The company behind the Chromebook Pixel video is now in question.
Last week a video emerged showcasing what was believed to be an internally developed Chromebook from Google called the Pixel. Since then, there have been reports that the video was fake although its author, 25-year-old Slinky.me founder Victor Koch, swears that the Chrome OS-based notebook is indeed real. He even said it will be absolutely "fantastic".
The video in question showcased a super-thin form factor sporting a full touchscreen display with a 2560 x 1700 resolution. Google is reportedly testing the new design now, and could even pack Nvidia’s Tegra 4 SoC to back up that impressive screen. Prior to the video, reports surfaced that Google was working on a “Nexus” Chromebook with a 12.85-inch touch display, and that the company placed hardware orders with Taiwanese manufacturers Compal Electronics and Wintek.
But now there’s some question as to whether the promotional video – including the Pixel itself -- is real or fake. The video was reportedly stolen by hackers who broke into Slinky.me’s servers last week, and the CEO is now supposedly in China as part of an investigation into the server hacks. CNET, which spoke with him by phone, said Koch used excited tones when referring to the unannounced Chromebook.
"No fake, no hoax," he said. "I think it will be huge -- huge in the international market, not in the United States. It's going to be fantastic."
Koch claims that he and co-founder Benjamin Pleuger worked at Google before leaving to launch Slinky. But Google reports that it is unaware of Koch ever working for the company in any form. Even more, Slinky doesn’t appear to be the typical ad agency hired on to promote products, but rather a visual Wiki showcasing a "bewildering array" of products. It will eventually become the world’s largest visual guide – at least that’s the site’s ultimate goal.
“In a brief follow-up interview, asked whether he really had worked for Google, Koch exclaimed ‘Oh gosh!’ and said a bad phone connection prevented him from hearing the question,” CNET reports. “He invited follow-up questions via e-mail.”
A little investigation into Slinky.me revealed that the company was founded in December 2010, but the site itself went live in September 2010. Koch claims that he began working at Google in February 2011, and then registered the Slinky domain in May 2011. He supposedly left Google in 2012.
Slinky claims that 2.6 million people use its products each day, 750,000 of which have installed its browser themes for Chrome, Opera and Firefox. The company also claims that 320 media magazines are its customers, and that it signed a $5 million deal with AOL in 2011.
CNET provides additional evidence backing its skepticism over the Chromebook Pixel video, Slinky.me and its CEO. But Koch stands by the leaked video, claiming it’s not fake and that Google hired his site to produce an array of adverts for Google’s products. More answers will come in time, he said.
If the Macbook Air-like Chromebook Pixel is indeed real, we’ll likely see it this June during Google I/O 2013.