I just got my hands on the newest Chromebook Pixel and it is a big step up from the original Pixel which was released in 2013. For those of you who are new to Chromebooks, the term Chromebook designates a computer running Google’s own operating system, ChromeOS. Most Chromebooks are built by third-party vendors, while the Chromebook Pixel is completely Google from the ground up. Here are some of the improvements I found with this newer model that has been two years in the making.
A New Feel
The first thing I noticed when I took the new Pixel out of the packaging was the weight and feel. The official statistics from Google claim it is the exact same weight as the old Chromebook but it felt heavier. The deceptively heavier feel is likely due to the metal casing on the bottom of the new Chromebook Pixel which feels more solid than the plastic used on the older model. Aside from the difference in materials, the new Chromebook looked essentially the same as the old model.
The one other major external difference are the ports on the side of the Pixel. While the 2013 Pixel has two USB 2.0 ports and a Mini DisplayPort, the new model has a much more impressive setup. The 2015 Pixel utilizes USB Type-C Ports (two of them to be exact) which act as a replacement for all other ports. The USB Type-C port can act as a charger, a VGA, a USB, Mini DisplayPort, or an HDMI. These will begin to be the standard in the coming years.
It looks as though Google realized they may be ahead of their time with the USB Type-C, so they also kept the old, standard USB ports (but upgraded them to USB 3.0 ports) to connect devices that have not yet utilized the soon-to-be standard.
Opening up the computers, you realize they are nearly identical, aside from the keyboards. The keyboard on the new Pixel has slightly more space, which is really noticeable on the top row of keys. The trackpad is also sunken rather than flush like the older model.
Way Faster Internals
The really exciting changes with the new Chromebook are not apparent on the surface. What I was most blown away with had nothing to do with the new ports or spacier keyboard, but the fact that this nearly identical looking Chromebook is faster, has more memory, and is more power efficient than its predecessor.
Boasting 8GB of RAM (compared to the original Pixel’s 4GB), the new model has double the memory. By upgrading the CPU from a i5-3337U Processor to the Core i5-5200U, the speed feels like it has doubled and the new processor uses less power, improving battery life.
More for Less
The icing on the cake is the new Chromebook Pixel, with all its improvements, has a lower starting price than the 2013 version had upon its release. The new Chromebook will start at $999 compared the older Pixel’s starting price of $1299.
For those of you that have also had a chance to try out the new Chromebook Pixel, let me know what you thought in the comments section below!
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