Google Pixel: new Ivy Bridge Chromebook with 2560×1700 touchscreen

Posted 11 February 2013 20:50 CEST by Jan Willem Aldershoff

Google is about to launch a Google branded Chromebook with a 2560×1700 resolution touchscreen and an Ivybridge CPU. It also features a back-lit keyboard and LTE support. The specifications are not officially confirmed but are based on research of the Chromium OS source code.  We’ve thoroughly studied it and found many traces of a new Chromebook code referred to as  ‘Google Link’.  Before Google used a lot of code names for their devices, like Snow, Daisy, Butterfly, Mario and Parrot.

Recently a video leaked to the internet that showed a Google laptop with 4 million pixels on a touchscreen. Several sources reported that it came from a company founded by ex-Google employees. It remained unclear if the video was a hoax or a genuine product. However the source code of Google’s desktop operating system Chrome OS seems to confirm the existence of such a laptop. We found traces in the code for support of HighDPI.

ChromeOS developers even argue to enable this only on the ‘Google Link’ device because it slowed down booting on older Chromebooks. This confirms the high resolution screen which is only available on the ‘Google Link’ device. Unfortunately the size and the actual resolutions of the screen remain unknown but rumors  on the internet say that it will be a whopping 2560×1700 pixels. We think that it might be 2560 x 1600 as this resolution was recently proposed as the default resolution for laptops by Linux founder, Linus Torvalds .

Another interesting fact is that the jellyfish that can be touched in the video, also appears on the Google Plus page from Google founder, Sergey Brin. It’s a different picture but the colors are similar and we wonder if it’s a coincidence.

Google developers have also been working hard to establish code to let  ChromeOS support Ivy Bridge CPUs. A specific change in the source code talks about adding support for the ‘Link’ chipset. By watching what changed in the file its obvious that the only thing changed is support for the Pantherpoint chipset which hosts Intel’s latest generation CPUs based on the Ivy Bridge architecture. It’s unknown whether that CPU will be a Celeron, Core i3/i5/i7 and at what clockspeed. Given the fact that Chromebooks usually are thin clients, a Celeron CPU would be the best bet.

Users of Chromebooks have been calling for a back-lit keyboard and Google developers seem to have listened. Traces in the code reveal that back-lit support for a keyboard is now included.

To connect to the internet the Chromebook will use Wifi but also LTE support is included.  In a thread about the Link device on Google Code, the Chrome OS developers talk about a Novatel E362 LTE modem which is a PCIe card.

Google has a history of releasing state of the art devices under their own brand name. The company has released Nexus tablets and phones which usually make use of the latest hardware available and come at an affordable price.

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