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Chromebook pixel count spurs Apple marketing shift

Google's Chromebook Pixel outperforms Apple's Retina MacBooks in one particular spec, and Apple recently changed the way it markets its notebooks to reflect that reality.

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[Update:] The product page still features the "highest-resolution notebook" language, but it's no longer the top item. The language is now the second item, and it appears to be reserved to the 15-inch model. The 15-inch model has more than five million pixels, while the 12.9-inch Chromebook Pixel has just over 4.58 million.

Apple, never shy in touting the specifications of its devices when they are at the top of industry offerings, used to market its 13- and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros as "The highest-resolution notebook ever. And the second-highest." That's no longer the case, though, and the product page for the Retina MacBooks has changed to reflect that.

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Bested — at least in terms of resolution — the Retina MacBook page now reads "high performance has never been so well defined."

Introducing the Chromebook Pixel in February, Google made sure to focus on the device's high-resolution screen. The Pixel's 2560x1700, 12.9-inch, touch-enabled LCD display has a pixel density of 239ppi. Apple's 15-inch and 13-inch Retina MacBooks have 220ppi and 227ppi densities, respectively.

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Instead of a traditional computer OS, Google's ChromeBooks run a browser-based operating system developed by Google. While Google has continually upgraded Chrome OS since its release, bringing more features and capabilities, the OS still lags far behind Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and even mobile operating systems such as Android and iOS in terms of capabilities. A variety of apps are available for Chrome OS, but Google faced some criticism for releasing a premium-priced product — the Pixel starts at $1,299 — that lacks the power, space, and application ecosystem of similarly-priced traditional notebooks.