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Chrome Displays Google Portables Hardware Technology

The Chromebook Pixel Is Real, and Expensive 392

First time accepted submitter Lirodon writes "Just when you thought Google's rumored Chrome OS laptop, the Chromebook Pixel, was an elaborate fake, think again. This high-end Chromebook with a 12.85-inch high resolution touchscreen (available in both Wi-Fi only and Verizon LTE versions) and an Intel Core i5 processor under the hood is super fancy, and also super expensive: starting at $1299. Would you want to pay that much for what is essentially a premium netbook?" Engadget has a hands-on with the device.
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The Chromebook Pixel Is Real, and Expensive

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  • nope (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 21, 2013 @04:04PM (#42971305)


    • That's what people said about the Galaxy Note []. Somehow though last August they hit 10 million sales [] after less than a year. Many billions of dollars in revenue will help soothe the pain of being made fun of.

      Actually when Android first came out phone makers didn't want to make a high-end "candybar" phone because it would be ridiculously expensive, so Google paid to have one made and the demand proved itself enough that phone makers came onboard and Google could retire their own-brand phone. Now Android i

      • Actually when Android first came out phone makers didn't want to make a high-end "candybar" phone because it would be ridiculously expensive, so Google paid to have one made and the demand proved itself enough that phone makers came onboard and Google could retire their own-brand phone.

        Yeah right. It's not as if the iPhone hadn't already demonstrated demand for that form factor.

        God knows OEMs have made enough failed Wintel and Windows Phone products to hit their career fail quota

        They rode that pony for 25 years. What have you done that's so great?

        Google is an advertising company. I've never head anyone quite so hungry for products that are specifically designed to spy on them and advertise to them.

  • Oh well, at least this will (hopefully) allow me to install a real version of Linux.
  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @04:07PM (#42971343)

    Assuming I can flop it into dev mode and easily install Chrubuntu it looks interesting. A nice laptop is not going to be cheap and the old chromebooks were cheap pieces of shit. I just wish someone made one of these ultrabooks run a normal linux distro out of the box. Please don't respond with links to the POS dell one. Last I looked the screen resolution was pathetic and the build quality was typical dell.

  • Is it worth the money?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Tough Love ( 215404 )

      Is it worth the money?

      Especially considering it comes preinstalled with crippleware.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        Just like a normal laptop and just like a normal laptop you can install linux to your hearts content.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

        How so? ChromeOS isn't as flexible as Windows, but it isn't "crippled". You can install any software you like on it, and enable developer mode to get a root shell. You can compile it from source (Chromium OS) if you like.

  • by CajunArson ( 465943 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @04:09PM (#42971353) Journal

    This thing would obviously only be $2.99 + S&H if it weren't for the Microsoft tax! I'm tired of M$ driving up the price of hardware with ... interruption... whispering .... uh... I'm tired of the GOOGLE TAX!

  • Hey, it's an x86 PC, even if it runs a crappy OS. I suspect most of these will eventually wind up running Windows, unless there's something about the hardware that prevents this.

    For people who liked the Retina hardware on the new MacBooks but couldn't justify the price (and don't care about or don't want OSX), this could be a good alternative. I'll wait a while, though: I don't see this price point lasting very long.

  • Netbook??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nomel ( 244635 ) <turd@ i n o r b i t . com> on Thursday February 21, 2013 @04:13PM (#42971417) Homepage Journal

    Since when is Core i5, Intel HD 4000, and 4GB of ram, and a screen with an absurdly high resolution, considered a netbook?

    Sure, it has a netbook os installed...but that doesn't mean anything. I could also install windows 3.1...big deal.

    • Re:Netbook??? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jythie ( 914043 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @04:20PM (#42971513)
      As specs evolve and advances slow down, what software something runs will probably increasingly become the differentiating factor.
    • The only standard definition I've seen for netbook is:

      Clamshell and no optical drive.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hedwards ( 940851 )

        If you filter out the MS astroturfers, a netbook is a low cost, minimalist computer with low specs that's mostly useful for the net.

        MS had a cow when Asus had success with the Eee PC line and started to apply pressure to release Windows netbooks. At which point, the whole definition was pretty much broken as the specs had to be just about doubled to make that work with XP and the cost went above what normal people would pay.

