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Published on February 26th, 2013 | by Gizmodo

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Google Chromebook Pixel Review: Awesome, Just Not $1300 Worth of Awesome

Google set out to build ” the best laptop possible .” The result: the Chromebook Pixel . A sleek and powerful device designed specifically for life in the cloud

Google Chromebook Pixel Review: Awesome, Just Not $1300 Worth of AwesomeGoogle set out to build “the best laptop possible.” The result: the Chromebook Pixel. A sleek and powerful device designed specifically for life in the cloud. If the display doesn’t make your jaw drop, the price tag will.

Google Chromebook Pixel Review: Awesome, Just Not $1300 Worth of Awesome

It’s Google’s first foray into the high-end market and a direct assault on a segment held by rivals Apple and Microsoft’s legion of manufacturing partners. Google appears to be giving Chrome a legitimate shot at establishing itself as a viable OS. Chromebooks up until this point cost $250 and performed like it. They were great as secondary laptops, something to give your kids to destroy so they’d keep their grubby mitts off your MBA. But the Pixel is built as an ultrabook competitor, not merely a stand-in. This is especially significant given Google’s popularity among the huddled masses. With the meteoric rise of Android, Google’s shown what its software can do with the right hardware partners. The Pixel looks to be the company’s first steps towards doing the same with Chrome OS. By providing it with inarguably top-rate hardware, Google has freed Chrome OS to succeed or fail on its own merits.

Its exterior is minimalist without appearing completely barren; the Pixel is smaller than a Thinkpad X1. It measures 11.7 inches wide, 8.8 inches deep, and 0.63 inches thick with the lid closed. By comparison, the MacBook Air is 0.68 inches when closed. But it weighs in at 3.35 pounds, noticeably heftier than the MBA’s 2.96-lbs. The dark grey aluminum frame is squeaky clean—Google intentionally omitted the ID symbols for ports, for example—and square, lots of rounded right angles, with a thin status light running along the top of the lid. The lid itself is sturdy and shows no signs of flexing even when I’m pressing against the touchscreen—it opens smoothly and effortlessly.

Google Chromebook Pixel Review: Awesome, Just Not $1300 Worth of Awesome

Google Chromebook Pixel Review: Awesome, Just Not $1300 Worth of Awesome

Holy hell this thing is fast. Powering on takes just 15 seconds and it wakes instantly from sleeping. But consider the fact that it’s booting up a browser, so… yeah. Both the Wi-Fi and LTE connections make short work of moving large files to and from the cloud. The LTE slurps data and should be used sparingly; you get 100MB free each month, but you’ll burn through that in no time. The keyboard is perhaps the best I’ve ever used on a laptop. The keys are well-spaced, sturdy, and responsive with a firm action. The touchscreen is incredibly accurate and responsive. Unlike the Acer S7, where I found myself secretly wishing for a stylus, I rarely had to retouch in order to make a selection on Seamless or navigating through Hulu. This allowed me to switch effortlessly between using the touchpad for navigation and the screen itself for making selections (while minimizing the amount of fingerprint smudging left on the screen). The video quality was superb, with minimal chop and pixelation on streaming content from YouTube (GoT Season 3 trailer), Netflix (Ghost Protocol), and Hulu (Naruto Shipuuden). Even powering through archives of large vertical-format web comics was much less of a hassle than on a 16:9 screen thanks to the extra 18 percent of vertical real estate.

Google Chromebook Pixel Review: Awesome, Just Not $1300 Worth of Awesome

• Screen Size & Resolution: 12.85 inches, 2560 x 1700, 239 ppi
• Display Type: Touchscreen LCD
• CPU: 1.8 gHz dual core Intel i5
• Memory: 4 GB DDR3 RAM
• Storage: 32 or 64GB local SSD, 3 years of included 1TB Google Drive cloud storage
• GPU: Intel HD Graphics 4000
• Connectivity: 2 x USB 2.0, SD card Reader, mini-HDMI, 8023.11n Wi-Fi, LTE, 720P Front-facing camera
• Weight: 3.35 pounds
• Dimensions: 298mm x 225mm x 16.2mm
• Price: $1300 32 GB Wi-Fi, $1450 64 GB Wi-Fi/LTE
• Gizrank: 3.5

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