There’s a new Chromium OS ultrabook in town, and it beats the heck out of the last one from two years ago. Google today announced a refresh for the Chromebook Pixel, its flagship laptop running its homegrown operating system. With upgrades in almost every way, the new Pixel costs a few hundred dollars less than its predecessor – a great sign for folks who want Chromebooks to take a bigger piece of the PC pie.

There are two versions of the Chromium Pixel – one standard, and one “LS,” which stands for “Ludicrous Speed.” The standard version costs $999 and boasts an Intel quad-core i5 CPU, 32 GB of internal storage, 8 GB of RAM, and a 12.85-inch touchscreen high definition display. Another $300 nets you doubled internal storage and RAM, with an i7 CPU as well. Both computers will provide up to 12 hours of battery life, says Google.

It’s a really smart move on the part of Google, and shows that it’s not above learning from its mistakes. And let’s be clear: the first Chromebook Pixel was most definitely a mistake. Its most basic configuration cost $1299, and it was less powerful and less energy efficient. In short, you were paying a lot of money for not very much computer. By contrast, the new Pixel is a much better value. It’d still be nice to have a beefier SSD in there, but with two USB-C ports and two more USB 3.0 ports, not to mention an SD Card slot, there are no shortage of options for expanding the Pixel’s hard drive space.


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Best of all, web apps and Chrome Apps are growing in their sophistication and abilities. Maybe you can’t run Photoshop on this – but you can use Autodesk’s Pixlr web-based image editor without any trouble. And as we saw last year, Chromebooks were growing as PC sales had slowed. This new Pixel is still a little expensive, but at least you get a lot more performance for your money this time around.

[Google’s New Chromebook Pixel]


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