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Google gives spit n' polish to world's most expensive Chromebook

Revamped Chromebook Pixel raises specs, lowers prices

Google has released a new version of the Chromebook Pixel, its upmarket Chrome OS web terminal, cutting the price of the device in the process.

The revamped high-end Chromebook is the first product to be showcased in the Mountain View Chocolate Factory's new online store, billed as "the new home for the latest products made with Google."

Physically, the new Pixel doesn't differ much from the old one. The dimensions of the case are the same, except that the new model is 1mm thinner and 0.02kg (0.04lbs) lighter. The new version has the same 12.85-inch, 2,560 × 1,700 pixel multi-touch display as the original Chromebook Pixel, too.

Under the hood, though, there have been a few changes. The base Chromebook Pixel now packs a 2.2GHz Broadwell-based Intel Core i5 processor, as opposed to the 1.8GHz Ivy Bridge Core i5 in the original version. And for a little extra coin, there's now an "LS" version – which Google says stands for "Ludicrous Speed" – that packs a 2.4GHz Broadwell Core i7.

The New Chromebook Pixel

RAM has likewise been boosted to 8GB for the base model (up from 4GB) or 16GB for the LS edition.

The new models have 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0, as opposed to the original's 802.11n and Bluetooth 3.0. And while they still have an SD card slot and two standard-sized USB ports – now upgraded to USB 3.0 – the original Chromebook Pixel's Mini DisplayPort and AC adapter port have both been replaced with USB Type-C ports, which can be used for powering external displays or charging.

The storage options haven't changed, though, with a 32GB SSD for the low-end model and a 64GB SSD for the high-end one.

And despite all of the upgrades, the new Pixels actually come in at a cheaper price. While other Chromebook vendors have kept their devices priced at $400 or lower, Google's original Pixel launched at an eyebrow-raising $1,299 for the base model. The new models are marginally more affordable, at $999 for the low-end version and $1,299 for the LS edition.

The basic Chromebook Pixel model is shipping to US customers from the Google Store now. The LS model will begin shipping in a couple of weeks, with sales to other markets to follow. ®

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