        As for your definition, that would include UMPCs as well, which is sort of a problem

      • 10.1" screen? Any bigger than that and I wouldn't call it a netbook any more.

      • Laptop -> portable computer, been around for years.
        Netbook -> mini-sized laptop, unlikely to have an optical drive.
        Ultrabook -> laptop without an optical drive.

    • I'm not really sure what it is, to be honest.

      On one hand, the resolution is impressive, and always on the 'I want' list. On the other hand, the lack of dedicated video card, small storage space, USB 2.0 ports...ouch. I writing this comment on a laptop from HP, that I bought several months ago, whose specs, with the exception of that resolution, somewhat trounce this thing, for the same price. I've upgraded mine, so it has 16GB of RAM, and a 240 GB SSD, but still, it came with 8 GB of RAM, which is 4 more th

      • Unless you're gaming, integrated video is fine. It'll drive multiple monitors, it drives modern UIs with all the graphical effects enabled, it plays basic games just fine. It'll do hardware-accelerated video decoding, proper HDMI support, etc. Plus it uses less power than dedicated video and has better Linux driver support.

        I've got two 2yo laptops at home with integrated Intel video and given my current usage pattern I haven't had any issues with either of them. The only caveat is that I don't do gaming

    • Since when is such a machine considered "premium?" :) Even if I wasn't a Mac fan, to buy this over a Macbook Air, which is also an x86 box at heart wouldn't make a ton of sense to me, as it could run the same x86 OSes but also run OSX natively without hackery and dodging updates that might break your Hackintosh, etc.
      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        premium means just premium "quality" and more importantly premium pricing.

        you can buy a premium car with a shitty engine and be still paying premium for the badge.

        • You're right, and I guess the MBAir doesn't have touchscreen or built-in LTE as an option, if those matter to you. I'd rather carry a hotspot to get all my devices on LTE, and I'd rather not gorilla arm myself fingerprinting up my touch-screen laptop, but that's just me.
      • High-res touch-screen?

  • OMG, the display! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dabadab ( 126782 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @04:16PM (#42971461)

    The only interesting thing in the whole machine is the display.
    It has sane proportions (3:2) and it has a very decent resolution (2560x1700). Basically these were the worst problems of the notebooks of the last few years: the 16:9 display that made no sense whatsoever* and the laughably low resolution. Now it seems that these may go away.

    *: please note that I'm talking about the really portable size range where basically the keyboard determines the width of the notebook - in this category the displays did not get wide; they got short, with huge unused spaces above and below them.

  • I like the idea, but the monitor size (13", about) is small! But it's got a high resolution and a touch screen...

    Still, it's interesting if I can treat it like a unix laptop...

    I'll call it an interesting direction. You certainly can't touch the screen on any MacBook(s) at the moment.

    • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

      I just touched the screen on my MacBook air. I seem to still be alive. I think you can touch it all you like. It does not treat it as input, but that does not prevent you from smudging up the display if you like.

      Touch on a laptop seems like a terrible idea. It already has better methods of input. It works for phones and tablets because there really is no other option.

  • No. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Richy_T ( 111409 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @04:32PM (#42971643) Homepage

    In the last few days, I have switched over to the "Google is evil" camp and will be moving away from them as much as possible.

    If anyone cares what pushed me over the edge, it was when I found they now require you have Google Plus to write a review in the play store. A move worthy of Microsoft at its vilest. This is not the only issue by any means though.

    • You know who also forced people to join Google Plus when they wanted to write reviews of apps they'd bought?
    • One thing that has annoyed me lately is that you now have to be signed in to a Google account to use the PDF preview capability in search results. These aren't "Google Books", but just PDFs on 3rd party sites that Google has retrieved and converted, so the documents are already sitting out there one the web. There's no good reason a person has to be signed in to Google view a preview version of a PDF found in a Google Search.

      I can see now, if Google could get away with it, they would require you to be sig

    • Re:No. (Score:4, Informative)

      by paulpach ( 798828 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @06:24PM (#42973125)

      If anyone cares what pushed me over the edge, it was when I found they now require you have Google Plus to write a review in the play store. A move worthy of Microsoft at its vilest. This is not the only issue by any means though.

