Chromebook Pixel Hits the Market

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Chromebook Pixel Hits the Market

Google began accepting orders for the WiFi-only Chromebook Pixel Feb. 21, and said the laptop will begin shipping in three to five days. The WiFi version is priced at $1,299 in the United States. A version with LTE will ship in April and retail for $1,449. Users will have access to 100MB per month on Verizon's LTE network.

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Touch-Screen Resolution Rivals Apple Retina Display

"It is the highest-resolution, brightest, best screen that has ever been put in a laptop computer," said Linus Upson, Google's vice president of engineering, in a promotional video. The 12.85-inch screen packs in 4.3 million pixels. Apple says its 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display has "over 4 million pixels" and its 15-inch Retina display has "over 5 million."

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Pixel’s Clean Design

Andrew Bowers, Google's group product manager, says the team wanted "as few lines as possible, as few markings as possible, as few screws as possible." In essence, they wanted the hardware to "disappear" as the user focused on the Pixel's high-resolution display. Oddly, then, one can't help but notice that the Pixel looks like nothing else. Its long, rounded hinge—almost like a notebook spiral—is also impossible to ignore.

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The Hinge Close-Up

Here is a closer look at the Pixel's hinge.

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Backlit Screen and Keyboard

Backlights in the Pixel's screen and keyboard respond to the lighting in its environment. Its touch-pad is made from etched glass that's been "analyzed and honed using a laser microscope for exception smoothness and accuracy," said Google.

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The Chromebook Pixel’s Easy-to-Open Thumb-Catch

Even the lip, or thumb-catch, which makes it easy to open the laptop, is a bit unusual—something of an oversized version of the MacBook Pro's, with accompanying spaceship-like lights.

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Chromebook Pixel Front View

The pronounced front lip is also evident in this photo on the Google Play page, where the Pixel can be ordered. The laptop measures 11.7 by 8.8 by 0.64 inches and weighs 3.35 pounds. By comparison, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is 12.35 by 8.62 by 0.75 inches and weighs 3.57 pounds.

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In Comparison: Acer C7 Chromebook

On its Play site, Google advertises the $199 Acer C7 as being "for everyone." The same cannot be said of the Pixel.

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In Comparison: Samsung Chromebook

The $249 Samsung Chromebook has been the best-selling laptop on since the site began selling it four months ago.

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In Comparison: Lenovo

The ThinkPad X131e is a rugged Chromebook designed to face the "daily rigors of K-12 education," says Lenovo. The laptop's starting price is $429.

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