Google has announced a long-anticipated update to their flagship Chromebook Pixel, updating the internal specifications with newer hardware from Intel. The newest Broadwell based CPU’s are present, skipping Haswell entirely and replacing the aging Ivy Bridge chip of the first generation.
The new Chromebook Pixel comes standard with 8GB of RAM and a 32GB SSD, with the option to upgrade to a 64GB SSD, 16GB RAM, a faster Broadwell-based i7 in what Google is calling an LS model, for “Ludicrous Speed”, a reference to the movie Spaceballs. Unlike most laptops, the Chromebook Pixel uses a 3:2 aspect ratio for its screen, with a resolution of 2560 x 1700 (239 PPI). This puts it closer to tablets such as the Nexus 9 and iPad Air 2 rather than most laptops, which are typically 16:9 or 16:10.
Notably, the new Chromebook Pixel also has two USB 3.1 Type-C connectors in addition to two USB 3.1 Type-A Connectors, an SDXC Slot, and a headphone jack. Either of the Type-C connectors can function as the charging port, allowing for added convenience. As Type-C also supports protocols such as Ethernet and DisplayPort, adapters will also be available for those additional functions. Google has official dongles to utilize additional Type-A USB ports, DisplayPort, and HDMI. The Chromebook Pixel and Apple’s recently announced Macbook are some of the first laptops to use this port for charging, with other manufacturers moving to it as a charging port in the future.
Google claims a battery life 12 hours, which is similar to other competitors with similar hardware. The Chromebook Pixel, true it its name, is running ChromeOS, which benefits from heavy use of the Google ecosystem such as Gmail, Docs, Music, and Calendar. For many uses, an active internet connection will be required.
The Pixel comes in two models, the base model and the LS model. The base model is $999 USD and the LS model is $1299. Both models are available in the new Google Store.