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Chrome Displays Google Portables Hardware Technology

Why Google Needs To Launch the Chromebook Pixel 133

DavidGilbert99 writes "A leaked video of the purported Google Chromebook Pixel laptop has stirred quite a lot of interest but whether or not the laptop in the video is real, Google needs to launch it in order to kickstart the Chrome OS platform." A high-res screen would be welcome, but Google seems to be doing alright with Chromebook sales right now. Warning: IB Times has ads with autoplaying videos and sound; you have been warned.
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Why Google Needs To Launch the Chromebook Pixel

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  • Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @11:09AM (#42820151)

    The article doesn't make a particularly good case for why ChromeOS would suddenly become attractive on a high-resolution touchscreen. Especially given that it's built around Google's not-touch-optimised web apps.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I could give half a fuck about the OS that it comes loaded with, particularly since I'll end up wiping it and installing some more conventional Linux distro on day one. I just want an affordable laptop with a high-DPI panel. I don't think it's particularly unreasonable to ask that my laptop panel have a DPI that's on the same order of magnitude as my cellphone.

      • From what I'm seeing, the problem is that Most Android and iOS devices do not have expandable memory (USB/SD/HCSD/MHCSD) ports and yes I have a Nexus 7 (32gb Nvidia Tegra) and w/o access to external media or the ability to boot the damn things from external you're not going to be able to put anything except what the OS allows on them.

        This is one of the biggest reasons I'm seriously looking at a Win Pro tablet. Yes it's a stupid problem but if the only way I can get something that allows me to install an alt

        • I'm not sure what you're talking about; the article and the person you were replying to are both about Chromebooks, which are laptops, not tablets.

          They have plenty of ports / expandable memory and are quite easy to install your own flavor of Linux on.

        • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

          by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @12:52PM (#42821185)

          The Acer C7 Chromebook does. RAM and HD can be changed.

          The Nexus 7 can load whatever OS you like, same thing with a the Chromebook. You can download the files and flash them all you like or use USB OTG if you must have external storage.

          You are either Trolling or extremely ignorant.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Sorry, you CANNOT put whatever OS you want on a chromebook. You sound so confident on that, but you have obviously have never lloked into it.

            Currently the only thing you can boot on a chromebook is a special version of Ubuntu called chrUbuntu that is designed to work with the chrombooks special BIOS..

            • No, you can put whatever OS you want on a Chromebook assuming, like has always been true, the OS supports the hardware.

              Ubuntu being the only one to support it isn't Chromebook's fault. Go yell at to support it, or in the spirit of open source, add it yourself. There's nothing particularly special about Chromebook's BIOS.

              Well, I guess that's not entirely true. The special thing is that it uses Coreboot and U-Boot - both of which are *OPEN SOURCE PROJECTS* ( [] and ht []

              • Have they sanitized the bootloader yet?

                I seem to remember reading that ChromeOS would load by default and that to boot into, say, Ubuntu one had to hold down some keys on startup and manually select an OS. i.e. it wasn't possible just to automatically load one's preferred OS on startup.

                • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

                  Crtl-D or Crtl-U until you change a simple setting.

                  The Chrubuntu page can tell you what the command is.

            • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

              No that is just the only OS yet ported. Go port fedora if you want yourself. Don't complain that others have not done your work for you.

        • (I know, I'm feeding this obTroll, but hey, it's 3am here, and I'm waiting for a render to complete!) Chromebook is a laptop, not a tablet. And why do you need "external media" to boot (indeed, you seem to think "booting" is something all devices do in the same way.) I'm getting the impression you really don't understand the differences between a laptop and a tablet. Fwiw, my Nexus 10 is a tablet, but it is not "locked down." Unlocking it and reflashing it with cyanogen's excellent mod took all of five
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      They would update their apps for touch, naturally. The main attraction is the resolution though, not touch. That's why you still get a keyboard and trackpad.

      • I'm not sure what it accomplishes though, aside from making it more expensive. The overwhelming majority of laptops sold now - Chromebook's target audience - are not high-resolution, and I doubt that high resolution alone would attract people who currently dislike it.

