Google unveils Chromebook Pixel for £1,049

Chromebook Pixel features 239ppi touchscreen display and comes with 1TB of cloud storage

22 Feb 2013

Google has unveiled the Chromebook Pixel, a touchscreen, top-end laptop running its Chrome OS that will cost more than £1,000.

True to its name, the Chromebook Pixel has a 2,560 x 1,700, 12.9in touchscreen display, and Google claimed its 239ppi pixel density was the highest of any laptop screen - topping the MacBook Pro Retina 13in, which features 227ppi.

It features dual-band Wi-Fi and runs on a dual-core Core i5 chip at 1.8GHz with 32GB of SSD storage. Google is promising five hours of battery life, and it comes with two USB 2 ports, mini DisplayPort, and an SD card reader.

Google hasn't yet said which manufacturer has actually produced the Chromebook Pixel; its Nexus 7 tablet is made by Asus.

Google describes the body as "anodised aluminium alloy", with vents and screws hidden away, and the speakers tucked under the backlit keyboard to create a seamless look. Google describes the rear hinge as a "piano hinge", saying the device can be opened and closed with a single finger.

Chromebook Pixel

It's 16.2mm thick, within Ultrabook specifications, and weighs 1.53kg, a shade lighter than the MacBook Pro Retina 13in.

Along the top of the laptop is a "light bar" in Google's brand colours, "just because it looks cool".

Chromebook Pixel

Aside from the flash storage, the Chromebook Pixel comes with 1TB of cloud storage for three years - much more generous than 100GB over two years on previous Chromebooks - with Google saying it was designed "especially for power users who have fully embraced the cloud".

"The philosophy of Chrome has always been to minimise the 'chrome' of the browser," said Linus Upton, vice president of engineering. "In much the same way, the goal of the Pixel is to make the pixels disappear, giving people the best web experience."

The high-end specs and price are quite a change from previous versions - the Acer C7 Chromebook costs less than £200 - and Upton admitted the first two rounds of Chromebooks were designed to be affordable.

That's not the case with the Pixel, with the Wi-Fi only version costing £1,049 in the UK. However, anyone already buying 1TB of cloud storage space via Google Drive can effectively get the Chromebook Pixel for free - that much storage costs $50 a month, and over three years the $1,800 more than outstrips the cost of the laptop.

The Wi-Fi only version goes on sale immediately, and will start shipping next week. A LTE version will ship in the US in April for $1,449.

The move to a more expensive Chromebook may seem a surprise, as the devices have been seen as many as a flop, but Google claimed to have grabbed more than 10% of laptop sales at PC World, adding that the Samsung Chromebook has been at the top of Amazon's sales list in the US.

To see the Chromebook Pixel in action, watch the video from Google below:

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