Google preserved what made the first Chromebook Pixel stand out: the high-resolution 12.85" IPS display with 3:2 aspect ratio, multi-touch and 400 nit brightness, the aluminum body and glass trackpad. The new Chromebook Pixel has Intel Broadwell dual-core CPUs (i5 5200U/i7 5500U), 8 or 16GB of RAM (depending on the version), 2 USB 3.0 Type-C ports that are also used for charging and external displays, 2 additional USB 3.0 standard ports, WiFi ac, Bluetooth 4.0, a new wide-angle camera lens and up to 12 hours of battery life. Other improvements: Pixel is now thinner and a little bit lighter (15.2 mm and 1.5 kg, down from 16.2 mm and 1.52 kg).
There are two Chromebook Pixel versions: the first one costs $999 (i5 Intel CPU/8GB RAM/32GB SSD) and the second one is called LS - "Ludicrous Speed" and costs $1299 (i7 Intel CPU/16GB RAM/64GB SSD), much like the original Pixel. Both versions are available in the new Google Store and you can only buy them if you're in the US. Google no longer offers an LTE version.
"For the new Pixel, we've joined forces with some of the biggest names in the industry to create a new standard for charging, called USB Type C. The Pixel is one of the first products to launch with this new standard, with more Chromebooks and Android devices following suit soon. Not only does Type-C enable multi-device charging, but it also allows high-speed data and display over the same connector and cable. It's small enough to work with smartphones, powerful enough to charge computers, and conveniently symmetrical (no more guessing which side is up!)," explains Google.
There are some optional adaptors and cables in the Google Store: USB Type-C to Standard-A adapter ($12.99), USB Type-C to DisplayPort cable ($39.99), USB Type-C to HDMI adapter ($39.99).
Apple's latest Macbook also uses USB Type-C, but it has a single port, it's thinner and lighter. Apple opted for a fanless design and used ultra low-power Core M CPUs, which are less powerful than the ULT CPUs from Chromebook Pixel and Macbook Air.
High-end Chromebooks won't sell that well, but Google has a high-quality laptop that can be used by its own employees and other early adopters. It's also a reference device for Chromebook OEMs.