by Jin S. Kim
Ars Technica: Rumor has it Google is working on a Chromebook Pixel, with a 2560×1700 touch display. That’s an unusual 1.5:1 aspect ratio. If Google is working on a Chromebook Pixel it would probably be 2560×1440 (16:9) or 2560×1600 (16:10).
Update 2013.02.21: Google Chrome Blog:
Let’s start with the screen. 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 colors 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 organize tabs, swipe through apps and edit photos with the tip of your finger.
The Gorilla Glass covered touch LCD is 12.85 inches and sports a pixel format of 2560×1700. I originally thought the Chromebook Pixel would feature a 16:9 or 16:10 display; I was wrong. The 2560×1700 pixel format translate to a 3:2 aspect ratio. The same year Apple goes from 3:2 to 16:9 on the iPhone 5, Google decides to go from 16:9 to 3:2 for its top-of-the-line Chromebook effort.
With 2560×1700 you can put 1280×1700 side by side. This would be awesome for the way I work. I agree with Google here: With 1700 vertical pixels we’ll be scrolling up and down a lot less. I like the blocky design, too.
Priced at US$1299 or $1449 with LTE, but keep in mind a full blown 13.3-inch 2560×1600 MacBook Pro can be had for $1499. But if modders hack the Chromebook Pixel to run other operating systems the steep price might end up being not so steep.
The showstopper feature of the Pixel, and the inspiration for its name, is the screen. And what a screen. I was fortunate enough to test the first retina MacBook Pro, and the screen on the Pixel gave me the same kind of feeling: that we’re finally at the future of computing I imagined 20 years ago, with screens that have the definition of vividness of high-quality paper, where pixels are something you know exist in theory, but never actually see. The next-cheapest machine with a screen this good (the 13in Retina MacBook Pro) will cost you £200 more.
The display is without doubt excellent, but so are many other parts of the Chromebook Pixel: a trackpad that feels better than the one on the MacBook Air, and a perfect keyboard according to Betteridge. The Chromebook Pixel suggests Google has caught up to Apple when it comes to hardware quality and attention to detail.