Introducing the Chromebook Pixel, the $1,299 web browser

February 22, 2013

Google officially revealed the Chromebook Pixel, the first high-end laptop designed and manufactured by the search giant, on Thursday. The announcement marks a sharp turn towards the premium crowd for the Chromebook series, which, according to Wired, can retail for as little as $200 at Best Buy. It’s also a direct shot off of Apple’s high-end bow.

The new laptop, which comes in $1,299 and $1,449 flavors, features the most pixel density on a laptop screen today, with 239 pixels-per-inch for a 12.85 inch display — which, by the way, also happens to be a touchscreen. It’s closest competition, Apple’s 13.3 inch Macbook Air with Retina Display, is 128 pixels-per-inch by comparison.

While the laptop is a premium model, it may not be for everyone. The Pixel, like the Macbook Air, is designed to benefit users who mostly operate online. The laptop’s aspect ratio, 3:2, is more conducive to browsing the web, Wired reports. Onboard storage, as well, is limited to 32 GB for the low-end model and 64 GB for the higher-end model. All onboard storage is place in a solid state drive.

Those concerned about space may not have much to worry about — provided they have an Internet connection. Google will giving Pixel owners 1 TB in Google Drive storage for three years according to The Guardian, as well as 12 free sessions of GoGo Inflight Internet service, reports ZDnet. So, those who’re often without Wi-Fi may want to opt for the pricer $1,449 model, which features a Verizon LTE connection.

Battery life, too, is an issue. While Chromebook Pixel has a higher-capacity battery than the MacBook Air, according to Gizmag, it also has to fuel that super-dense display, meaning a meager five hour charge for typical usage, according to Google. Other specs include an Intel i5 processor, clocking in at 1.8GHz, Bluetooth 3.0, and 4GB of RAM.

Finally, there’s the issue of the Chromebook operating system, which is limited to web browsing and web applications. Developers, too, will have to contend with the laptop’s unusual aspect ratio, notes The Verge‘s Sean Hollister.

But if you primarily work off of the web and a money is no issue, then Chromebook Pixel should be a solid buy. The Wi-Fi model of the Pixel is available for purchase today. The $1,449 Verizon LTE version will launch sometime in April

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