included two USB Type-C ports on the Pixel. What's also nice about the inclusion of one Type-C port on each side is that it allows the Pixel's charger to be plugged in to whichever side of the laptop is more convenient in a given situation.Since Type-C is so versatile, it can replace a whole range of legacy ports. Google will be selling accessories to allow the connection of older USB devices, DisplayPort monitors, and HDMI cords. Google also sells a Type-C to Standard-A cable which can be used to hook the Pixel to any existing USB charging block. You can see the prices for each adapter in the image above. In addition to the two USB Type-C ports, the Pixel also has two USB 3.0 ports, the previously mentioned 3.5mm audio jack, and an SD card reader.In addition to the standard Chromebook Pixel, Google will also be offering a Chromebook Pixel LS. The LS stands for "Ludicrous Speed", and this configuration bumps the CPU to an Intel i7 processor, while doubling both the RAM and SSD storage to 16GB and 64GB respectively. Both these models will only be available in the United States and United Kingdom, with starting prices of $999 for the normal edition and $1299 for the LS edition.
from on (#3RP1)
Google won't confirm it, but it's clear that there's a new version of the Chromebook Pixel on its way.