Two years ago, Google released the Chromebook Pixel in an attempt to create a flagship laptop for Chrome OS in order to boost the stature of its operating system. Now, the company is back with a new version designed to woo users looking for a higher-end experience in their Chromebooks – with a price tag to match.
The new Chromebook Pixel costs $999, and with that, users get an Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM and a 32 GB SSD. That may seem like a ridiculously small amount of storage, but it’s worth remembering that this is a Chromebook, and is designed to be connected to the internet for most of its functionality. Don’t expect to use it for storing massive files.
People who need more power can purchase a “LS” model (short for “Ludicrous Speed“) with a Core i7 processor and 64 GB of flash storage for $1299.
It also comes with a higher resolution touchscreen, along with a pair of USB Type-C ports to provide power, device connectivity and the ability to drive external displays. If that connector sounds familiar, it’s the same port that Apple used in its new, ultra-slim MacBook. (It also includes two USB ports and a SD card reader.) The device will run for about 12 hours on a single charge, and users can pick up about 2 hours worth of battery life if they leave it alone to charge for 15 minutes.
The new Chromebook Pixel is available for purchase through the new Google Store website, which the company announced today along with its new laptop. As the name implies, the Google Store is designed to showcase hardware “made with Google” like the Pixel, Nexus 6 smartphone, Chromecast and Android Wear watches. The inventory is almost identical to the Google Play Store’s hardware marketplace, which means that Google may be moving towards this new digital storefront as a home for its physical gadgets.
It’s unclear how successful the Chromebook Pixel will be. While Google’s laptops have been popular with education users, the company hasn’t yet found broad traction for the portables, and it’s hard to say whether someone who might otherwise buy a MacBook Air or mid-range PC laptop would actually choose one of the new Pixels.