Google Pixelbook is a cutting-edge Chromebook created by Google. The device is versatile and powerful, and it completely outperforms its competition. It is currently one of the greatest 2-in-1 laptops and Chromebooks on the market. The smartphone has a strong processor and a gorgeous, thin appearance. As a result, it not only provides powerful performance but also style.
The laptop includes Android and retains the functionality of Chrome OS, elevating it to the level of competing with contemporary Windows 10 and macOS laptops. Google Pixelbook specs are comparable to Apple’s. Although the touch is pricy, it easily meets its rivals due to its excellent features and is an excellent alternative for individuals who need a premium working experience from their laptops.
The Google Pixelbook is powered by an Intel Core i5-7Y57 processor (1.2GHz, 4MB cache, up to 3.3GHz) and an Intel HD Graphics 615 GPU. The laptop includes 8GB or 16GB LPDDR3 RAM and SSD storage options of 128GB, 256GB, or 512 GB. The 16GB RAM, 512GB storage option includes a Core i7 processor rather than the Core i5, making it the top-tier model.
The Pixelbook is fanless because all of the processors are from the Y series. Because Y-series CPUs are low-power, Intel Corp. offers a low-heat solution.
The laptop boasts a gorgeous 2400 1600 display thanks to its 12.3 in QHD LCD touchscreen, in addition to a decent processor, powerful RAM, and storage. There are two USB-C 3.1 ports, a headphone/mic jack, a 720p webcam, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.2 on the laptop.
When it comes to design, the Google Pixelbook is a work of beauty. The body weighs a little under 2.5 pounds and is 11.4 8.7 0.4 inches in length. The brushed metal body frame has flushed corners and rubberized palm rests and undersides. The speaker is inadequate because it is located behind the keyboard and produces a weak sound.
Fortunately, the Pixelbook includes a headphone/mic connector, allowing you to use either hands-free or headphones. The glass trackpad is extremely useful, allowing for single- and multi-touch movements as well as smooth and precise tracking. When pressed, the keyboard keys are well-spaced, backlit (ideal for working in the dark), and emit a faint clicking sound.
In this fantastic Chromebook, the 3:2 display is the real deal. The 12.3-inch LCD touchscreen with 235 PPI produces brilliant colours, rivalling the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The panel is ideal for every duty or purpose, from watching movies to performing picture editing. When used as a touchscreen, the display is also highly accurate, especially when using the Google Pixelbook Pen.
The Pixelbook Pen is a fantastic device in and of itself. Although it is not included with the laptop, it is available for purchase separately. I know it’s expensive, but it’s still worthwhile to get. The pen has a decent pressure response and tilt support, making writing and drawing easier and more enjoyable.
There is only one button, which is a Google Assistant button with Google Lens technology included. When you press the button and then use the pen, nothing is drawn. It will send the data to Google Assistant, which will analyze it and then send the results gathered from Google servers pertaining to anything you have surrounded. If you can afford it, the Pixelbook Pen is a great buy.
Battery life and performance
Because of its strong processor, the Google Pixelbook is a performance beast. It can easily handle common office software and apps such as Google Docs or Sheets, as well as other software like Lightroom, Adobe, AutoCAD, and so on. The Chrome OS also improves in the browser department, so you don’t have to worry about the browser using too much RAM, which is common on Windows 10 and macOS systems. In terms of performance, it easily outperforms Samsung and Asus smartphones in the same category.
According to the product page, the Pixelbook’s battery may last up to 10 hours on a full charge. However, these figures are based on a combination of standby, web browsing, and another usage.’ The real battery life may range between 7 and 10 hours, depending on the software or app you are using, the brightness level, and so on. Although competing devices, such as the Pixelbook Pro and Asus Flip, may offer longer battery life, keep in mind that they may not have the same specifications as the Google Pixelbook.
The Google Pixelbook fully supports Android Apps and has a Google Play Store, giving the impression that the gadget was custom-made for this purpose. When it comes to utilizing Android apps, the device also offers a novel UI, outperforming the Samsung and Asus Chromebooks in this area.
The Chrome launcher makes it very simple to access apps. There is a key on the keyboard that replaces Caps Lock (Caps Lock may still be accessed by holding the Alt key and pushing the launcher button), as well as a circular button on the shelf that resembles the traditional taskbar. This allows you to quickly navigate through the installed apps on your Pixelbook.
With the features discussed above, you can bet the smartphone will not be inexpensive. The smartphone is expensive, with prices ranging from $999 to $1649 (£999 to £1699). That pricing does not include the Pixelbook Pen, which will cost an additional $99 (or £99). However, that expensive price tag comes with a beast of a machine that can readily compete with its competitors’ designs. The identical Samsung and Asus laptops are less expensive, but their specs do not compare to the Google Pixelbook in terms of performance.
Turn the page
The Pixelbook’s design shows that Google’s view of the future of PCs aligns fairly well with Microsoft’s Surface products. The traditional clamshell has been replaced by a convertible, allowing the machine to function as a tablet when the keyboard is swivelled 360 degrees. The line has always supported touch input, but the addition of an optional pen indicates a firm that is increasingly interested in recruiting creatives – a market that both companies believe is on the cusp of exploding far beyond the bounds of macOS.
