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  • cjb110 - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    Excellent review, would be perfect for my intend usage...just need to be able to afford one:) Reply
  • Adhib - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    Why don't you just get one of the Samsung Chromebooks? Reply
  • jeffkro - Monday, June 03, 2013 - link

    They're ok, but the screen resolution kind of stinks. Reply
  • xyzzy1 - Friday, June 14, 2013 - link

    I'd rather buy the mackbook and run windows on it. Overall better specs and better overall build quality. Reply
  • Belard - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    Wow... I know I read it before... but still... the thing has far higher resolution than my 24" display.

    Even thou its a desktop and twice the distance away from my eyes... I can see the jaggy pixels on my 24" monitor that I cannot see with my Android phone or a modern tablet.

    Its good to see something going against the dead-end Windows platform.

    Interesting thou... and funny in a way, Dailytech is a malware site?
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    What? 'Dead-end windows platform'? Yeah ok.

    This might have a higher resolution than your 24" screen but which has more 'working' space...
  • Alexvrb - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    This might compete with expensive Apple hardware, but it's not a direct competitor to Windows-based Ultrabooks/Ultrathins. Maybe if it was $500 cheaper. The display is awesome, the chassis is pretty, but that's it. The memory is on the low side, and is not upgradeable. The internal storage (fairly fast) is very limited and also not replaceable. The CPU is inferior even to the one in the Air. Etc.

    There's little chance anyone who has the word "affordable" in their vernacular would buy this over an Ultrabook. I don't personally think browserOS is all that great anyway, but if you're going to buy a Chromebook the cheap ones are the way to go. If Google was really out to help the open source community (like they pretend to be, meanwhile using them like any other tool), they would have built their own flavor of Linux with Google Happyware integrated and would use that instead.
  • Selden - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    Alexrvb: The CPU spec is identical to that in the 13" Macbook Air: 1.8 i5 @ 1.7gHz, with Intel® HD Graphics 4000. Reply
  • jeffkro - Monday, June 03, 2013 - link

    Have you used chrome OS? Its extremely lightweight and doesn't need much in the way of cpu and memory. Its even blazing fast on a celeron 847. Reply
  • JDG1980 - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    "So, how do you cope 4 million pixels and just 4GB RAM? In this case, the first step is to render all pages at 1280 x 800, unless HiDPI assets are available. The final product is upscaled to the full 2560 x 1600, but the memory doesn’t take nearly the punishing you might expect; unless, of course, every site you visit has HiDPI assets."

    So you're not even getting sharper text, just blurry low-res text upscaled? That sucks. What's the point of having a HiDPI display at all?

    I'm not at all impressed with the notion of a browser-only OS. It is not and never will be enough for serious users. And I don't want Google to be monitoring every single thing I do on my local PC. "The cloud" can go take a flying leap.
  • Spoony - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    No way. It must render the page at 1280x800, scale it up, then over the top draw native text. There is simply no way Jason wouldn't have complained bitterly if all of the text was jaggy. Reply
  • lmcd - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    You realize that text is always available at high DPI as they're usually scalable vectors, right? But regardless of rendered size they're the same size, right?

    Oh. Yeah, don't forget that!
  • tuxRoller - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    Always love hearing what will never be the case for things that don't involve tautologies:) Reply
  • Selden - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    Text is razor sharp. Reply
  • jeffkro - Monday, June 03, 2013 - link

    You miss the point of the OS, its a no fuss more secure OS. Sure you can do more with windows but for some people its to complicated. I also don't like the idea of some hacker in Russia hacking into windows and getting all my banking info. Reply
  • Selden - Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - link

    @JDG1980 : No, you get razor-sharp text, as shown in a screenshot. I just went through cataract surgery, and I have been able to go down a few points in text sizes, and 10-20% on screen magnification with the Pixel, also lower brightness, which increases battery life. Reply
  • cjb110 - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    One thing they should port is their new Android Studio! Reply
  • lmcd - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    Well, that's dependent on the moment on their work with NaCl. Hopefully PNaCl final comes out soon (with the performance promised). That, and I hope Dart turns out. Dart + PNaCl looks promising enough to deliver an Android Studio experience. Reply
  • shompa - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    I try to think of one single reason to buy Chromebook instead of a rMBP (beside the stupid "I hate Apple").
    Apple have an OS that is designed for retina displays. Apple have solved the issue with non native resolution by render the original screen at 4 times its pixel count and downscale it make it look good on a 2880x1440 screen.

    Why have tons of specs when it cant be used? And 4 gig memory?

