What happens when you combine a super simple netbook OS with the luxury stylings of a premium Ultrabook and the highest resolution of any laptop ever? Lets see what Google Chromebook Pixel will offer us.
Chunkier, and it’s 170g heavier. We’re guessing that’s why Google didn’t fill up the rest of its partly hollow frame with a bigger battery, leaving it with a run-of-the-mill five hours between charges.
The Google Chromebook Pixel has obviously been named for its major spec: the 2560×1700 screen is super-sharp, with a class-leading 239ppi that renders text amazingly cleanly. It’s also a touchscreen, which is (literally) handy for scrolling, and its unusual 3:2 ratio means you see more of most websites than on a standard 16:9 panel.
It’s 1mm thinner than a 13in MacBook Air and exceptionally well made, but without the Air’s tapering sides the Pixel feels
The chiclet keyboard is a joy to type on, easily one of the best we’ve used. Our only gripe is THE REMOVAL OF THE CAPS LOCK KEY, which has been ousted by the (admittedly handy) Search key. Whether this bugs you will depend on whether you spend more time Googling or TYPING LIKE THIS. It’s Alt-Search to cap up. BTW.
We’ve seen Google’s Chrome OS before and it’s worked best on sub-E250, ARM-based machines. The pricey Pixel runs the same browser-based OS, but on far beefier hardware: namely an Intel Core i5 chip with HD4000 graphics. Given that Chrome requires little power, that muscle seems mainly to be directed at the screen.
In this cloud-based OS, you leave your files on the server (the Pixel comes with 1TB of Drive space, free for 3 years) and access them from any computer. And that way, when your swanky laptop gets nicked, you don’t lose any files.
Sadly, the HTML5 future is taking its time arriving, and the Chrome Web Store has very little to offer beyond ports of smartphone games you’ve played 100 times before. Worse still, we found many apps just didn’t work on the Pixel.
By outsourcing number-crunching and file storage to cloud servers, Chrome OS can run on low-voltage mobile chips in devices with long battery life, and performance can be improved without the need to buy new hardware.
Your Google Docs are automatically downloaded to the Pixel, allowing you to work in offline mode when you have no connection. Changes are then synced when you next get / online
Music and video playing
MP3 music and certain video files can be played from the Pixel’s local storage or a memory card, via the very basic inbuilt media apps. But format support is sketchy, especially for video files.
Some games and apps
Most HTML5 sites/apps can be downloaded and run offline, and the Chrome Web Store includes an Offline category. Our experience, however, f was that some worked and some didn’t.
You can download files to the Pixel and move them around locally, but beware: ‘Downloaded files may be automatically deleted if your Chrome device is running low on space
Display: 12.85m, 2560×1700 touchscreen 05 Google Chrome 05
CPU: Intel Dual Core i5 @ I.BGHz
Graphics: Integrated Intel HD 4000 RAM 4GB
Storage: 32GB 55D + 1TB of Google Drive cloud storage for 3 years
Connectivity: 3.5mm headphone out, Bluetooth 3.0, dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, 5D card reader, U5B2.0 (xE)
Battery life: 5hrs