Chromebook Pixel Not a Joke, Just Its Price.

Subject: General Tech, Systems | February 24, 2013 - 11:18 PM |
Tagged: Chromebook Pixel, Chromebook

We have covered many Chrome OS-based devices, even a pair of reviews, but we have never seen the platform attempt to target the higher-end of the price spectrum. As you could guess by my ominous writing tone, that has changed.

The Chromebook Pixel.

The development commentary video could have been an Apple advertisement. We will embed it below, but it definitely had that whimsical tone we all know and groan. The Pixel was heavily focused on design and screen quality.

The display is quite small, just under 13”, but it has a higher resolution than professional-grade 30” monitors. It leapfrogs Catleap. When trying to visualize the use case, the first thought which comes to mind is a second PC for someone to take with them. If you can get a really high resolution experience with that, then bonus. Right?

The specifications, according to their Best Buy product page, are actually quite decent for a web browser-focused device.

  • Ivy Bridge Core i5
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • 32GB SSD
  • Intel HD 4000 Graphics
  • With the low cost of RAM

The downside? The price starts at $1299 USD and goes up from there. You can get a larger SSD and LTE for just 150$ more, at the $1449 price point if you can wait until April.

Once you factor in the price, and a mighty big factor that is too, it makes it really difficult to figure out who Google is targeting. The only explanation which makes sense to me is a high-end laptop which is easy for IT departments to manage for executives and students.

Lastly, 4GB of RAM is ridiculously cheap nowadays. Could it have killed them to add in a little extra RAM to get more headroom? Also, what about the lack of connectivity to external displays? (Update: Sorry, just found mini displayport on the product tech specs.)

Source: Google Blogs
February 24, 2013 | 11:54 PM - Posted by Terje_P (not verified)

Is the ChromeOS 64-bit?

February 25, 2013 | 01:23 AM - Posted by nadir (not verified)

i think it is 32bit, that why they cant go more than 4GB DDR3 RAM

February 25, 2013 | 10:57 AM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Chrome Browser is 32-bit of course, but since it launches each of its tabs as a separate process it could make use of as much RAM as it likes if the underlying (Linux) kernel can understand >4GB.

So long as each tab individually remains using less than 4GB.

It would make sense that they could have used a 32-bit Linux kernel, given ARM support and all, but this is not an OEM product. If it was an important product to Google they could have swung it. I mean, they probably needed to do some software updates to support the screen and high DPI.

Note: Chrome for "retina" iPad is not Chrome, it's Safari with a complicated skin.

February 25, 2013 | 01:28 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

Wait... an i5 to run a web browser and slimmed-down desktop 0.o. Seems like the bottleneck is now squarely on your internet connection as this 'thin client'-like device is pretty beefy!

February 25, 2013 | 01:29 AM - Posted by nadir (not verified)

i think it have Mini DisplayPort port

February 25, 2013 | 02:19 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Yeah, you're right. Fixed.

February 25, 2013 | 10:25 AM - Posted by YTech2 (not verified)

It must be targeting tablet users, as those devices are still pretty high in cost. Any laptop that is touch-screen are pretty high in cost.

Looking at your article and video alone, the Chromebook Pixel doesn't seem like anything useful other than a Wow factor for those who enjoy touching colourful objects to see them move/react.

So it may simply be a competitive device against Apple - expensive colourful toys that records people's fingerprints

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