Google releases the high-end Chromebook Pixel is released in the UK, targeting ‘power users’
The Chromebook Pixel is available today from the Google Play Store in the UK and the US costing £1,049 (US buyers get it for $1299),. In the US, a version which runs on US LTE networks will arrive in April for $1,499 (this would convert to £982 – although it mostly likely won’t be available in the UK, and certainly not for that price).
The launch marks a change in strategy by Google which has previously pitched Chrome OS laptops as cheaper, faster devices that complement traditional systems. It is aiming much higher with the Pixel, claiming that it brings together the best in hardware, software and design to “inspire the next generation of Chromebooks.”
Google Chromebook Pixel
The Chromebook Pixel is the first computer running Chrome OS to have a touchscreen, offering a 12.85-inch Gorilla Glass-protected display capable of 239 pixels per inch and extra wide 178 degree viewing angles. The body is made from anodised aluminium alloy, with vents hidden, screws invisible and speakers disguised behind the backlit keyboard as Google seeks to give the Pixel a premium appearance.
Like other Chromebooks, data and applications stored in the cloud, which makes offline work difficult, but the advantage is that software boots up in seconds and requires little or no maintenance. To accommodate this, Google provides 1TB of storage on Google Drive for three years, which is just as well, as there is only 32GB of flash storage included.
The cloud-based nature of the computer means that speed is of prime importance and Google has included a dual core 1.8GHz Intel
Chrome OS gaining momentum
Core i5 Processor and 4GB of RAM to ensure this. It promises industry leading Wi-Fi thanks to the carefully positioned antennas and support for LTE networks, although this appears limited to the US.
The Chromebook Pixel’s multimedia credentials are strengthened by powerful full range speakers, a 720mp camera and three microphones designed to cancel out surrounding noise. This is supported by an advertised active battery life of five hours.
Google has designed and built the Pixel itself and there are signs that the Chromebook concept is gaining momentum, despite some early teething problems. Acer, Samsung, Lenovo and HP have all released Chrome OS laptops, with the Samsung Chromebook number one on Amazon’s bestseller list for laptops in the US, while the range now accounts for ten percent of notebook sales at Currys PC World.
Acer has said that Chromebooks have accounted for between five and ten percent of its total US shipments since 2012, while one in three TechWeekEurope readers said that they would buy one today, according to our recent poll.
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