The Chromebook Pixel is real, here’s the proof

by: Bogdan PetrovanFebruary 9, 2013

chromebook pixel lightbar

Many around the blogosphere said that the Chromebook Pixel is nothing but a hoax. Well, they were wrong, and today we can show you the proof, courtesy of Francois Beaufort.

In case you don’t know, Francois Beaufort is a Chrome OS developer who revealed many interesting tidbits about the project in the past, including the upcoming notification center, and the existence of the Chromebook Pixel, known internally at Google as the Link.

Today, Beaufort produced a fragment of Chrome OS documentation that seemingly confirms the Chromebook Pixel. The document discusses the behavior of the “lightbar”, which is a four-color indicator that will inform the user about the remaining battery life.

Quoting from the documentation:

At Startup or wake from sleep, Google colors cycle in.

While running, > 25% power level in the battery:

All blue, in a breathing effect (cycle up and down 30%).

While running, <= 25% power level in battery:

Same as above, but with red

Shutting down, or going into sleep:

Cycle out the Google colors (Note: the effect is only visible for S0->S3,

because shutting down kills power to the lightbar before we can react).

While sleeping:

Similar to now, but only using Blue and red for battery indication as above.

Now, if you’ve watched the alleged leaked video, you can see that the lightbar is featured at around the 1:15 mark. So the video ties in with the code present on Google’s own website.

Moreover, the documentation that Francois Beaufort provided also confirms the existence of the backlit keyboard, which is also shown in the video.

There’s a slight chance someone went through Chromium source code and picked up information which they used to create the video. We can’t say that the Chromebook Pixel will look exactly like the render in the video, but it’s becoming clear that the “concept” was, at a minimum, inspired from reality.

Regardless of what you think about the crazy backstory of the video, which involves hackers and a mystery Russian company, the evidence (including the domain name registered in October by Google’s domain firm) keeps piling up in favor of the Chromebook Pixel.

  • Woot! Sorry, I am excited.

  • john


  • intvidia

    yeah yeah thats all good then. Problem is i am sick and tired of bad quality products, so unless there is a Vaio Chromebook i will have to pass. I do some buy and sell and repair laptops and the quality of Asus, Acer and Samsung is highly disturbing both in bloat and poor hardware, and those 3 are the Google candidates for now. HP? Yah if they could ever make a laptop that dont overheat. Most of you HP owners out there can be sure your CPU is throttling frequently, making your high specced laptop a 1GHz value notebook.

    Please Google make an alternative for those who are willing to pay for quality.

    • bozzykid

      You realize this is a Google developed and manufactured laptop right? How would you know the quality of it?

      • S_Deemer

        The Chromebook Pixel (if it ever reaches production) will not be a Google manufactured product any more than the original Cr-48 reference design was. It will be built in China by some foundry, with a Google brandname — as is the case with almost every electronic device we use these days.

        • Alex Murphy

          Uh that includes Macbooks you know? Which even though I’m not an Apple fan, are some of the most premium-built PCs in the world.

          • S_Deemer

            “almost every electronic device we use these days” includes Macbooks. I was in no way implying that premium-build PCs do not come from China.

        • bdh

          Problem is, you don’t know who is making it, or where it’s being made. So until that information is known, how about you stop trying to be such a downer and just go slit your wrists now.

          • S_Deemer

            @bdh : Perhaps you are referring to the original poster. All I am pointing out is that Google does not manufacture their own hardware, just as Microsoft doesn’t manufacture the Surface. I’m on my second Chromebook, and if the Pixel is real and lives up to rumor, I will almost certainly get one.

    • I agree about the poor quality of budget Windows laptops and netbooks.

      Chromebooks are of higher quality than budget Windows computers costing $50-$100 more – the keyboards, touchpads and general build quality and accurately stated battery life in particular. The reason for this is because Google insists on certain minimum quality standards, and Chromebooks in particular have to have a build quality which can withstand the battering they will get in schools, and schools need to know correctly, the battery life they can expect in continuous use.

    • Tom Dang

      You mention bloatware and consider a VAIO? I’m not saying the other brands don’t have their problems, but Sony hardly has it right either.

    • S_Deemer

      I used a HP Chromebook about a week ago; it had a better build quality than any of the other new Chromebooks, with outstanding speakers, and a bright screen. The bottom of the computer barely even got warm.

      However, I agree that a premium Chromebook from Google could do to the Chrome marketplace what the Nexus devices have done for Android, by providing a reference platform to aspire to.

  • Arpatruc

    SHUT THE FUCK UP, GOOGLE. Stop teasing us with product who will be nowhere available.
    Stop being related to hardware and stay stick to the only thing you can do: solve search queries for porn.

  • It has a chromeos key board with the search key and lower case letters.
    I wonder as it is called the pixel, does it have a pixel qi screen.

    • Tom Dang

      If I understand your comment correctly, the Chrome OS has a setting where you can change the function of the search key to be Caps Lock.

  • Filip Justin

    No MS Office, no money..

    • Doesn’t MS offer a web-based version nowadays?

      • They do, but it’s not fully featured I think. But I may be wrong.

        • I don’t know, I heard the other day something about Office 365, a subscription, web-based version that would be pretty feature-full… But I don’t know, I don’t use it, don’t care, so I didn’t read the thing properly =)

    • Tom Dang

      Google Drive is able to handle most MS Office format. I don’t think it does Visio last time I tried.

      • oldman_60

        you can use Lucidchart diagramming. it is a chrome extension. The paid version let you import/export visio.

  • If this runs Ubuntu, I’m in!

    • Nickan Fayyazi

      Um… it’s a Chromebook. It’s obviously going to run Chrome OS. But if you mean it can run Ubuntu alongside, it will most likely be able to, as Ubuntu can run on virtually any computer.

      • Zero0

        It should run Ubuntu. Chromebooks usually have a developer mode, which allows users to install pretty much anything they want. Ubuntu has an ARM build, so even if this runs Tegra, Ubuntu should be theoretically compatible. It might not be optimized, but it will run.

      • Yeah, I realize it will have Chrome OS stock but I run Ubuntu on my CR-48 which is falling apart. Looking for a nice replacement. Hope this will be it.

  • Jon

    Definitely real. Been saying this since I saw it.

    For one thing, we already know Google IS making such a product. The fact they placed the order with Compal has been known for a few months.

    Second, I think any fake would have called it by its rumoured, working name ‘Chromebook Nexus’ where as this seems like an authentic name (with Google not wanting to cause confusion between Android and Chrome OSs).

    The ad is completely consistent with the rumours about the product, the Chrome brand and this is basically the exact ad that Google would make. It’s too good. They even have the guy that does the voiceovers for Honda… you really think that a fake would go to those lengths and expense. Don’t think so.

    By making it an is it, isn’t it a fake story, Google’s maximising coverage – with new stories each day as some new detail mysteriously gets discovered. I think it’s a great campaign to ramp up the hype and keep people guessing.

    I will be truly amazed if this is a fake and Google doesn’t announce it officially at I/O.

  • Lara

    Someone answer me this: HOW DOES “YOUR COMPUTER GETS BETTER OVER TIME”?? Is this false advertising? I mean, sure the more we use the computer/laptop well grown accustomed to it and well know the short cuts, etc. to make using it more efficient. But HOW does that make the computer last longer/better?

    • Because it’s based on the cloud, it gets new features, bug fixes, and improvements without the user having to do anything.