    I hope that Google releases an Android version of Chroomebook. The same day Android can/is preinstalled on PCs, thats the same day that MSFT for the first time have had competition. Something that all consumers would win by.
  • mavere - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    I think they should have went with a slightly slower, cheaper Intel chip and spent that extra money on more RAM. It seems like the software offers the expectation of multitasking that the hardware fails to meet.

    The Chromebook design screams "I do one thing but I do it well". Uhh not at 4GB RAM, you don't.
  • jeffkibuule - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    There aren't any slower, cheaper ULV chips. Reply
  • Guspaz - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    There are definitely slower ULV chips. Some of the i3 ULV chips are slower, and one is lower power. They're not any cheaper, though; they are all the same price or more than the $225 i5-3337U. Reply
  • Flying Goat - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    I think they should have increased the RAM to 8GB...And increased the price by $25. At its price, $25 isn't going to make a huge difference, but the extra RAM will. Reply
  • robco - Monday, June 03, 2013 - link

    I would guess that they chose to keep the RAM low because currently Chrome is 32-bit. It can't make use of more than 2GB of RAM anyway. Chrome is 32-bit because most web plug-ins are 32-bit - like Flash. I would imagine that Google would love to drop Flash support in the near future, but for now, there are plenty of sites that still rely on it. Reply
  • zogus - Wednesday, June 05, 2013 - link

    Chrome attaches a separate 32 bit process to each tab, so each tab is limited to 2GB of RAM, but the application as a whole can use a lot more than that. Reply
  • csxcsx - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    what is there to rave about an OS that updates often? linux does this, updates roll around very often, it is free and nobody raves about it. if you need a GUI, just use ubuntu or something. also it can be installed on most machines and can be ran pretty well on older hardware Reply
  • lmcd - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    This is basically a Linux distro with constant updates but no supported apps except a browser. And, well, there's never dependency conflicts, no malicious app sources (affecting the kernel, anyway), and a lot less bloat. Reply
  • jigglywiggly - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    beautiful laptop ruined by chrome os, low memory, and bad battery life
  • Calinou__ - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    Low memory isn't a problem, this laptop is mostly intended for web browsing.

    Chrome OS? Fun fact: you can install Linux.
  • makerofthegames - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    I was thinking just that - if this were less expensive, it would make a great Linux machine. I'd buy it at maybe $1000 or so, but not at $1500. Reply
  • augustofretes - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    Wow, people can get deeply unrealistic. Please, could you show me a comparable machine (build quality, screen resolution, touchscreen) that costs $1,000? Oh? You can't? That's because that machine doesn't exist.

    My only problem is Google's insistence on shipping devices with less drive space than they need, the 32GB Pixel shouldn't exist, just like the 8GB Nexus 4 shouldn't. If the 1,300 USD Pixel had 64GB of storage it would be no brainer (I can install Linux on it, which I already use as my main OS).
  • jeffkro - Monday, June 03, 2013 - link

    I only have a 64GB hard drive on my windows laptop, its good enough for me. I basically use my windows laptop the same way you use a chrome book. I browse the internet with chrome browser, email with gmail, use google docs, and use google drive as a replacement for window's my documents folder. Reply
  • ExarKun333 - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    This thing is horrible. You would be better-off getting a Chrome book AND an Ultrabook and just use one or the other when appropriate. Junk... Reply
  • Dentons - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    A product isn't applicable to your needs, so it's horrible for everyone?

    We can only be glad you're not a review writer.
  • bleh0 - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    What I get from this is:

    "It is pretty, really pretty"
    "The screen is nice but not perfect"
    "The OS is limited and performance isn't that good"
    "Battery life is below average to say the least"

    The next generation of laptop/tablet/hybrids are going to be high resolution and pack Hasewell there is no reason to get this.
  • hughlle - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    I can't really for a second see why I would buy this over the mac, even being an apple hater, let alone just buying a good quality ultra book. Chrome os does nothing for me at this price bracket. To me chrome os belongs in the net book market, not the, in my view, higher end price bracket.

    I'll stick to looking at the Samsung 5 series ultra books I think. Other than the screen, which for the size is tbh, fine for me given its for web and typing, the Samsung seems the much better deal.
  • inighthawki - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    Now if only it had a 256GB SSD and Windows on it... Reply
  • hughlle - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link


    Although I have to say, as a user with up to 6tb of storage per computer, for an ultra book form factor computer, a 128gb ssd is more than sufficient for my needs.
  • Crono - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    No offense to the writer, but is there really a page titled "Status" in an AnandTech article?

