Feeds

Google takes Chromebook upmarket with touchy-feely Pixel

Pricey touchscreen kit for the cloud warrior with money to burn

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Chromebooks have traditionally been priced for the low end of the market, but Google has decided to go for the well-heeled cloud warrior with the Chromebook Pixel, a touchscreen laptop with a super-high resolution screen and a price tag to match.

"We've designed this for people who live in the cloud, even if they're like my parents and don’t know what the cloud is," said Sundar Pichai, VP of Chrome, at an event in San Francisco on Thursday. "We think it's a real game-changer in how people love being in the cloud."

The Pixel is a skinny little thing, 16mm thick, and is built to look good in comparison to a MacBook Air or Microsoft's Surface. It has a 12.85 inch 2560 x 1700 screen that's configured for 3:2 displays rather than 16:9, which Pichai says gives around 18 per cent more viewing area for web browsing.

The system runs an Intel 1.8GHz Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and either 32 or 64GB of solid state storage, with 1TB of Google Drive space included. It comes in two flavors: a Wi-Fi only version for $1,299 (or £1,049 for UK buyers) and a US-only Verizon LTE/Wi-Fi version for $1,449. It's available for preorder now in the US and UK, with delivery in April, and other European markets will get it eventually.

pixel

How much?!

That's a steep price for a laptop, but Google thinks that the combination of touch, high-end specs, and the cloud angle will make it a goer. Pichai said that Google will make a profit on each machine and that it's a serious player in the hardware business these days.

There are some nice touches in the machine. It has two microphones built into the top of the screen and a third under the keyboard, which is used to cancel out the sound of the user typing. The speakers, too, are under the keyboard to make the laptop look sleeker, and the air vents have been hidden under the hinge at the back of the system.

In terms of connectivity, there are two USB 2.0 ports, a mini-display port, and a slot for SD cards. Google is claiming a battery life of five hours for the unit.

Chrome OS has now been optimized for touch, Pichai said, and the Pixel was designed to show off the operating system to its best abilities. Support for viewing and editing Word and Excel documents via Quickoffice has also been added, so that the device can slot easily into the enterprise market.

With such a hefty price tag and the Chrome OS operating system, the Pixel isn't for everyone – $1,299 buys you a lot of laptop these days – but the Chocolate Factory thinks it's got a winner on its hands. El Reg has a review unit and we'll be putting it through its paces over the next few days and publishing a full review. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
A SCORCHIO fatboy SSD: Samsung SSD850 PRO 3D V-NAND
4Gb/s speeds on a consumer drive, anyone?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.