      As someone who sells a game in google play [] I appreciated this move. Before, when a customer had a problem with the game, I had absolutely no way of helping the customer. Now at least I can help some of them by contacting them on their google play.

      I would really prefer if I could simply reply to reviews and keep it anonymous, many of the problems people have are just misunderstandings or are a checkbox away. Any change that allows me to respond to reviews is very welcome.

    • Re:No. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MSG ( 12810 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @08:54PM (#42974481)

      That seems like an overreaction. You can't purchase anything from the Google Play Store without a Google account (which automatically means Plus). Why would they allow someone who can't use the Play Store to review an app there? That's nothing more than an open invitation for abuse.

  • Google should know better than to gimp the storage! Nice netbook, looks like it could be useful right up until you get to the point about storage. 32 GB for the base model or 64 GB for the upgrade model. It has a nice screen, I like that, but in the real world most people don't live in the cloud, they live off their hard drive!!!!

    Google, quite being cheap and give people a hard drive that isn't the same spec I would have gotten from a model 5 years ago, okay? Just because you live in the cloud, just because

    • Google should know better than to gimp the storage!

      Google does this on purpose with all their devices, because they want you to live your entire life "in the cloud" (i.e. no data security and no privacy). This is why most newer Nexus devices don't have SD card slots. At least the Chromebook Pixel has one so you can add external storage for your stuff.

      The real question is whether the Chromebook Pixel has its SSD in standard mSATA format, or if it uses some proprietary crap like the Macbooks do. If it's a s

    • Just because you live in the cloud, just because your users utilize the cloud, doesn't mean that your users live in the cloud. Why is this so hard to understand?

      google doesn't have a lot of interest in giving you a nice system to run linux. it only pays off for them if you use their cloud services. they aren't going to jack up the price / lower their profit margin to add hardware that doesn't support that end.

  • by ideonexus ( 1257332 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @04:33PM (#42971659) Homepage Journal

    What keeps me from buying into the Chrome OS is the idea of having everything in the "cloud." A few months back I switched to Google Docs for all my writing, and the experience hasn't been the best. On my laptop, I've got local versions of all my docs, so it isn't too big a problem, but on my tablet, the local versions won't work unless there's an internet connection. I live just outside of DC, but Verizon's DSL is still unreliable. Many times I'm writing and docs looses the internet connection and freezes up, making me sit there waiting until it can sync my last edit with its servers.

    What's worse is that Office 2013 is starting to go the Cloud-drive route too, so Word freezes up when I'm not connected to the Internet. You know what else freezes up when I'm not connected to the cloud? Mass Effect 3, right in the middle of my game play. Even though all the content is on my hard drive.

    I am all for the cloud, but developers need to make sure their products work when I'm not connected to it. I have no intention of shelling out a $1000-plus dollars for a device that turns into a brick when I'm riding in a car just because my hot-spot can't get a cellphone signal.

  • A chromebook for $250-$500 sounds like a pretty good deal ($250 for those unsure about a laptop that only runs a web browser, $500 for those who like the chromebook concept and want better hardware). Why would I pay 4x more than the entry-level model - what kind of product marketing group signed off on this?

    A 13" retina-class Chromebook for the same price as a MB Air (which has better specs aside from the screen and runs a real OS) just sounds crazy.

    • Thank God for capitalism.

      I don't think Google is going to take over the world with this thing, but there are a whole slew of people with highly disposable income, you know, nerds that get paid well for being nerdy. This is the kind of device that nerds will drool over, I am. That's the beauty of capitalism, you can pretty much sell anything at any price and there will always be a market for it, even if you don't get it.

      Nexus Q was completely misguided however. It wasn't a Google TV product yet could conn

  • by Anonymous Coward

    At current prices, 3 Years of 1TB Google Drive Storage (that they throw in for free with every Pixel purchase) goes for 12x3x49.99=1799.64.

    Basically you get a laptop for free and some discount if you prepay for it.

    Seems like a good deal (if you *need* that kind of storage)

  • Only if the HD and RAM are upgradable with standard parts, and the can be replaced. And no, using a soldering iron or a heat gun doesn't count, especially if there is a large likely hood of damage.

