This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.
First Look: Brilliant Pixel resolution, brutal Pixel price
About Video Comments (0 ) Transcript

First Look: Brilliant Pixel resolution, brutal Pixel price

3:39 /

The Chromebook Pixel is Google's first in-house-designed laptop, and it's one sharp-looking device. Topping it off is an amazing touch screen with Retina Display-level resolution, but there's still room for the Pixel to improve.

Google is not known for much hardware besides its sleek Nexus phones and some fancy futuristic glasses. But the sleek Chromebook Pixel changes all that. I am Seth Rosenblatt for CNET. And this first look, we're taking a quick tour of Google's first laptop made without a manufacturing partner. The result is not unlike Microsoft Surface, a sharp, sexy device with some unique features and a ridiculously high price point. And boy, I mean, high. Let's just get the facts out of the way. The Pixel runs on a dual core 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5 processor, with integrated Intel HD 4,000 graphics and 4 gigs of memory. It's a huge step up for Chromebook power, although, not super high-end either. Speaking of graphics, the screen on this thing is slightly bonkers. It supports a 3 to 2 ratio for easier vertical scrolling. The touchscreen clocks in at 239 pixels per inch, edging past the 13-inch MacBook Pro's 227 PPI retina display. Google crammed 2 microphones, an HD camera and a light detector above the screen. The two mics are for better noise cancellation but Google also tapped a third mic below the keyboard to help cut out typing noises. On the outside, the pixel has 2 USB ports, a mini display port for external monitors, an SD card slot and a combination headphone mic jack. Google promises around 5 hours of battery life, just in shabby. But that mini display port, Bluetooth 3.0 and USB 2.0, meaning the pixel is actually a version behind the latest standards. That's a problem. Why build a high-end laptop that only meets average ports. However, it's been beautifully engineered and feels solid even if it is a sketch heavy at 3.3 pounds. There are no visible screws holding the chassy together. The track pad feels grippy yet smooth, not too greasy, and the hinge has been designed so you can open it with one hand. For better and for worse, the pixel runs Chrome OS. Google's browser based operating system gets regular updates every 6 weeks, which means that your pixel will stay current for quit a while. If you live in the cloud, you simply must consider this if you're looking for a high-end laptop. However, it also means that you can't run high powered programs like iTunes, photoshop, or MS Office. Currently, Chrome doesn't do well with a ton of tabs, which is essentially what web apps are. So, multitasking can be a bit sluggish at times even with that 4 gigs of RAM. On the other hand, Google is giving everybody who buys a pixel 1 Terabyte of Cloud Storage for 3 years. And if you splurge on the Verizon LTE version that's expected in early April, you'll get practically always on connectivity and I do mean Splurge. The LTE version will run you a whopping. Get ready for this, whopping, $1499 for the WiFi only version it still extracts a hefty $1299 premium. This is a gorgeous device. Something that clearly has had a lot of thought print into it. For those prices, you can get a far more robust Windows 8 touchscreen laptop or a MAC book. Still, it's interesting to see Google take a chance on a product like this and shake things up just a little. I don't think they've nailed it quite yet but they're getting close. For CNET, I'm Seth Rosenblatt.

New releases

All the latest iPhone 6 rumors
6:34 August 21, 2014
A reversible lightning cable, faster LTE, an NFC chip and more are the latest rumors surrounding the iPhone...
Play video
Tomorrow Daily 040: Netflix on...
23:10 August 21, 2014
On today's show, Netflix engineers make browsing the service work with Oculus Rift, scientists create cyborg-like...
Play video
Lighting up the new Philips Hue...
2:42 August 21, 2014
These white-light only Hue LEDs are an affordable smart lighting entry point.
Play video
Windows 9 may be revealed next...
2:54 August 21, 2014
Microsoft is said to show off the next version of Windows in late September, wireless carriers battle for...
Play video
Verykool Spark review: A forgettable...
1:47 August 21, 2014
The sleek Verykool Spark has two SIM card slots, but is plagued by a poor camera.
Play video
2014 Volkswagen Passat SEL
7:19 August 21, 2014
The new 2014 Volkswagen Passat SEL Premium competes in the toughest category with the likes of the Honda Accord,...
Play video
Mille Miglia 2014: A front-row...
13:10 August 21, 2014
XCAR drives nearly a thousand miles in a 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupé, following millions of dollars of metal...
Play video
Tomorrow Daily 039: "Swarmies"...
18:06 August 20, 2014
On today's show, Ashley and Khail check out how NASA might use tiny robot swarms to search for resources on...
Play video
 

Video discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre