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Chromebook Pixel has retina-beating touchscreen for £1,049

Google's pricey new laptop has a monstrous screen resolution, but runs the risky Chrome OS.

Android-maker Google has made an unexpected move, crafting a MacBook-rivalling laptop with a stupendously high-res screen, and a price to match.

The Chromebook Pixel has a 12.85-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 2,560x1,700 pixels, for a pixel-per-inch count of 239. That's even higher than the ludicrous number of pixels jammed inside Apple's 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, which has a 13.3-inch, 2,560x1,600 display, at 227 pixels per inch.

Elsewhere you get an Intel Core i5 processor with 4GB of RAM and -- Google claims -- up to five hours of battery life. Around the sides you get two USB 2.0 ports, a mini display port and an SD card reader. For all this, you'll be splashing out a whopping £1,049.

Chrome OS

Sounds luxurious, non? But there is a caveat -- the Chromebook Pixel is powered by Google's Chrome OS, which is, in essence, a slightly more capable version of the search giant's Chrome browser.

That means the computer needs an Internet connection to really be useful, as you can only perform tasks through websites, web apps or Google's online services, like Docs.

It's not possible to install programs like Steam, Photoshop or instant messaging clients, which quickly becomes a real pain. These limitations feel especially burdensome when you consider the high price, for which you could buy an extremely powerful Windows laptop, or a MacBook Air.

CNET has already gone hands-on with the Chromebook Pixel, so be sure to check out our first impressions of this peculiar machine.

Google says the Pixel is for, "Power users who have fully embraced the cloud," which I suspect is precisely no-one. If you are keen, the Chromebook Pixel is available to buy now via Google's online Play shop, and will be in Currys PC World shops if you want to try it out for yourself.

What do you think of Chrome OS? Should Google focus on Android, or is there hope for this online-only operating system? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.