  • by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) * on Thursday February 07, 2013 @11:10AM (#42820157)

    Every now and then I see one of these ChromeOS stories, and it reminds me that ChromeOS exists. I'm not being catty there, I mean that I really do literally forget about it. That's probably not a good sign for Google. It not only hasn't made a big splash, it's barely made ANY splash at all.

    • What? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2013 @11:20AM (#42820231)

      Best buy advertises and sells Chromebooks. My mom has one and loves it compared to her slow netbook.

      • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ( 311775 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @11:44AM (#42820451) Homepage Journal

        I agree... Chromebooks are great for parents :) They just work and tech support is nil.

        • I agree... Chromebooks are great for parents :) They just work and tech support is nil.

          The one downside is that they're small, which makes them difficult for older people. I'd buy one for my father-in-law in a heartbeat if they were larger; I'm actually considering installing ChromiumOS on the 15" Acer that I gave him last year. Right now it's running Ubuntu in a fairly locked-down configuration, but he still manages to mess it up from time to time (most recently he made the Chrome window larger than the screen and moved it so all the controls were off the screen). If there were a cheap 15" C

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Best buy is on the verge of bankruptcy. They're no more relevant than a Microsoft Store.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2013 @11:22AM (#42820255)

      Except that Chrome OS has been the top selling laptop on Amazon for many months now.

    • It's best for Google if they just quietly sell the things and don't get people too hooked on "ChromeOS". What google really wants to sell is "Chrome". Then one day when Chrome on Android reaches parity with Chrome on PC they can discontinue ChromeOS and play up the fact that Chrome is in their Android-based ChromeOS replacements. It's really not in Google's best interest to maintain so many Linux distributions. ChromeOS has only one reason to exist, Chrome on Android still sucks. It has improved significant

    • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @11:27AM (#42820297)

      you mean buy a product that -needs- to always be connected to the public net, is written by the premier privacy snooper in the world and you have no true idea what's going on behind the scenes?

      gee, I can't imagine why its not more popular.

      • by somersault ( 912633 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @11:38AM (#42820393) Homepage Journal

        It's the top selling laptop on both and right now. You've heard of Amazon, right? You know, the number 1 online retailer. Just how much more do you need before you define something as "popular", Mr Snarky?

        • I am calling bullshit on that number one thing I think it's outright fake. I think they are paying Amazon for that to make it appear popular I don't think it's real. I work in IT everyone I know is seriously in to technology and gadgets and I have seen zero of these in the wild anywhere and no one I know is talking about them at all. I think this is all a bullshit PR campaign thought up by an ad agency in fact the suspicious number of slashdot stories around the chrome book makes me think they are getting p

        • Which is fine if you're a yank or a pom. Amazon is often more expensive than other book retailers since, last I checked, they charge for international shipping. Nor did they even process overseas orders for electronics.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

        Not true, you can do offline tasks like responding to email or writing documents without an internet connection. It will simply re-sync next time you are online, much like a phone.

        Chromebooks are popular because people want a simple laptop that "just works" and has all the services they use (browsing, Skype, document editing, email). No anti-virus to worry about, low cost, good hardware and long battery life. They are what Netbooks should have been, except that they shipped with Windows XP or a terrible cus

      • by knarf ( 34928 ) written by the premier privacy snooper in the world...

        I did not realise Facebook created an operating system.

    • by SJHillman ( 1966756 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @11:35AM (#42820365)

      I completely forget about Exxon unless it's in a news story, but they seem to be doing ok without me. Something about 7 billion other humans on the planet.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I have a Chromebook and it's really great! My girlfriend also has one, and I use ssh to log into my servers and do work, and she uses online applications like and the browser-versions of Geogebra to write worksheets for her math students.

      More and more of our work can be done just as easily in a browser as not, and less and less requires a desktop or a "fully-functional" laptop. Really the only thing I have a desktop for is games and running resource-intensive programs.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why do videos like this generate so much interest? It's just another laptop. Looks like every laptop that came before it. Throw in a touchscreen, whatever. It's still just a big hinged rectangle. Nothing new here.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It is a laptop that doesn't come with an os from Apple or Microsoft.
    Yes, I know there are others, but every time I see a new non-AppleSoft machine being sold it makes me glad.

