The $1,299 Chromebook Pixel is aimed at cloud-computing power users, adding a premium version to a lineup that's been much more about low cost.
Chrome OS runs Web apps in the browser rather than native apps written for traditional operating systems such as iOS or Windows, and before the Pixel Google was pushing its Chrome OS offerings as consumer machines with a low sticker price.
The Pixel's biggest selling point is likely its very high-resolution 12.85-inch, 2560x1700 display.
"The goal was to push the boundary and build something premium," Sundar Pichai, the senior vice president of engineering in charge of Chrome and the Google Apps online services, said in an interview with CNET.
In designing the Pixel, Pichai said, Google engineers asked themselves, "What could we do if we really wanted to design the best computer possible at the best price possible?"
The 3.3-pound Pixel uses a dual-core 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 processor with integrated HD 4000 graphics, 4GB of DDR3 memory, and includes two USB 2.0 ports, an SD Card slot, and a Mini DisplayPort for hooking up a TV or external monitor.
Google said the Pixel battery should last five hours under typical usage.