6
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 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

Philips adds a 75W Replacement SlimStyle LED to its lighting lineup
2:17 November 22, 2014
This bigger, brighter version of the original SlimStyle LED looks like a strong value in its class
Play video
2015 Acura TLX V-6 Advance (CNET On Cars, Episode 54)
16:28 November 21, 2014
Acura hopes the TLX is what it will drive into the future, we explore the head-up display coming to your car soon, and check out the...
Play video
Los Angeles Auto Show 2014: CNET's editors choose their favorites
5:55 November 21, 2014
The press days are over here at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. Before we head off into the Hollywood hills we took a moment to re-cap...
Play video
Watch Tony Hawk do endless 360s on a hoverboard, Ep. 184
5:36 November 21, 2014
This week on Crave, we can see sound waves. We might get to see an unexplored part of the moon. But most of all we get to see Tony...
Play video
The $199 HP Stream 11 wants to be as cloud-friendly as a Chromebook, but with Windows 8
2:18 November 21, 2014
If you keep expectations in check, this bargain-basement Windows 8 laptop has good battery life and a decent design.
Play video
Yamaha SRT-1000 gives good single-speaker surround
1:44 November 21, 2014
The Yamaha SRT-1000 sound base offers discrete looks, an astoundingly wide soundstage and plenty of features in a package that is still...
Play video
Hate ads? Pay Google to block them for you
2:50 November 21, 2014
Google is testing an ad-blocker service, Amazon may be inserting ads into streaming video, and Comcast lets you track the cable gu...
Play video
The 404 Show 1,584: Google Contributor, JFK has a drone problem, San Francisco's poo map (podcast)
30:08 November 21, 2014
We're back in the studio today! Join us for a very special episode complete with a full tour and the start of our Call of Duty: Advanced...
Play video