CNET First Look
Hands-on with Google's Chromebook PixelStephen Shankland goes hands-on with Google's first touch-screen laptop, the Chromebook Pixel.
This is Stephen Shankland with CNET News in Paris and this is the Chromebook Pixel from Google. It's the first Chromebook from Google itself instead of from partners such as Samsung or Hewlett Packard. And Google is starting off with a bang. That's because the Chromebook Pixel has a terrific 12.85-inch display. At 2560 by 1700 pixels, the screen edges ahead of the MacBook Air retina display for resolution. So, techs and graphics look glorious. At 400 nits, it's really bright and taking a cue from Microsoft and Windows 8, it's a multi touch capable screen. That means you can stab with you finger at text boxes when filling out forms, swipe when scrolling and pinch to zoom on sites like Google Maps that support it. The touchscreen isn't as responsive as I'd like but it's still natural to use. Chrome OS is good for web apps like Google Docs, Facebook and Gmail, which means it works best with a network connection with today's web technology at least. You can't run native apps like iTunes or Microsoft Office, though. That plus the price tag, $1299 for the WiFi only version and $1499 for the Verizon LTE version due in April, means the Chromebook Pixel is definitely not for a mainstream market. It's got a nice and sleek exterior with no screws visible anywhere and no loud logos to curse. The hinge let's you open the lid one handed. The track pad is just as good as the screen and in another first for Chromebook, it's got a backlit keyboard for typing at night or in dark auditoriums. Google clearly paid a lot of attention to the details here. Inside the Chromebook Pixel is a dual core 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5 processor, Integrated Graphics and 4 gigs of memory. The WiFi model of the Chromebook Pixel gets a 32 gig SSD and the LTE model gets a 64 gig SSD. But both models come with 1 Terabyte of Cloud Storage with Google Drive for 3 years. On the outside, the Chromebook Pixel has two USB 2.0 ports, a mini display port for external monitors, an SD card slot and a combination headphone/microphone jack, Google promises 5 hours of battery life with typical usage. And that's a quick hands-on with the Google Chromebook Pixel. I am Stephen Shankland for CNET in Paris.