Google Unwraps First USB-C ChromebooksGoogle Unwraps First USB-C Chromebooks
Google rolled out the first Chromebooks to support the next-generation USB-C data port with two new high-end, Web-centric Chromebook Pixel notebooks, featuring a number of improvements, including a faster Intel Core i5 processor and improved battery life.
March 17, 2015
Google (GOOG) rolled out the first Chromebooks to support the next-generation USB-C data port with two new high-end, Web-centric Chromebook Pixel notebooks, featuring a number of improvements, including a faster Intel (INTC) Core i5 processor and improved battery life.
The new Chromebook Pixel models follow on the heels of Apple (AAPL) last week unwrapping its new 12-inch Macbook featuring a single USB-C reversible connector that supports just about anything and everything you’d want to plug into it. Google, which reportedly has been working on incorporating the USB-C data port, has gone Apple a step farther by putting one on either side of the Chromebook Pixel.
Andrew Bowers, Google consumer hardware director, told TechCrunch that the USB-C data port is a difference maker.
“I think the real innovation that’s debuting here is the idea of universal charging,” Bowers said.
Google Pixel product manager Adam Rodriguez also told TechCrunch that the USB-C virtually has standardized for smartphone chargers and the time is right for the next generation USB to move upstream to notebooks.
But it takes some, ahem, adapting, and Google is offering a few new adapters to accommodate the USB-C port on its Chromebook Pixel notebooks, including type-C to USB, HDM and DisplayPort adapters. A USB-C to USB-A plug cable and adapter costs $12.99 while adapters for HDMI and DisplayPort each are priced at $39.99.
Google also is inviting innovation for those adapters by open-sourcing the associated hardware schematics, TechCrunch said.
As for the Chromebook Pixel units, Google is offering the notebook in two versions: A $999 Core i5 model, featuring 8GB of RAM and a 32GB SSD; and, a $1,299 Core i7 LS version with 16GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD. Both models use an Intel HD Graphics 5500 GPU, are Wi-Fi only, and, according to Google, sport about 12 hours of battery life.
Google told TechCrunch that the LS (which supposedly stands for “ludicrous speed”) likely will serve as a developers’ customizable unit.
The new Chromebook Pixel are available in the U.S. at Google’s online hardware store. There’s no official word as to when the notebooks will be offered internationally.
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