    Until then, I consider $1300 to much for a disposable laptop. That was my problem with the macbook. Although, I probably would have dropped $1300 for the retina mac even with its failings.

    I would be ecstatic if they put that display (with a matte coating) on an actual netbook. My netbook has standard RAM, harddriv

  • I can see that a ChromeBook for $400 or less makes a lot of sense and would interest a lot of people. It's a nice extra computer for the living room or for a vacation. But at over $1000 I wonder what the market will be? It's too expensive to be just a toy and it's not powerful enough to be used as your only machine.
  • too bad Chrome OS is just too gimped. Such a wasted opportunity. While the insides are not stellar the screen looks great. I'd gladly pay that price if it had a real linux distro with manufacturer support. That kind of screen is for professionals graphical and coding apps, not facebook, twitter and youtube.
  • by EGSonikku ( 519478 ) <<> <at> <>> on Thursday February 21, 2013 @05:39PM (#42972517)

    Get a Retina MacBook Pro.

    Lets compare:

    13" Chromebook Pixel
    1.8GHz Core i5
    4GB RAM
    32GB Storage
    5 Hour battery
    Only runs Chrome

    13" Retina MacBook Pro
    2.5GHz Core i5
    8GB RAM
    128GB SSD
    7 Hour battery
    Can run OS X, Windows, or Linux

    Seems to me that extra $200 gets you a LOT more bang for your buck. And if you don't care about the display then that same cash gets you a much better hardware spec'd laptop from many other places.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      For my mum I'd get the Chromebook because it is easier to use and harder to break.

      For myself I'd get an Ultrabook. Better spec, cheaper, better screen. Yeah, better screen, because the effective resolution of a retina display at 200% scaling (for optimum image quality) is lower than full HD and text isn't any easier to read (looks a bit sharper perhaps).

  • I keep wondering when Google's hardware offerings are going to sour their relationships with their partners.

    Maybe Android is too big now for phone and tablet makers to take their ball and go home, but Chrome OS could be stillborn from this.

  • by edmicman ( 830206 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @05:48PM (#42972653) Homepage Journal

    My initial questions are:
    What is the effective resolution? I.e., 1388x768 or whatever? It doesn't actually display at that resolution, does it?
    Can you replace the HD?
    Can you wipe it and run another OS like Linux or Windows on it?
    What 'touch' features does ChromeOS use?

    Seems like it might be a sweet little portable dev machine, that's not a Mac. Why is it that the only ones coming out with hires laptop displays are Apple or Google? Where's my 14" Lenovo with that resolution?

  • Pricing strategy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @05:49PM (#42972671)
    Clearly, they're using Apple's pricing strategy. It's a Business 101 classic: many customers WANT to spend too much on stuff. Those customers see high prices as some (twisted) source of prestige. As a retailer, I see it every day. There are products that you can sell MORE of if you increase the price.
  • by Xaedalus ( 1192463 ) <Xaedalys@[ ] ['yah' in gap]> on Thursday February 21, 2013 @05:58PM (#42972797)

    As a proud member pervert in good standing of the Congregation for Appreciation of Internet Pr0n, I must heartily decry, deride, protest, and shake every conceivable appendage I can muster at the idea of a laptop having a touchscreen. I care not for access to dev mode and ease of conversion to Linux, nor do I care about comparisons to MBR, MBP, or any other model in its market class, nay; what I care most about is that when I am using internet on my laptop for the purpose that the Good Lord Snookums intended--the transmission of digitalized lewd images at 0.999999 percent of c to my eyes for transitional enlightenment of my load--that any incidental contact of whatever airborne fluids I may be generating will not hit my screen and be registered as input. I have a hard enough time keeping my screen nice and clear as it is, I really do not need the fruit of my loins sending me to yet another morally dubious website when I'm not yet done with the one I'm on! So NAY! I say! Nay to touchscreens on laptops! I will NOT be a consumer of this product!

    As a side note, I do not use my iPad for this very reason... well, that and my wrists tend to get crimps in them.

  • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @07:44PM (#42973949)
    "You'll never ever see another pixel in your life," says Chrome VP Sundar Pichai.

    Considering that the name is Chromebook Pixel, they might want to rethink that marketing talking point.

Some people manage by the book, even though they don't know who wrote the book or even what book.