Google releases the Chromebook Pixel, designed for high-performance cloud computing

pixel chromebook

When manufacturing cheap personal computers, designers have to make trade-offs between processing power, memory and other computer components in order to strike an economical but workable balance. The balance, clearly, is a delicate one and any solution that eliminates the need for one of these components is highly welcome.

Google Chromebooks are such solutions that do away with the need for huge hard disk spaces by storing whatever you do on the cloud. The latest Chromebook, the Chromebook Pixel, is an amalgamation of the best hardware, software and design to come up with the next generation gadget suited for power users who have already fully adopted the cloud.

The Visual Display unit has the highest pixel density than any other laptop screen on the market. Packing 4.3 million pixels (239 ppi), the display delivers sharp text and vivid colors over an extra wide view angle. In addition to this, the screen comes with touch support to sate the need to touch the close-to-real HD images it displays. Organizing tabs and photos and other edits happens swiftly and easily with the swipe of a finger.

To support the grueling demand from long hours of use, the Pixel comes in an anodized aluminum alloy cover giving it a sleek and durable surface. To keep the outward appearance of the design, vents and screws remain hidden while the full-range stereo speakers fit snugly under the backlit keyboard.

To increase precision, a glass etched touchpad, finished using laser technology, is all you need to move the cursor about on the Chromebook in case you do not want to use the touch screen. With its 720p webcam and three strategically placed microphones designed to eliminate noise, you can now comfortably do your video conferencing in noisy environments.

Powered by Intel Core-i5 processor, anything you decide to do, from loading Web pages to changing apps is almost instant which is exactly what users with no time to spare expect from their devices. With its top-notch Wi-Fi range and dual-band support with optional Long-term Evolution (LTE), you can be sure that accessing your cloud-stored data just got easier and more fun.

google-chromebook-pixel-laptop

The Chromebook Pixel comes with one terabyte of Google Drive Cloud storage and 12 free GoGo Inflight Internet passes allowing you to store as much as you can and access it while on the go without having to pay more, at least for a start.

With all the favorite Google products just a click away, the Chromebook is definitely a workable solution for those who are already in the cloud computing bandwagon. Thanks to Chrome OS, you will no longer need to wait for the computer to boot up. In addition, you will need no maintenance. To sum up the whole package is a built-in virus protection that self-updates once every few weeks.

The Chromebook Pixel is available for purchase on Google Play in the US and UK. The Wi-Fi version retails at $1,299 with the LTE version retailing at $1,449 which will be available in the US come this April. High-end users who need a device that incorporates tablet functionality and cloud computing services now have something to smile about with the Chromebook Pixel.

Amazon Announces Slew of New Kindles

Today, Amazon hosted an event in New York City to announce and show off some new products. Sure enough, it was all about the Kindle brand.

Here’s what they unveiled:

Kindle Touch

The first device they announced was the Kindle Touch. As the  name implies, the Touch doesn’t have a physical keyboard or any buttons. Rather, it has an IR touch system that’s similar to the latest Nook and Kobo. Bezos says the E-Ink display on the Touch is one of the most advanced yet. The device is also smaller, thinner and lighter than the existing Kindle and while specifics about battery life weren’t revealed, we’re told it’s “extra long.”

The Kindle Touch will be priced at $99 with a 3G model available for $50 more. Both will be up for pre-order later today and will ship on November 11th.

Kindle

There’s no fancy name attached to the end of this one, but that’s because it’s just a normal Kindle. Amazon revealed an updated Kindle and it will only cost you a mere $79. It’s weighs just under six ounces and is 18 percent smaller than the third-gen Kindle. This one has buttons, but no physical keyboard and no touch screen. The interface is much faster than before, with lightning-quick page turns being one of the biggest improvements.

The new Kindle is out now and ready to ship!

Kindle Fire

Just when we thought we could never see a tablet under $200, Amazon makes it happen. Today they revealed their Kindle Fire tablet for $199, which has a 7-inch IPS display (with Gorilla Glass) and built-in WiFi (no 3G, though), as well as a 30-day trial to Amazon Prime (the $79-a-year service that includes streaming video and free two-day shipping). It also sports a dual-core processor and weighs just 14.6 ounces (lighter than the iPad). It doesn’t have any cameras or a microphone, but that’s expected with a sub-$200 tablet. You’ll also get access to the Amazon App Store, as well as movies, TV shows and Kindle books.

The Kindle Fire is running the Android OS, but Amazon heavily customized the interface so it looks nothing like Android, and we’re guessing you won’t be able to get the true Android experience without a little warranty-voiding.

Bezos says that the Kindle Fire can pose a real threat to Apple’s iPad, something that HP and RIM couldn’t manage to do. The price is definitely one way to get started on that. The Fire will begin shipping on November 15th. You can pre-order today.

Microsoft Unveils a Slimmer, Smarter Surface 2.0

How’s that for alliteration?

When Microsoft first unveiled their Surface technology in 2007, I was impressed with the possibilities that could be had when combining advanced displays with accurate, multi-touch optical recognition. Their original product combined a 30” display with a series of cameras to establish the position of inputs (like your hands), which produced beautiful results but needed bulky hardware.

This is a demo of the original Microsoft Surface at CES 2008.

Last night at CES 2011, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and VP Michael Angiulo announced Surface 2.0, which is being built by Samsung and is only 4″ thick.  Using a technology called “PixelSense”, the Surface display can “see” inputs like your hands using infrared cameras built into the display’s pixels, which accounts for its sleeker design.

Using the new infrared technology, Michael Angiulo demonstrated that he could take a piece of paper with the handwritten message “I CAN SEE”, place it on the screen, and the device could clearly see the text as well (the infrared view from the device is shown in the bottom right).

Sure you can see, but can you love?

Check out the full demonstration of Surface 2.0 below:

There are plenty of exciting possibilities for Surface 2.0, but you know what I’m most excited about? Games.

Settlers of Catan on Microsoft Surface

Dungeons and Dragons on Microsoft Surface

It’s fun living in the future.

Oh, and if you were thinking about buying a Surface 2.0, the planned retail price will be $7,600, although that’s a lot better than the $12,000+ of the original Surface. If you want to go the cheaper route you can build your own Surface (albeit the old-school Surface 1.0 model).

Flashreview: Power Support Anti-Glare Film for iPhone/iPod Touch

filmIn this day and age, you don’t buy electronics (especially touchscreen electronics) without investing into some form of screen protection.  For  devices such as the iPhone or iPod Touch, screen protectors can also improve the responsiveness of the device by improving the screen’s traction.

The product: I stumbled upon Power Support’s Anti-Glare Film for the iPhone/iPod Touch, which is available from Power Support USA as well as the Apple Store.  This product boasts a “custom-fit film that will reduce the visual impacts of glare and finger printing while providing scratch protection”.  Included in the package were two anti-glare films (one for the front and another for the back) as well as a pre-installation film which was for removing dirt and dust from the screen. Continue reading “Flashreview: Power Support Anti-Glare Film for iPhone/iPod Touch”