Google has launched a touchscreen laptop in a bid to outshine PCs running on software made by rivals Microsoft and Apple.
The new Chromebook Pixel includes a 13in (33cm) display screen that responds to the touch or swipe of the finger, a key feature in Microsoft's Windows 8, which was itself a dramatic makeover of the world's leading operating system for PCs.
The Pixel's high-resolution screen displays 239 pixels per inch, slightly more than an Apple MacBook with high-resolution retina displays, and is powered by an Intel Core i5 Processor and a solid state Flash memory architecture
The premium version of the device comes with long-term evolution mobile connectivity engineered into the machine, which comes with one terabyte of Google Drive cloud storage. The makers boast that the Chrome OS means it boots up in seconds and comes with built-in virus protection.
In a blog post Linus Upson, vice president of Engineering, wrote: “With the Pixel, we set out to rethink all elements of a computer in order to design the best laptop possible, especially for power users who have fully embraced the cloud.
“The philosophy of Chrome has always been to minimise the ‘chrome’ of the browser. In much the same way, the goal of the Pixel is to make the pixels disappear, giving people the best Web experience.
He added: “This Chromebook has the highest pixel density (239 pixels per inch) of any laptop screen on the market today. Packed with 4.3 million pixels, the display offers sharp text, vivid colours and extra-wide viewing angles.
“With a screen this rich and engaging, you want to reach out and touch it – so we added touch for a more immersive experience. Touch makes it simple and intuitive to do things like organise tabs, swipe through apps and edit photos with the tip of your finger.”
The Pixel went on sale yesterday on Google Play in the US and UK, with the Wi-Fi version priced at $1,299 or £1,049. The LTE version, priced at $1,449, will ship in the US in April.
But ZDnet blogger and former programmer Howard Lo believes Google’s latest overpriced and feature-limited device is a boon to Microsoft and its touchscreen Surface Pro.
“I read about how software and service companies shouldn't get into the hardware business, and I think to myself, why not?” he wrote. “Now I know why not. After Google's Nexus Q flop last year, they've returned with a $1,299 Web browsing device wrapped up in ‘anodized aluminum alloy’.
“The Internet can now take a pause from bashing Microsoft's Surface Pro for being too expensive as a laptop since Google's Pixel makes the Surface Pro (and Surface RT) look affordable and useful in comparison.”