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back to article Google takes Chromebook upmarket with touchy-feely Pixel

Chromebooks have traditionally been priced for the low end of the market, but Google has decided to go for the well-heeled cloud warrior with the Chromebook Pixel, a touchscreen laptop with a super-high resolution screen and a price tag to match. "We've designed this for people who live in the cloud, even if they're like my …

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Anonymous Coward

Fingerprints on your glossy high resolution screen, what a great idea.

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Happy

> Fingerprints on your glossy high resolution screen, what a great idea.

So don't touch it...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: > Fingerprints on your glossy high resolution screen, what a great idea.

>So don't touch it...

So why pay for it?...

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I don't think people will touch it because one's arms aren't conditioned to lift up and out that far (and then tense incredibly to let the finger perform a delicate/gentle touch) on a regular basis. If they do touch it regularly that might be an RSI risk.

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3:2

awesome, not 16:9, not even 16:10, 3:2. 1700 pixels of vertical resolution. If it wasn't stuck with 64GB SSD and 4GB RAM I'd buy it to install a proper OS.

Who is making this for Google? Can we petition them to put out a version for windows? Like this but with 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM and a matte screen option.

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Linux

Re: 3:2

That's exactly what I'm thinking... presumably whoever it is who's making these 3:2 2560x1700 panels didn't set up the line(s) exclusively for Google... so they're coming! ...and "wide viewing angles" - usually marketingdroidese for IPS (or PLS or one of the similar HQ designs). All very promising!

<-- PS... 64GB SSD and 4GB RAM is ample to install a proper OS ;o)

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Windows

Re: 3:2

No.

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FAIL

Re: 3:2

... 64GB SSD and 4GB RAM is ample to install a proper OS ...

Yes, but not to hold an awful lot of data.

It's probably fine if you buy into the whole cloud thing, but internet access while on the move isn't yet anything like ubiquitous (let alone fast enough or cheap enough) for that to be a sensible approach for the serious mobile user.

This machine would be a whole lot more attractive with Linux and a 500GB+ spinning drive (oh, and a matt screen).

Fail for the lack of capacity, not for your post.

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FAIL

Re: 3:2

~10GB for the OS and ~4 for swap leaves ~50GB for data. Not an "awful lot", certainly but I think ample for a portable device. I'm saying "ample" because I think ample is the point: A portable device of any kind isn't somewhere I'd choose to archive data... and one that's a tempting target for thieves but fitted with a temperamental shock sensitive storage medium least of all.

<-- FAIL Not for your post ("matte screen" alone got you an automatic upvote), for your spinning rust contraption and the 500GB+ of your data you had on it

;-)

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I doubt this will be flying off the shelves. I really want that screen res on my next laptop but at £1000 for Chrome OS you're having a laugh. I'm writing this on a Samsung ARM chromebook and I love it - I can even dual boot into Ubuntu (goodness knows how the Reg reviewer found it hard to do). The thing about the Samsung CB is that its cheap, has no fans and a very respectable battery life. The Pixel has none of these and that screen doesn't make up for it.

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Anonymous Coward

YES! I wish Google would scrape the Intel crap out of this design and replace it with a nice modern big.LITTLE SoC. Price would drop a few hundred bucks and battery life would shoot through the roof. Bliss.

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Someone at Google has been at the Evostick Timebond again

People didn't buy the cheap one, what makes them think people will buy a really expensive one.

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I can't imagine why any normal person* in their right mind would pay over a grand for a laptop running a system as restrictive as Chrome OS. This product seems like utter madness to me.

* Yes, I know _you_ will install Linux Mint on it (although good luck getting the window manager and all your applications to work properly with that display). By "normal person" I mean "average person in the street".

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Anonymous Coward

Those "normal" people* seem to fall over themselves to buy IThings and MacThings. This'll have a stunning screen and ChromeOS will run like stink on it. If you're a Googlite that's probably pretty close to nirvana.

* Not being "normal", it wouldn't be Mint for me but trying a selection of DEs on it could be fun. Don't see why most wouldn't work readily enough. Might even be moved to drop a patch or widgetset upstream if some niggle piques an interest.

