Google announced its highest-end Chromebook yet on Thursday, called the Chromebook Pixel. From a hardware perspective, the Chromebook Pixel is like taking the powerful Retina Display from the new MacBook Pro and embedding it into the slim body of Apple’s lightweight MacBook Air.

Google originally made the Chromebook line to be a fast, affordable laptop alternative -- sure, it doesn’t feature Windows or Mac applications, but with Google’s Web-based family of applications, from its cloud service Google Drive to Gmail and Google Maps, the Mountain View, Calif., search giant believes the $249 Chromebook has everything most users want out of a laptop: a speedy experience and rich Web integration at a cheap price.

Unlike the company’s previous Chromebooks, the Chromebook Pixel was designed by Google to be “the best laptop possible, especially for power users who have fully embraced the cloud,” according to the company’s blog. Check out the photos of the new Chromebook Pixel below.

Google Chromebook Pixel: Keyboard and Touchpad
From Google: "Pixel’s touchpad is made from etched glass, analyzed and honed using a laser microscope for exceptional smoothness and accuracy. Backlights in the screen and keyboard respond to both the room’s ambient lighting and how Pixel is being used." Courtesy /
Google Chromebook: Hinging On The Hinge
From Google: "A piano hinge not only makes it possible to open and close Pixel with a single finger, it’s also engineered to augment the range of the Wi-Fi antennas and act as a heatsink to help keep the machine cool." Courtesy /
Google Chromebook Pixel: The Hidden Screws
From Google: "Pixel is machined from an anodized aluminum alloy to a tight tolerance, leaving nothing extraneous or distracting: vents are hidden, screws invisible, and stereo speakers seamlessly tucked away beneath the backlit keyboard." Courtesy /
Google Chromebook Pixel: Connectivity
From Google: "Pixel has an industry-leading WiFi range thanks to two precisely positioned antennas and dual-band support. With LTE engineered directly into the machine, mobile download speeds can reach up to 100Mbps (LTE model optional)." Courtesy /
Google Chromebook Pixel
Google's Chromebook Pixel is like taking the Retina Display of the MacBook Pro and embedding it in the slim body of the MacBook Air. Google

The Google Chromebook Pixel features a 12.85-inch screen with a display resolution of 2560 x 1700, coming in at 239 pixels per inch, or ppi. Comparatively, Apple’s newest 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display features a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels at 227 ppi.

The Pixel measures 298 x 225 x 16 mm and weighs just 3.35 pounds, which is just a bit lighter than the 3.57-pound 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display. Apple’s wafer-thin MacBook Air, however, is still lighter than the Chromebook Pixel at just 2.38 pounds.

The Chromebook Pixel features a front-facing 720p HD camera, two USB 2.0 ports, a MiniDisplay Port and an SD/MMC card reader. The Chromebook Pixel is powered by an Intel dual-core i5 processor clocking in at 1.8 GHz and an integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 chip. The computer also comes with 32 GB of SSD (64GB on the pricier LTE model), as well as 4 GB of DDR3 RAM and a full terabyte on Google Drive’s cloud storage solution for three full years.

Extra goodies for buying the Chromebook Pixel, besides a terabyte of Google Drive storage, include 12 free sessions of GoGo Inflight Internet, as well as 100 free MB per month for two years on Verizon Wireless (if you buy the LTE model).

Google sells the Chromebook Pixel with 32 GB and Wi-Fi only connectivity for $1,299 and the Wi-Fi and LTE-equipped Pixel with 64 GB of SSD for $1,449. The computer is now available via Best Buy retail locations and the company’s own Google Play Store.