    Other than that- yeah, nothing that seems all that compelling to me.

  • I always thought that Android was more of a project by Google just to make sure Apple has some competition in the market. Android was extremely sh*tty for a long time. Over time Android is no longer going to be supported by Google. I think Google does not care so much about open source. Its main goal is to gravitate people towards Linux-like OSes and ultimately make them use Chrome OS. That is the OS that they are going to put their heart and soul in. Think about it, whatever category you put Chrome OS in -
    • Android was the product of an "Oh $#!+" moment when Google realized the world was migrating to mobile access of the internet, and they had no presence in that space. They did not want to be beholden to Apple for access to their mobile user-base. Google's effort in the mobile space is to generate a user-base more or less locked into Google's family of services. They're much more able to get their fingers into a platform that they control, and are thus better able to monetize the user-base's interaction with
  • by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <> on Thursday February 07, 2013 @11:39AM (#42820415) Homepage Journal

    Google doesn't need new hardware for Chrome OS. They just need more marketing, because they're already doing well.

    Imagine for a moment that you're a small business, such as a plumbing company. You don't have a full-time IT staff. You have maybe 10-30 computers.

    You're probably buying your PCs retail. Then you have to buy a Windows server, and pay someone to set it up. You buy CALs for users and computers. A second back-up server is probably out of your budget. Off-site data back-ups are probably out of the question.

    Who administers your network to keep it safe and secure? How to do you prevent malware and viruses? Administer your email?

    You pay a bunch upfront, and then never know when you need to bring in an IT company to fix things. Your IT budget is completely unknown.

    Or, you get Chromebooks. Google used to offer packages to lease them for $25/$30 a month. Not sure if they still do, but you can get them for $250 if not. You don't have to have your own server, unless you need Citrix for proprietary Windows apps. Your data is in the cloud. You don't have to run a mail server. Anyone can sit at any PC and instantly have their work. You don't pay an IT staff. You can budget easily for IT costs. []

    • by guises ( 2423402 )
      Arr... but the hardware's the only appealing part of this. Google has been great for hardware with their Nexus line, providing some really excellent devices at really good prices. This laptop would probably cost around half of what Apple charges (based on the price differentiation that they've managed with iDevices) for hardware that's at least as good. Put SUSE on it (or the flavor of your choice) and you have something really great.
    • by Art3x ( 973401 )

      I think Google invented GMail, Calendar, and even Chromebooks for its own employees, to simplify its own IT and also to lean less on competitors like Microsoft.

      Now that they can sell it to the rest of the world, great, but if those products never made any money, they still would be saving Google money or at least headaches. My company uses Microsoft Office and I daily envy users of Google Apps for email, chat, etc.

  • by Squash ( 2258 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @11:44AM (#42820449) Homepage
    Sure, the high res screen would be nice. If I could ask for a single upgrade for my Samsung Chromebook, that would be it.. But the last few Chromebooks released have been disappointing to me, and I'm skeptical that this would be any better.

    I'd say Samsung got it right with the Exynos CPU, and ChromeOS runs very, very well on ARM. Between my home and business we've replaced 3 laptops with Chromebooks, but it seems like the Samsung model is the only one that I would even consider. If you want a cheap feeling, heavy, loud, low battery life laptop, there's plenty of those to choose from. If you want something that runs cool, runs for long time, doesn't annoy you with fans, and doesn't burn your lap, then the Samsung is your only pick.

    Google, if you want to release a "powerhouse" chromebook, try the Exynos quad core, and throw in some more memory. Exynos supports 40 bit memory addressing, so the 4G barrier doesn't really exist in a practical sense (32 bit address space exposed to each processes, chrome is multi-process).
    • by darjen ( 879890 )

      I've been seriously considering getting a Chromebook as a second general purpose device for my wife. She's always on my home desktop doing facebook, gmail, pinterest, etc. I also have an iPad, and the number one thing I like about it is the high resolution. I use it mostly for reading, maybe a game now and then, and it's hard to go back to reading text on a regular computer screen after using it for a while. I think a higher res screen would be great.