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I think it makes a lot of sense - whilst low cost Chromebooks will bring ChromeOS to the masses, even though this Pixel will sell far less, they make much bigger profits. And looking at the people with Apple Airs, there are certainly people willing to spend over £1000 for a laptop even if it's just for things like web and email, maybe some word processing or games, all of which can be done on a Chromebook. I believe it supports offline - the "restrictiveness" is more that it only supports HTML5 for applications, which makes it harder to port software, and makes it less interesting to programmers like me unless I were to switch entirely to writing HTML5 applications - but most people aren't developers, and given the sales, I'm sure increasing numbers of applications will be written for it. (See https://chrome.google.com/webstore for what's already there.)

Indeed, whilst ChromeOS is obvious competition for Windows, I think Apple have more to worry about: people often buy them because they think PC laptops are bulky, and only Apple do ultra-portables - now Chromebooks are getting a lot of coverage; people who don't want Windows/MS now have a better alternative; people who think having as many pixels as possible is important now have a better alternative; raising the awareness and acceptance of touchscreen laptops makes MS look more like they made the right move, with Apple having to choose between following after with this functionality, or never having it; plus those rocketing Chromebook sales could put Mac OS into 3rd place - even if they don't actually lose any sales to it, marketing-wise that's a bad thing for them.

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"Indeed, whilst ChromeOS is obvious competition for Windows"

I think one of us needs to have a good lie down, and I suspect it's not me.

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I'm not sure how you mean - I mean yes, I'd rather run Windows (or Linux) than ChromeOS any day. But if people are buying Chromebook laptops instead of other laptops (and they are), it's competition.

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Mushroom

That's relative. A very few people are buying Chrome tablets. It makes Windows RT looks like a top seller....Therefore whilst it might technically be competition, it's not really on the radar at this point.

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Anonymous Coward

Paint me nonplussed

The screen is lovely but my MacBook Air lives in multiple clouds, and gives me a proper OS to play with. I'm not saying it couldn't be very useful but, current me is stuck in a hotel in West Africa where the internet goes up and down like a whore's knickers. On that basis, a Chromebook of any kind has a hard time appealing with me, and this really is just a super expensive Chromebook.

Now, that £230 squids Samsung could be perfect when out and abut back home, as an additional advice, not my main device.

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But... Re: Paint me nonplussed

Do the whores in west Africa have knickers?

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Anonymous Coward

Forget the "more money than sense" market. Google is aiming this at the lots of money and nosense market.

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Anonymous Coward

Direct competition for Apple then. Should be interesting.

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FAIL

"Support for viewing and editing Word and Excel documents via Quickoffice has also been added, so that the device can slot easily into the enterprise market."

ROFL. LMAO and so forth.

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WTF?

wtf?

A high spec laptop for people who 'live in the cloud' ... so that's a high spec laptop for people who, by definition, don't need a high spec laptop, because all they're processing is done somewhere else...

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Anonymous Coward

Love it if upgradeable

Somewhat pricey, especially if you'd want to (like me) upgrade to a standard 256 GB SSD and 8 or even better 16 GB RAM. I hope that's possible. I'd have a dual boot to occasionally give ChromeOS a go and whatever Linux distribution reviewers will find play well.

But the screen alone makes me want it very much.

Oh wait. No 3G? That's a bit of a problem.

I think I'll wait for the 2nd generation.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Love it if upgradeable

>whatever Linux distribution reviewers will find play well.

Anything built on Linux >= 3.9 by the look of things

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Lack of storage...

There was a bloke that made a lot of money by playing piano at posh parties and corporate events... his 'unique selling point'? Any tune that a guest named, he could play. This ability allowed him to charge top rates for his services, even though most of the time he would only be asked to play one of a few dozen famous songs.

I'm beginning to have similar feelings bout the storage on my laptop, filled up with old projects, and films that I've already seen. The occasions that I'm away from a fast enough data connection are becoming shorter and less frequent. Time for a spring clean and tidy, methinks!

That's not to say that the Chromebook is for me... convenience isn't the only concern; being dependant upon being able to find a working data connection isn't a good idea, and there are security concerns too.... but then I have mates who are issued Linux laptops purely for remotely and securely logging into their companies' systems.

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Anonymous Coward

Quite.

