|Release date||February 21, 2013|
|Retail availability||February 21, 2013|
|Operating system||Chrome OS|
|CPU||Intel Core i5 1.8 GHz|
|Memory||4 GB DDR3 RAM|
|Storage||32 or 64 GB SSD|
|Display||12.85 in (326 mm), 2,560 × 1,700 resolution|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 4000|
|Website||Google.com — Chromebook Pixel|
Priced at $1299 at its release on February 21, 2013, the machine featured a touch-screen with the highest pixel density of any laptop, a faster CPU than its predecessors in the Intel Core i5, 32 GB of solid-state storage, an exterior design described by Wired as "an austere rectangular block of aluminum with subtly rounded edges", and a colored lightbar on the lid added purely for its cool factor. A second Pixel featuring LTE wireless communication and twice the storage capacity was shipped for arrival on April 12, 2013, priced at $1449.
Sundar Pichai, the senior vice president of engineering in charge of Chrome and Android, said that the goal behind the high-end Pixel model was "to push the boundary and build something premium. Google engineers set out on the 'labor of love' project two years ago, asking themselves, 'What could we do if we really wanted to design the best computer possible at the best price possible?'"
From its February 2013 launch, the Chromebook Pixel received a high degree of tech media attention, drawing immediate comparisons to the similarly priced Windows machines and the MacBook Air. In a side-by-side analysis of specifications with the latter, Will Shanklin of Gizmag wrote that the Chromebook had a slightly smaller screen, weighed 12 percent more, and had much less storage capacity: 32GB versus 128GB. The Chromebook's pixel density, 239 pixels/inch, was "the killer spec," delivering a much sharper image than the MacBook Air's 128 PPI display. But he questioned the overall concept of a Chromebook at this price. "Chrome OS was designed for budget laptops, and sold to customers whose needs center primarily around the web. To pay more than a MacBook...for a Chromebook–at this point–would be insanity."
David Pierce in The Verge praised the Chromebook Pixel, but lamented the limitations of Chrome OS for such a high-end laptop. "I can't remember the last time I so unequivocally enjoyed using a device. Its display, keyboard, trackpad, and overall fit and finish are as good as any laptop I've ever used, and in some cases is my new standard-bearer for laptop reviews going forward." Pierce singled out Pixel's unusual 3:2 display aspect ratio, which, he argued, gives needed vertical room compared to the more common 16:9. "And yet, when it came time to write this review, edit and upload pictures, and do real research, I opened up my MacBook Air again." He found he needed to work offline using Photoshop and Evernote, a more sophisticated application than Google's pre-Keep Scratchpad text editing application, as well as to quickly move between three windows. Pierce concluded that "everyone should want a Chromebook Pixel—I certainly do. But almost no one should buy one."
Ed Hewitt of OMG Chrome argued that while the price is high, it is not overpriced. "Let say it shipped with Ubuntu", he wrote, referring to the Ubuntu Linux distribution. "Is it now worth the £1000 price tag? I think majority would say yes. £1000 gets you one of the most well designed laptops on the market, the best display and a fast processor. If people are spend[ing] £1250 for a Macbook Pro with Retina Display, then the Chromebook Pixel is priced correctly....it's in-line with the competition." The question remains, he wrote, whether the price is too high for consumers.
Other observers saw the Chromebook Pixel as a concept machine, a bid by Google to push its hardware partners into producing more feature-rich devices. CCS Insight analyst Geoff Blaber said that "Chromebooks have struggled for relevance", stuck between tablets used largely for entertainment and more functional PCs. The Pixel "won't transform [the Chromebook's] prospects but Google will hope it serves as a flagship device that has a halo effect for the broader portfolio."
One of the Pixel's most high-profile users is Linux inventor Linus Torvalds, who praised the screen but not the operating system, which he felt was better suited to slower hardware. With the help of Red Hat Engineer David Miller, Torvalds replaced Chrome OS with Fedora 18.
|Feature||Pixel (Wi-Fi) ||Pixel (LTE) |
|Release Date||February 2013||April 2013|
|Size||297.7 × 224.6 × 16.2 mm|
|Weight||1.52 kilograms (3.4 lb)|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-3427U (dual-core 1.8 GHz) (CPU)
|Memory||4 GB DDR3 RAM|
|Storage||32 GB Solid state||64 GB Solid state|
|Screen||12.85 in (326 mm)
|Webcam||720p HD, integrated|
|Audio||3.5-mm combo headphone/microphone jack
3 built-in microphones
|Ports||2 × USB 2.0
Dual-band (2.4/5 GHz)
|Battery||59 Wh (5 hours active use)|
|Included extras||1 TB Google Drive storage for 3 years
- "BBC News - Google unveils its first touchscreen Chromebook Pixel". Bbc.co.uk. 2013-02-21. Retrieved 2013-02-21.
- Google takes Chromebook upmarket with touchy-feely Pixel, theregister.com, 21 February 2013
- Hewitt, Ed (23 February 2013). "Its Official! Chromebook Pixel, Google’s first Chromebook". OMG Chrome. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
- Olivarez-Giles, Nathan (February 21, 2013). "Google Debuts Pixel, a Premium Touchscreen Chromebook". Wired. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
- "Google Chromebook Pixel - Lightbar". Google Inc.
- Sin, Gloria (April 12, 2013). "Pre-Ordered Chromebook Pixel LTEs Should Arrive Today". Digital Trends. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
- Shankland, Stephen (21 February 2013). "Google's Chromebook Pixel elevates Chrome OS ambitions". CNET. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
- Shankin, Will (February 21, 2013). "Chromebook Pixel vs. MacBook Air". Gizmag. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
- Pierce, David (February 25, 2013). "Chromebook Pixel review: Google's first Chrome OS device combines high tech and high fashion". The Verge. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
- Hewitt, Ed (23 February 2013). "Its Pixel Perfect! But Is It Right for The Market?". OMG Chrome. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
- Newman, Jared (February 22, 2013). "Why Google bothered to make the Chromebook Pixel". PCWorld. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
- Vaughan-Nichols, Steven J. (March 19, 2013). "Chromebook's biggest fan: Linus Torvalds". ZDNet. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- "Google Inc - Full Specs". google.com. Retrieved 2013-02-21.
- "The Chromebook Pixel, for what’s next". chrome.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2013-02-21.