Aug 12, 2015 Review
- 12.85” high res display (2560×1700)
- Multi-touch glass screen
- 0.6” thin and 3.3 lbs
- Machined, full metal enclosure
- 2 USC Type-C, 2 USB 3, SD Card Reader
The Chromebook Pixel has been update for 2015, and wow did they hook up up with the most powerful chromebook ever. All the awesome the old chromebook had – and one of the models is LESS MONEY. You can pick up a Intel i5 with 32 Gig of drive space for $999, with the i7 and 64 Gig drive – it goes up to $1299. Same awesome screen, which is 2560×1700 at a brilliant 239 PPI. That is serious. Are you into HD video and a killer TV? The chromebook pixel 2015 will pump out 4K via the HDMI cable – pretty cool.
The Google Chromebook Pixel is the ONLY Chromebook manufactured and sold by Google directly. Every other Chromebook on the market is made by a third party. The Chromebook Pixel is somewhat of a showpiece that was created to showcase Google’s ChromeOS. It features high-end hardware with a more than modest price tag to match. It truly is the finest Chromebook ever created and the 2015 edition is even better than the original.
The best thing about the new Google Chromebook Pixel is the upgraded processor. The new 2015 Pixel is equipped with the latest generation Intel Broadwell processors. The standard model comes with the dual-core Intel Core i5 5200U mobile processor running at 2.2 GHz and the upgraded LS model features the Core i7 version from the same family. Will you notice a difference between the Pixel and the Pixel LS? Not likely. The octane benchmarks are 25,000 and 28,000 respectively.
Does the new 2015 Pixel outperform the original Chromebook Pixel? It sure does! The Google Octane Benchmark shows a performance increase of nearly 25% over the original model that had a Core i5 processor at 1.8 GHz (scoring 20,400 on the Octane Benchmark). The new 2015 edition also comes stock with a massive 8 GB of RAM, double that of the original. To say that the new 2015 Pixel is an absolute beast is an understatement.
One of the coolest things about the new Pixel is the fact that it comes with a USB Type-C connector on each side. This new connector style is reversible and provides more functionality than the original USB standard. These new ports can be used for a variety of functions including data transfer, networking, sound, and even connecting an external 4K display or charging the computer. The fact that there’s a Type-C port on either side also means you could charge your device from either side. Of course, the new Pixel also comes with a pair of USB 3.0 ports, as well as an SDXC card slot and headphone jack.
The display on the Chromebook Pixel is extremely unique. It’s a 12.8″ multi-touch IPS LCD panel that has a very non-standard 3:2 aspect ratio. This means that the screen itself sits somewhere between a 4:3 aspect ratio (think old CRT monitor) and a 16:9 aspect ratio (an LCD TV). The screen is wider than it is tall, but not by very much. Why did they do this? The answer is simple. Web content looks better on a screen with more height. You get more content per page with this aspect ratio. This screen was custom made and optimized for ChromeOS and web browsing. Even the resolution is somewhat non-standard at 2560×1700. In comparison, full HD is 1920×1080. This resolution gives the Pixel 239 ppi, slightly higher than Apple’s 13 inch Mac Book Pro with Retina display. This new display is noticeably better than the original Pixel with much more vivid colors and contrast.
One of the downsides of the new Pixel product line is that they no longer offer an LTE option. Gone are the days of being able to connect directly to your wireless carrier for mobile data. Of course, you can always use the built-in 802.11ac WiFi to tether from your phone or hotspot. I just think this is a little less convenient.
Another thing I really like about the new Pixel is the fact that it comes standard with a USB Type-C quick charger. The USB Type-C standard allows for up to 100 watts of power. 100 watts of juice will fill up your Pixel’s battery fast. The charger that comes with this laptop will give you up to 2 hours of use on a single 15-minute charge. How many times have you forgotten to charge your laptop before you leave and only have a few minutes to plug it in? Now you don’t have to wait long to get the mobile functionality you need.
The charger itself has not changed much on the new model. The charger itself has fold-in prongs that you can flip out and plug into the wall directly, or else you can release these prongs from the charger and attach a longer cord to give you some more room to roam while charging your battery. This, along with the USB-C connector, makes this the very best charger available on any Chromebook.
Boot up time on the new Pixel is INSANELY fast. If you’re used to waiting a few minutes for your old Windows machine to boot up fully, you will be absolutely BLOWN AWAY by how fast this computer starts up. Less than 5 seconds after you open the screen you will be ready to start using your new laptop.
One of the first things you’ll notice about the new version of the Chromebook Pixel is that the color of the chassis has changed. They are both gray, however, the new model is a much lighter shade of gray, almost silver in color. The color actually reminds me a lot of Apple’s gray color scheme.
The all aluminum chassis is what really sets this Chromebook apart from the competition. The chassis is very lightweight, yet extremely strong and durable. The feel of metal compared to plastic is unmistakable. There’s absolutely no bending and flexing like you might see on low-end models with a plastic chassis.
The keyboard has been slightly redesigned on the new Pixel. It features an updated set of function keys on the top row of the keyboard that allow you to navigate your OS and change things like volume and brightness with ease. The keyboard is once again a full-size, island-style (chiclet) keyboard. The keyboard is very responsive and easy to type on. No complaints there.
Even the touchpad has been upgraded on the new model. The original model had a somewhat generic, low-end rubbery feel to it. The new Pixel features a touchpad that’s much smoother and glass-like, similar to the newest line of Apple products. Noticing a pattern here?
One of the most interesting things about the Google Chromebook Pixel is the fact that the ventilation comes through the keyboard. Need a hand warmer in the cold months? No problem, just type an essay and your frozen fingers will warm right up. Even stranger, the sound from the speakers also comes through the keyboard. The speakers are really not great and probably the only downside to this impressive build.
Overall the build quality is very nice. Everything is even more stylish and sophisticated than the original model. The materials used are top quality and there are very few if any flaws to note in the design. This is about as close to perfect as you could imagine. It seems that Google has taken feedback regarding the original Pixel to heart and reworked some of the weaker features.
The new Google Chromebook Pixel is an uber-premium device able to satisfy the demanding needs of the most volatile elitists (for the most part). The display is the best on the market, it’s faster than should be allowed by law, and the chassis is an enthusiasts wet dream. If you’ve got money to burn and an insatiable need for mobile divinity, the Chromebook Pixel is my most thoughtful recommendation.
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