Google is adding a more expensive touch to its line of Chrome laptops in an attempt to outshine personal computers running on software made by rivals Microsoft and Apple. The Chromebook Pixel unveiled Thursday includes a nearly 13-inch display screen that responds to the touch or swipe of a finger. That duplicates a key feature in Microsoft’s Windows 8, a dramatic makeover of the world’s leading operating system for PCs.
The Pixel’s high-resolution screen displays 239 pixels per inch, slightly more than Apple’s MacBooks with high-resolution Retina displays. A MacBook Pro with a screen that measures 13.1 inches diagonally can handle 227 pixels per inch, while the 15.4-inch model is at 220 pixels per inch.
Rates still low
The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose this week but remained near historic lows.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average rate on the 30-year loan increased to 3.56 percent from 3.53 percent last week. That’s still near the 3.31 percent reached in November, which was the lowest on record dating to 1971.
The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage stayed at 2.77 percent for a third straight week.
Higher home sales
U.S. sales of previously occupied homes rose in January to the second-highest level in three years. The National Association of Realtors said sales rose 0.4 percent in January compared with December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.92 million. That was the second-highest sales pace since November 2009, when a temporary homebuyer tax credit boosted sales.
The median price for a home sold in January was $173,600, a 12.3 percent increase from a year ago. The supply of homes for sale dropped to nearly an eight-year low in January.
| Star news services