Taking a small stage in San Francisco's Dogpatch neighborhood, Google's Sundar Pichai introduced the Chromebook Pixel, the company's attempt to "rethink everything" in terms of laptop design. We can't say that the touchscreen notebook is a stark departure from the category's norm, but it certainly feels like a solid piece of kit. Weighing in at 3.35 pounds, the Chromebook Pixel's unibody frame looks and feels somewhat like a MacBook Pro -- flanking a comfortable chicklet keyboard and a luxuriously large trackpad with a small dip at its south end. The usual bevy of navigation and control keys headline the keyboard, and the machine's left side is populated by a Mini DisplayPort port, a power plug and two USB 2.0 plugs. The right edge houses an SD / MMC card reader and, well nothing else. The Pixel is a minimalist machine, and it both looks and feels good for the subtlety of design.
The machine's real star is its 12-inch, 3:2 display. True to Google's word, the screen is gorgeous, and makes full use of that 2,560 x 1,700 resolution. Photos pop, text is crystal clear and at 400-nits, everything is stunningly bright. At first swipe, it seems to be a capable touchscreen too -- in the few minutes we had with the device, we didn't have any trouble flicking our way through Engadget's news roll, though the traditional trackpad still feels more natural at this stage. Still, everything we did was comfortable, eye-catching and rather quick, thanks, no doubt, to the Pixel's Intel Core-i5 processer. First impressions? Very solid, and possibly the finest Chromebook yet -- but at $1,299 for WiFi and $1,449 for LTE, it had better be. Skip on past the break for a hands-on video and a second hand look at the Pixel's high resolution display.