    I was hoping that would be the name of a feature, but unfortunately I was wrong. When did we sink to the level of talking about computers as status symbols on one of the leading enthusiast computer hardware sites? I mean I expect the discussion in forums, but it's not something that deserves an entire page in a review.
  • lmcd - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    I don't know, it's a big factor in sales. And volume is supposedly an issue with this product, so I think it's relevant. Reply
  • Crono - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    I don't mind when reviews talk about design aspects or aesthetics. But the focus on the subjective seems out of place on AnandTech. It's not a bad review overall, and I don't want to sound too negative (I appreciate the effort it takes to write reviews), but when we start to factor in whether a piece of hardware or a computer is a "status symbol" or not into review, I think we're in danger of losing sight of the tangible, quantifiable elements of computing and well-built machines. Reply
  • themossie - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    "Status" is the only way to judge this computer - that and a premium (albeit minimalist) experience.

    Judging the Chromebook Pixel from a purely technical standpoint would be silly - it's not based on offering superior value for money or superior functionality. There is no direct economic justification to buy this computer.

    But some will buy it anyways. It's all about 'feel' - the OS as much as the physical machine itself. If a consumer can live with the pure web functionality, you get a bulletproof OS with a gorgeous screen and case - for a pricetag which can only be justified by "status" and a luxury experience.

    For the right person, this could be the ultimate minimalist laptop.

    I'm sure Google doesn't expect this to be a high-volume product; if they did, they would have cut the price significantly. Instead, they were looking for a truly premium halo product to - a nice looking piece of kit which puts Chrome OS out there as something other than a cheap, crappy modernized netbook.
  • SomeNiceGuy - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    It would be nice to know the latency and the accuracy of the touch screen. iOS devices excel at this, others don't. Even if you haven't measured it, do you experience the touch screen laggy compared to an ipad? I think this can make or brake a touch centric device. Reply
  • mfenn - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    "Once revealed, the grey slab is irresistible. It wins you over before it does anything but sit there. The exposed hinges are masked by a silver barrel that runs the width of the device. The aluminum is cold to the touch, and the only flourish is the LED strip lower down the lid, dormant, but nonetheless exciting for its potential. It’s lighter than you expect when you lift it, and feels solid; not simply in the sense of its rigidity, it feels like a block of aluminum weighing just north of 3 pounds. Right angles abound but are softened with chamfered edges making it comfortable to hold and touch. Its meager thickness is uniform across its length, and the weight is similarly balanced, avoiding the rearward bias of other notebooks. Almost without thought I find myself torquing and flexing against the device; my hands struggling to elicit a single creak or bend from the frame. Setting it down and lifting the lid, it boots in a breath, and reveals an image so rich with detail I’m drawn closer to get a better look. Chromebook or not, the Pixel is a status symbol. And I want it."

    Is Engadget or Anandtech?
  • neo_1221 - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    "50 shades of Chrome" Reply
  • themossie - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    Made my day! Reply
  • lmcd - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    Chrome is great, but...

    The biggest problem is Java. There haven't been efforts to put Java on Chrome. Android, ironically (and expectedly), is holding Chrome OS back. Hopefully efforts are made to replicate Android's provided resources with Dart or C++, then bindings added for Java.

    Google is currently its own devil. Dalvik needs to become an extension to PNaCl, or needs to move towards it. If Google doesn't have a hidden repository where they're pushing to this (regardless of their short-term plans and their visible work) they are risking their whole web business model.
  • wffurr - Wednesday, June 05, 2013 - link

    Are you talking about Java applets? Aren't those dead by now?

    Or do you mean running Java desktop apps like Eclipse? There are no desktop apps on Chrome OS except Chrome.
  • bji - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    The review had alot of good detail but too much superfluous chatter. I think you need to work on understanding when brevity is more appropriate than verbosity. You'd do better to use the florid language as a highlight where needed instead of being present in nearly every sentence in the article. Just sayin' ... Reply
  • bji - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    Forgot to mention - the review should be more objective and less subjective as well. This is a tech review site, and I think the numerous comments about how enamored the reviewer is over subjective qualities of the laptop are out of place. Reply
  • karasaj - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    What other objectivity can you have than display analysis, battery life, build quality (even still moderately subjective), and performance? Heat and noise I guess, which is normally included in laptop reviews, but considering he can't actually run HWmonitor, and it's also probably hard to actually load up the machine with a super heavy workload, there's not much he left out.