...and a portable, valuable gadget filled with spinning rust is hardly the ideal place to be archiving data anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Well

I put my order in. I've been wanting a Chromebook for a while but the plastic crap with rubbish screens just didn't appeal. This is a bit more than I wanted to pay, but for that screen? What the hell;).

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Stop

Wot no USB3?

That and no ethernet port...

Is this the same strategy that sees SD cards being removed from Android devices?

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By the way

There is a good excuse for no ethernet port on things like this and the Lenovo Yoga - they are too thin to accommodate a standard RJ45 socket.

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Pirate

So...the idea is that you spend $1300 of YOUR money. Then you hand over all YOUR data, plus evidence of all of YOUR processing, and evidence of ALL THE PLACES WHERE YOU use your shiny new machine.....to Google.

And apart from the money, why would Google be interested in this proposition? I'm sure I can't imagine.

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Linux

This will become more.

http://www.engadget.com/2013/02/23/chromebook-pixel-linux-unverified-bios-slot-custom-bootloader/

According to Engadget, Google are pretty much encouraging the install of Linux on these machines.

This could be the start of a lot of growth in market share for Linux, if there are easy upgrade paths and full hardware support, which will both evolve in time.

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Happy

Re: This will become more.

I agree. These are two more areas - high density displays and ARM support (other Chromebooks) - where Linux distros offer a real advantage over Windows (apart from the rather trivial not-having-to-pay-for-them thing)

The "upgrade paths and full hardware support" are already in place! Google and its staff have a good record of actively supporting Linux.

I'm starting to feel like I'm doing Eadon's job for him! Don't you work on weekends Eadon? ;o)

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Mushroom

Re: This will become more.

Windows 8 kernel supports ARM. For example Windows Phone and Windows RT.

Linux is only free if your time is of no value!

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13"?

I didn't actually see the screen size mentioned in the Reg or linked article, though a few have mentioned it being 13" in comments. Could someone confirm this?

It seems VERY expensive for the spec other than the fancy screen - I mean 4GB only for a grand? Even cloud-based stuff might need more if you want serious apps in the browser like NaCl games or something.

Two linked questions...

1)Do Google make ChromeOS publicly available so you can install it in a VM or multi-boot/Bootcamp it? That might be fun to try. Or even on a bootable USB?

2)If you bought a Pixel, could you put W8 on it either alongside ChromeOS or instead?

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Re: 13"?

Confirm 12.85"

Agree about VERY expensive. The beautiful panel is beautiful and 3:2 and all but not all that different from the beautiful panel in the Nexus 10 - which sells for under half the price. ~$700 does seem a high price to pay for little more than 16GB flash, a hinge and Intel.

1) Dunno. Probably... but why not just shrink the partition(s) which arrive on it or clone it/them onto an SD card or USB stick?

2) I doubt MS is competent to make W8 & their own applications work consistently nicely on high density displays (nevermind "legacy" 3rd party apps) - I suspect that's the reason we're having to suffer crap screens in the PC sector... but I don't see any reason why it wouldn't run. You'll need to have drivers for the isl29023 ambient light sensor, the Atmel mxt224s trackpad and the Atmel mxt1664s touchscreen if you want those to work.

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JDX
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Re: 13"?

There's no reason the display density is an issue. Simply set the video mode to 1280x850 if you are running apps which don't scale... the whole "retina mode" is the incompetent design in my view. Windows already lets you adjust DPI on icons etc so it should be fine, though I don't really see such a high DPI screen being sensible anyway... although games would look pretty incredible (except the hardware can't keep up).

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This post has been deleted by its author

Re: 13"?

Yes, I think the super sharpness and detail of text and images when displayed at those high densities is most of the appeal of this Chromebook - but not just for games. If you're content running it at half its native resolution then, as you say, most of Windows' potential problems will disappear and you'll still get the benefit of invisible (physical) pixels - even though you'll have blockier (display) pixels. There's probably a text anti-aliasing setting which would deliver a pleasant enough rendering.

I think I might have misread 1)...

Are you wondering if you can download ChromeOS independently... i.e. without having a Chrome device? The project lives at www.chromium.org/chromium-os but doesn't provide any binaries. You can also download a prepared image (for either VMWare, VirtualBox or a USB stick) from chromeos.hexxeh.net (posted an erroneous link earlier - sorry if I sent you on a wild goose chase!)

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