Yes, the new Google Chromebook Pixel is relatively pricey — especially for something that’s not a “real” computer — but it does what it was designed to do really, really well.
The case is constructed of anodised aluminium and is surprisingly light given its full-size keyboard. The lid lifts and closes with a single finger. When closed, a thin LED strip glows blue before the system goes to sleep. It’s a nice touch, albeit functionally useless.
The 13-inch 239ppi capacitive touch display running at 2560×1700 resolution is gorgeous and bright. The capacitive Gorilla Glass is fast, responsive and accurate. It provides a natural complement to the laptop’s sliky smooth touchpad, which itself feels like swiping over velvet.
With vents hidden along the back edge combined with a 32GB or 64GB internal SSD, the Pixel is incredibly quiet. The I/O ports — a pair of USBs and an SD slot — are intentionally unmarked on account that most everybody can discern the difference without looking for an icon.
An Intel i5 chip provides more than enough power to Chrome OS. The system boots in about 15 seconds, instantly awakens from its sleep state, and shows no signs of lag when running multiple apps — even with multiple web pages running.
The OS itself may be seen as restrictive — standalone programs are a no go — but for those of us that use our laptops primarily as on-line terminals rather than traditional desktops, these limitations are hardly noticeable.