    If you don't like the subjective parts, skip them. Subjective qualities at the expense of objectivity can be bad, but he hasn't sacrificed that really.
  • nunomoreira10 - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    Those color (target and actual) diagrams are great!
    Please do so again on future displays reviews
  • frakkel - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    Finally - Someone who understands that we are not using our notebooks for watching 16:9 movies day long. To see a more square format is very much welcome. Now I will just wait for Haswell and then I will buy. Reply
  • internetf1fan - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    Wider screens are better for productivity as you can fit multiple documents side by side. Going back to 4:3 displays really hurts how I work because of lack of space. Reply
  • leexgx - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    we are not talking going back to 4:3 that would be silly, we are talking about website friendly 16:10 screens

    not many people use the side by side feature in windows 7
  • seapeople - Monday, June 03, 2013 - link

    Not many people use graphics cards, either, so why not just get rid of all those? Reply
  • twtech - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    Remember the dot-com boom of the '90s, when the internet was supposed to take over everything? And then it didn't, and all these startups went bust, but it still had a significant impact, which continues to grow today?

    Right now, people are saying, the PC is dead, tablets are the new king. We've heard this mantra before. Notebooks, netbooks, consoles vs. PC gaming, everything new was supposed to kill the desktop PC. And along the way, those things have taken some marketshare when those devices were actually the more appropriate tool for the job.

    If all you had was a hammer and nails, but now you have a screwdriver and screws as well, some of the times when you previously used nails, now you'll use screws instead. If you put the usage of nails on a chart, maybe you'd say that they were "dying", and that usage of screws is the future, since of course it was growing from zero. Well, we know that both types of fasteners have their preferred uses. And tablets may replace PCs for certain uses - the use cases in which they are genuinely better. But there would be no sense in trying to use a tablet for things the PC is naturally better at.
  • Crono - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    The PC isn't dead. We're just in a transition period where tablets are becoming a very popular form factor of PCs. Anyone who wants to create content knows that a base iPad isn;t going to do you much good unless you have the right apps and preferably a physical keyboard. That's why the Surface and Surface Pro are the right direction, I think, though everyone agrees Haswell is needed to bring better battery life. Hybrid and convertible tablets or ultrabooks - whether they are Android, Windows, or iOS - will be key for the next few years... until we start getting scrolls. ;)

    Personally, I would love a 10" x 12" x 0.2" OLED flexible scroll computer with a display that can become rigid when completely unfurled from a thin computer core/column.
  • rwei - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    Odd that you yourself note the unfavorable comparison to the 13" rMBP, yet your review gushes with enthusiasm for the Pixel. I love shiny, beautiful new gadgets as much as or more than the next guy, but your praise seems excessive.

    I more or less took away from this is that the Pixel is cool because it makes for a really nice and shiny typewriter, and wow look it's evolving really quickly to the point where it's slowly approaching the level of basic functionality that other systems already deliver.
  • Arbie - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    rwei - I agree with you completely.

    And there is a weird parallel between the design effort put into this overdone $1400 browser box and the writing effort put into this overblown, wordy, and just so artfully crafted treatise on it. Is this all a joke of some kind? I got through a couple of pages and couldn't take it any more. If you gave the author an enema he could fit in a shoebox.

    As for the computer, the only thing it's ideal for is to make the Surface RT look like a success. Maybe it makes sense as an investment collectible, considering that they're only going to sell two or three. Nothing worthwhile here.
  • 8steve8 - Friday, May 31, 2013 - link

    I like how you compare it to both laptops and tablets in performance charts, but I'm disappointed that the battery life charts didn't include other laptops. Reply
  • Nimer55 - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    I got a chromebook (non-LTE) at I/O, and have been using it instead of my Vizio 14 as my primary machine, and I've gotten the "So it's like an iPad" question a few times, and I've been absolutely clueless as to how this was like an iPad. To me, it appeared to be the opposite of a iPad; you only get websites, where as iOS is all about using an app for everything. Not the mention I get a keyboard to type on. Thank you for clearing that up.

    Overall, I felt the review was well done; I agree with the 4gb of ram not being enough. I feel performance degrading as I get to few dozen tabs. I really love this laptop, but I would never buy it; it's out of my price range.

    The non-tapered edges to make the device appear thicker than it is, but it also makes it feel higher-quality. Having an edge that becomes really thin gives it a "toy-esk" feeling. (My Vizio 14 has it, it makes it feel less premium... Though it's non-aluminum back could be a good cost saving technique if Google were to decide to create one for under a $1000...That and a 1080p-ish resolution would be the most logical cost saving tools to me. Those and a cheaper, but next-gen CPU would be way of getting the price to around $750).
  • jabber - Sunday, June 02, 2013 - link

    "a few dozen tabs".....

