Google Inc. unveiled the first touch-screen high end Chromebook — and with this latest foray into hardware development, the ‘physical’ Google Store does not seem too far away, with Google’s ability to offer a whole suite of lifestyle products.
The new high-end Chrome device, which is called the Chromebook Pixel and went on sale Thursday, was designed and built by Google with help from a hardware partner in Taiwan. It is likely to be either Asus or Acer. The Pixel costs $1,299 for a Wi-Fi-only version and $1,449 for a version that also includes built-in LTE wireless technology so people can use it on the go. In comparison, the original Chromebooks were marketed as budget solutions, going for $199 – $249. This is a significant premium to pay for the aluminium-body Pixel and here are the specifications to see if it is worth it.
Specifications of the Chromebook Pixel
- 12.85″ display with a 3:2 aspect ratio, 2560 x 1700, at 239 PPI
- Gorilla® Glass multi-touch screen
- Backlit Chrome keyboard
- Fully clickable, etched-glass trackpad
- HD Webcam
- mini display port
- 2-in-1 card reader supporting: SD, MMC
- 3.35 lbs / 1.52 kg
- Intel® Core™ i5 Processor (Dual Core 1.8GHz)
- Intel® HD Graphics 4000 (Integrated)
- 4 GB DDR3 RAM
- 32 GB Solid State Drive*
- Up to 5 hours of active use (59 Wh battery)*
- Dual-band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n 2×2
- Bluetooth 3.0™
- 1 TB of Google Drive Cloud Storage for 3 years*
- 12 free sessions of GoGo® Inflight Internet
Our Thoughts of the Chromebook Pixel
The hardware specifications are undoubtedly great. But the fact that it runs the internet-based Chrome OS platform, with limited applications, the questions remains if such a high end laptop is indeed required. The high end Pixel with a super high definition screen of 4.3 million pixels – so dense that each pixel is invisible to the naked eye – with a unique resolution (3:2) format which is supposed to be photographic format and I guess with the associated 1 TB space, might be catered to graphic designers or people who need to show off their portfolio. However, with the current limitations of the Chrome OS, I would just get a Macbook Air which can run Photoshop or a Tablet instead. With the high end specifications of the Chromebook and the fact that it is based off the standard Intel X86 architecture, there is a good potential for users to allow Windows OS to be run on the system. With the inbuilt touchscreen, it does sound like the perfect Windows 8 laptop to rival the Macbook Air – built by Google.
If you are intending to get 1 TB of Google Drive which would set you back $49.99 a month, you may as well get a free laptop out of it, as the cost over 2 years is equated to the cost of the Pixel.
Availability of the Chromebook Pixel in Singapore
Well, just like the rest of the Google devices, the Chromebook Pixel is currently limited to sales in North America. Stocks are currently available. You could purchase it from the Google Play Store directly and ship it to a US address. Remember to specify the US billing address to be US-based as well, preferably the same as your courier service. I would estimated shipping cost via ComGateway to be approximately 3kg and that would be about US$25.