While Chromebooks have generally been regarded as economical, internet-only notebooks, the ChromeBook Pixel is Google’s way of offering the same Chrome OS experience to those who want the best of everything in a pricier case. And the new Pixel ? Well, it does exactly that.
Announced today, Google’s ultra-thin ChromeBook Pixel, isn’t a very radical re-designed approach. In fact, if you were looking for a re-design at all, you would go hugely disappointed.
However, if you take a look at the core hardware, a lot has changed and has been upgraded, and at $999, is pretty economical too.
To start with the configuration, the new ChromeBook Pixel will come in two variants: a $999 Core i5 (2.2 GHz Broadwell-U) version with 8GB of RAM (up from 4GB in the original) and a 32GB SSD, and a $1,299 Core i7 “LS” version (2.4 GHz Broadwell-U) with 16GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD. Both have Intel’s Graphics 5500 GPU to power up some scintillating, crisp displays for you.
The hi-res display features 239ppi, 2560×1700 resolution, with Google claiming a battery life claimed of up to 12 hours. The fast charging tech lets your ChromeBook go for 2 hours non-stop, with just 15 minutes of charging.
However, both the models are Wi-Fi only. While not many used the LTE option supported by previous Pixel models, Google says that most people use tethering over the built-in LTE, and thus removal of the same is justified.
The biggest upgrade however, is the USB C Port which marks an entry into ChromeBooks. While Apple announced the same on its 12″ MacBook just a couple days ago, Google too had already planned the USB C connector for the next-gen Chromebook Pixel. In fact, Chromebook Pixel and MacBook are one of the first devices to move away from the incumbent, now old-fashioned USB 2.0 ports, and showcase the truly universal USB C ports.
The new USB-C port charges your ChromeBook at blazing fast speeds, giving you 2 hours of battery life in just 15 minutes.
Not only does Type-C enable multi-device charging, but it also allows high-speed data and display over the same connector and cable. It’s small enough to work with smartphones, powerful enough to charge computers, and conveniently symmetrical (no more guessing which side is up!). Speaking of symmetry, the new Pixel doesn’t just have one Type C port—it has two, one on each side, so you can plug in wherever is convenient.
Both of the new models are now available in the U.S. Google’s new online hardware store. International availability is not official, but the new ChromeBook Pixel is expected to hit the U.K. in a month’s time from now.
The Chromebook Pixel is available for purchase starting today in the U.S. on the new Google Store for $999 and $1299 for the LS version.