    Wow...what exactly are you doing that requires 24+ browser tabs open?

    I have the Samsung 11" Chromebook and use it a lot but usually sits around half a dozen open max.
  • Selden - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    Excellent review, as I expect from Anandtech. I agree with you fully about memory management, which is an Achilles heel for Chrome OS. ZRAM definitely helps, but the file manager, even on the latest beta (Version 28.0.1500.20), is an utter pig. I'm on an extended trip to Alaska, taking a lot of photos, and copying, let alone viewing/editing photos quickly runs free memory down below 100 mb. Pushed hard enough, the image viewer will start behaving erratically; the only option then is to restart — fortunately, a rapid process, but it shouldn't be necessary. Reply
  • leexgx - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    for the price of the new chromebook 8gb of ram should be very easy Reply
  • nerdstalker - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    For a device that promises mostly web browsing and integration with the cloud services, WiFi performance of Pixel is not stellar. It has 2x2 MIMO (2 dual band antennas) that is comparable to Macbook Air. However, WiFi performance is not as good as MBA, especially 5 GHz. rMBP models on the other hand (both 13" and 15") have top notch 3x3 MIMO (3 dual band antennas) with pretty good throughputs. Reply
  • internetf1fan - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    Few things about your review.

    #1) Why did you use sunspider 0.9.1 when V1 was just recently released?

    #2) Since you are comparing hardware, it would be best to use the same software where possible. Chrome OS the chrome browser, so instead of using stock browser on other OS, you should have installed chrome on Mac and Surface Pro as well so that the hardware comparison would be consistend.
  • leexgx - Saturday, June 01, 2013 - link

    all other tests was done with 0.9.1

    at least test stock and chrome on sunspider
  • ECIT - Monday, June 03, 2013 - link

    I must admit that I was a bit sceptical when the Pixel was announced. Google has enough work convincing people to buy into the whole Chromebook concept even with low-cost versions, let alone at Pixel's price.

    On the other hand, the Pixel does look pretty cool. And I do think that Chromebooks in general have their place in the market, especially as a second home device. Most people spend a lot of their time on the Internet anyway, and there are more and more web apps out there.

    For those that are considering Chromebooks but still need to access Windows applications, they can look at Ericom AccessNow, an HTML5 RDP client that enables Chromebook users to connect to Terminal Server or VDI virtual desktops, and run Windows applications or even full desktops in a browser tab.

    Click here for more information:

    Please note that I work for Ericom
  • jeffkro - Monday, June 03, 2013 - link

    Wow, way to expensive and an overkill display for the screen size. I would like to see a 14-15" 1080p chromebook in the $500-600 range, no laptops should have less than 1080p these days. Also since chrome OS is so lightweight you really only need a 1.5ghz celeron processor. Reply
  • Bobs_Your_Uncle - Monday, June 03, 2013 - link

    A good review. Also, I thoroughly enjoyed reading various drafts of various segments in the "Why Not Android" segment! Reply
  • seapeople - Monday, June 03, 2013 - link

    Certainly this is a review, that, upon revealing itself to me on my computer, it exerts a judgement of thought immediately as it just sits there. Beyond reproach due to a quirky optimism and ostensibly modulated restraint, I find it best to reflect upon this review only as an afterthought, being intertwined betwixt moments of time, as though one instantaneous occurrence is immediately transcended by the jolt of the next occurrence, and occurring not simultaneously, but nearly so as to appear so. Therefore, I follow this review with one of my own, a review of the review, that being so similar in style, serves through ironic prose to indicate the true nature of that which we have been so wonderfully graced with via the AnandTech homepage. Reply
  • wffurr - Wednesday, June 05, 2013 - link

    For web development, just hit ctrl-alt-t and then ssh into your server and edit there with vim. Problem solved. Chromebooks are perfect for LAMP/Java/Node/etc. web development. Not so much with the .NET web stack. If my work had an OpenVPN or IPSec endpoint instead of Juniper SSL VPN, I would use one instead of a Macbook. Reply
  • rabbit212 - Thursday, August 01, 2013 - link

    I purchased a chromebook pixel and it's touchscreen didn't work. The customer service was horrible. I was told that I needed to wait a week for a replacement chromebook pixel LTE. I was forced to wait 48 hours for an RMA due to the Nexus 7 launch. I will never purchase another Google Play device. Apple is more responsive and get's the concept of customer satisfaction. Reply

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