      The samsung one looks nice, but I'm kind of leaning towar

      • by Squash ( 2258 )
        If you're leaving it as ChromeOS, you'll regret buying the Acer. Its a lot heavier, requires active cooling, and the battery life is ass. Basically, its a cheap x86 laptop, with the normal issues of a cheap x86 laptop. The little bit of speed you pick up will pale in comparison to how much nicer the Samsung is to use in the real world. She won't notice that Facebook loads .001 seconds quicker, but she will notice her lap getting warm, the fan running constantly, and having to take her power cord with her ev
  • Screw ChromeOS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DF5JT ( 589002 ) <> on Thursday February 07, 2013 @11:47AM (#42820487) Homepage
    I want that screen in a shiny, non-Apple laptop and load it with Linux.
    • Screw ChromeOS
      I want that screen in a shiny, non-Apple laptop and load it with Linux.

      Not trolling but 100% serious: that is exactly why Google is reluctant to release it.

    • Last I checked none of the Linux desktops have good support for very high-definition displays.
      You'll either end up with very small unreadable text or badly engrossed text looking like shit.

    • *can* install Linux on most Chromebooks. A hardware switch unlocks the bootloader to do just that.

  • by obarthelemy ( 160321 ) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @11:48AM (#42820507)

    I installed a Chrome OS VM just yesterday to see what all the fuss was about.

    It seems nice enough to surf and use web apps. I haven't really tried offline yet, but if they say it works, it probably does.

    Were it does come apart is in any old-school scenario: I could find no way to access my network shares, to play non-local media content (except running a web server and presenting the content as Flash or HTML5), no DLNA client nor server.

    I don't really see how Chrome OS is superior to Android. Is there anything Chrome OS does that Android doesn't ? 'coz there's sure plenty that Android does but Chrome OS doesn't !

    • by Squash ( 2258 )
      You do need to expose your shares as HTTP, but you probably don't need to wrap them in a flash player. The built-in media player supports several formats, h264 included. I use FreeNAS as my file server and a few minutes with that got me a nice web accessible, directory-indexed media share. It isn't perfect but it does the job with minimal fuss.

      And what Chromebooks can do that tablets can't do: Replace traditional laptops. You can actually do real work with these things.
    • Android is a mess based on Java that their acquired from another company.
      ChromeOS is an innovative operative system built by the research division at Google, using the same technology as Google Chrome, the world's most popular web browser.

  • I'm sure I'm not the person they want to sell to but last time looked it offered nothing for doing development. Excluding that they live in a magical world where you always have a net connection. Even in a well connected city that's not always the case. I'll stick with OS X or Linux which does everything chrome os does and more.
  • This device looks great, with the sweet screen, that means there is a need for a decent CPU + GPU combination, also hopefully it means that this device will support more, and hopefully higher speed memory. Up to 8 gigs of Ram, a great touch-enabled screen, a moderately powerful CPU + GPU, an SSD, backlit keyboard, and very stylish look and size, sign me up! If Google can squeeze some good battery life out of this machine, between 4-6 hours, this product will be a slam dunk. Everyone arguing about ChromeO
    • What is more ram or more powerful hardware going to help you with?
      The set of things you can do with this device is limited. The hardware they provide is enough to do whatever they provide.

  • I don't want cheesy-poof grease on my screen.
  • I'm not impressed with Chromebook sales considering fairly similar PC laptop models at that price point also sell like hotcakes. I bought an Acer Aspire One 725-0687 from Walmart for under $200 USD and it works fine in Debian unstable. That sounds like a better price than say 199 British pounds. [] I did have to swap out the hard drive for an SSD but I would ha
  • Hasn't anybody else noticed that this video is just showing a MacBook with a stupid image fullscreen? I very highly doubt there is something like that in the works...
  • Did anyone else notice the lack of a registered trademark symbol on "Google" at the end of the video?
  • Google needs to launch it in order to kickstart the Chrome OS platform.

    I've got a feeling Google already has a pretty good idea of what they need to do.