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Pixel, a new "Retina" touch-screen Chromebook from Google

by Mark Tyson on 7 February 2013, 09:54

Tags: Chrome OS

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A promotional video for a new Chromebook built by Google hit the web last night. The “Pixel Chromebook” is a sleek looking clamshell notebook computer with an impressive 4 million pixel touch-screen display. Slinky, makers of the leaked video, have worked on promotional work with Google previously. This and several other videos were acquired by hackers following an attack on Slinky’s servers. The Google Pixel promotional video was uploaded to YouTube but quickly taken down, however the canny guys at Android Authority had already downloaded and shared the video on another video sharing site.

Commentators aren’t sure whether the Google Pixel Chromebook is some kind of elaborate hoax or a publicity stunt. Google has yet to issue any statements about last night’s leaked video. However a developer known to work on ChromeOS projects at Google has posted via his Google+ account saying “All I know is that the device is actually tested at Google right now.” He added some specifications; “It has a 4 Millions Pixels 4k Screen (2560 x 1700 = 4352000) and touch capabilities.” Only the naming of the new Chromebook didn’t tally with what he had seen/heard of before “This ‘concept’ may be the upcoming Google Link,” he suggested.

"Designed by Google, down to the last pixel"

The video hearalds “a new kind of computer, designed entirely by Google” and certainly looks impressive, though some have suggested it may be some kind of geeky fan video art project and you should view the video with a sceptical eye. The Google Pixel in the video looks like it has taken a lot of Apple MacBook influences into its design; the aluminium construction and chiclet keyboard, the screen even seems to match the Retina version of the MacBook at 2560×1700 pixels. After the mostly lower-budget targeted Chromebooks we have seen so far surely this one would be quite expensive.

There are some things that tie in nicely with other rumours we have heard recently though. The Chrome clad Android upon Google’s campus that appeared the other day might have been a hint. To use Android apps in Chrome OS a touch-screen would definitely be desirable. Android Authority concluded their news post suggesting “With Google I/O 2013 coming up in a few months, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Google trot out a new flagship device like this”. Hopefully we will see and hear more about this Google Chromebook Pixel or “Google Link” in the not-too-distant future.

HEXUS Forums :: 32 Comments

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After the mostly lower-budget targeted Chromebooks we have seen so far surely this one would be quite expensive.

Depends on whether it's targeted at performance or mobility, surely? This could essentially be a Nexus 10 with a keyboard and ChromeOS, using a not-too-expensive mobile SoC. Or it could run a ULV Core iSomething, and cost the earth. Or perhaps (and we fanboys can only hope) it'll be a major design win for AMDs new Kabini SoC - quad-core Jaguar plus GCN would be pretty damn tasty in a Chromebook…
Be interesting to see what GPU is behind this screen. We've seen with the Nexus 10 that the high resolution drained the GPU/CPU power. Could we see a real GPU on a Google OS device that could pave the way to some decent gaming.
Given Googles recent pricing trend - Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and Nexus 4. I suspect the price will be reasonable if they officially announce these. It looks like a nice little device on the surface, let's hope it has an IPS screen and decent performance and battery life. If you can come in at £600 with acceptable specs it could tick many boxes for people looking for a quality budget option.
IMO it's not realistic to expect games to run decently at resolutions as high as this on a mobile device, and I see no real problem with scaling them down. The very high DPI might be useful for some stuff, but I've never heard anyone complain about the pixel density of a 1920x1080 24" monitor while gaming. And if the games aren't specifically designed to scale well up to high resolutions, you might end up with a microscopic HUD. :P

Also, without meaning to complain again, why does it seem people already use ‘Retina’ as a generic trademark for something with a relatively high DPI? It's just an Apple brand name for what they consider to be a high DPI, somewhat analogous to calling AMD (or other) graphics cards GeForces.
Would never be 2560x1700 - 16:10 is 2560x1600