The new Chromebook Pixel touchscreen laptop computer by Google (image courtesy the Google ChromeBlogspot.com)
Scott Martin, USA TODAY
SAN FRANCISCO -- Google today showed off a sleek touch-screen laptop based on its Chrome operating system, a personal computer that makes a big bet on a premium-priced, cloud-based machines and takes direct aim at Apple.
The Mountain View, Calif., search giant unveiled the new touch laptops, called the Chromebook Pixel. The touch-screen device has the highest resolution available in a laptop, says Google.
"It's clear touch is here to stay and it's the future," said Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome at Google, at the event.
Google's Chromebook Pixel, a sleek aluminum-encased machine, in many ways physically resembles Apple's Mac lineup. The Pixel targets a generation of people whose photos and applications are accessed via remote servers from so-called cloud-based services. The new Chromebooks will provide people 1 terabyte of data storage in the cloud for three years.
"We think this is a real game changer in terms of people living in the cloud," said Pichai.
Pixel laptops will be available at $1,299 for 32 GB Wi-Fi version and $1449 for 64GB 4G LTE version and are scheduled to ship the first week of April. People can order them today at the Google Play store and tomorrow at Best Buy stores.
Google has also been turning up the heat on Microsoft's Windows and Office franchise. The Chromebooks from their very beginning featured a boot up time of a few seconds and quick access to Chrome search, Maps, Gmail, YouTube, and Docs. Hardware manufactures of earlier models include Samsung, Acer, Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard.
The new Chromebook has a 12.85-inch display that has twice as many pixels of a standard HDTV, with a 2560 X 1700, and uses Gorilla Glass.
"It is the highest resolution that has ever been shipped on a laptop," Pichai said.
The Pixel packs an Intel Core i5, a dual-core 1.8GHz processor, and has 4GB of DDR3 RAM, meaning its a flash-based storage system rather than a conventional hard drive. Google says the device's battery lasts up to 5 hours.
Google's Chromebook Pixel is designed in house but made by several manufacturers based in Taiwan.