The Pixelbook truly aspires to offer something for everyone. It’s a tall order, but it’s required when there’s just one laptop on the market. Google has certainly done some outstanding design work. The Pixelbook is tiny and robust, with an aluminium chassis and a glass screen on top that make the Chromebook stand out among the millions of MacBook clones on the market.
The second-generation Pixel laptop (2015) was one of the first to launch with USB-C ports — but the firm also included a pair of USB 3.1 ports for good measure. This time, the business follows in the divisive footsteps of the MacBook by only having a single USB-C port on either side.
Like the Pixel 2 (the phone), the firm no doubt dropped what it judged unnecessary ports in the interest of toning things down — and because, well, things are already headed in that direction. For you, this means a future littered with dongles as you try to plug in older equipment or when you need to use more than two peripherals at once. Of course, all of the regular USB-C benefits remain, including rapid charging, which should provide you with up to two hours of battery life after only 15 minutes of charging.
The screen is a tad smaller than the 2015 Chromebook Pixel, at 12.3 inches to 12.85 inches, possibly to make it more compact — though you’d have to have an eagle eye to notice that kind of change. The same can be said about the pixel density, which has been somewhat reduced. It’s still quite sharp, and unlike the Pixel 2 XL, it doesn’t suffer from the same muddy colour issue. The screen, on the other hand, has a fairly large black bezel around the borders.
The trackpad and keyboard are both full-size. The keys are a little squishy, which may take some getting used to depending on what you’re used to typing with, but they have a lot more tactility than what Apple’s been putting on its devices recently. Of course, there are some oddities. The Caps Lock key was removed from the QWERTY keyboard many moons ago in order to create a dedicated search button (the capability is still accessible by pressing Alt + Search).
Meanwhile, the large Control and Alt buttons have been downsized so that a new button can be sandwiched between them.
With the Pixelbook, Google Assistant joins Siri and Cortana on a laptop for the first time. Assistant, like other products (but unlike Alexa), is evolving into more than just a voice-only AI. The assistant may be accessible in three ways: by holding down the aforementioned dedicated key, speaking “OK Google” to the laptop, or circling a part of the text or an image with the Pixelbook Pen.
Each input method, like the mobile version, has its place. When you have a full-size keyboard at your disposal, typing makes perfect sense. Though I must admit that I didn’t find Assistant to be a more convenient shortcut than simply typing something into Google or clicking into an app on my own.
When the Pixelbook is in a mode other than a laptop, the speech feature makes sense, since it uses four onboard mics to activate Assistant with the familiar keyword. This certainly saves time over trying to type a query into the large laptop.
Because it differs from the normal implementation, the Pen option is the most appealing of the three. If you circle some text or a picture from anywhere on your laptop, it will be pulled immediately into the Assistant chat window. It will then attempt to provide some background. I drew a circle around an image of the Eiffel Tower, and it suggested hotels around the Parisian landmark. The input technique is a bit of a blunt tool for most queries, lacking the specificity of a text or voice-based search.
The addition of Assistant is intriguing and certainly part of Google’s wider ecosystem effort, but I’m not convinced that it’s an essential addition to the desktop Chromebook experience.
It’s all part of Chrome OS’s ongoing evolution, which has seen it gradually but steadily evolve from what was effectively an oversized browser into a really viable desktop operating system. The inclusion of the Google Play Store late last year, which brings all Android apps to the OS, played a significant role in this growth. They aren’t all designed for the screen size, but it greatly expands functionality.
Pondering the pen
The Pixelbook Pen is in the same category. Once again, the execution is flawless. The startup engaged the assistance of Wacom, the industry standard for designing these types of input devices, and the result is a snappy stylus with good pressure sensitivity and remarkably low latency. To keep up with the pen’s movement, the Pen performs some predictive sketching. It is possible to fool it by making sudden movements, although you are unlikely to notice it while writing.
As with Apple’s Pencil and Microsoft’s Surface Pen, it’s difficult to envision the peripheral as anything other than a niche gadget for the time being. Google is certain that the creative space will continue to grow, but there’s a reason why it didn’t include it in the $999+ price tag. Likewise, there is no slot for it on the Pixelbook, nor is there a magnetic attachment (though third parties are already releasing loop accessories).
It’s priced at $99, the same as Apple and Microsoft’s products, which is maybe a bit much for the casual customer who just wants to colour in an adult colouring book or doodle on an art app every now and again.
Growing up Chromebook
The Pixelbook’s goal is to demonstrate what Chrome OS is truly capable of, and by that standard, the laptop succeeds admirably. If you haven’t played with one of these gadgets in a few years or are only familiar with the low-end models used in classrooms, you’ll be astonished at how far things have progressed.
The operating system is quick, secure, and functional enough for daily usage. That, along with a good, versatile hardware design and a few extra gimmicks like Pixel phone automatic tethering when the connection cuts out (not yet available at press time), makes the Pixelbook by far the most powerful device in the category.
Nonetheless, it is unlikely to be the mainstream laptop Google has envisioned. It certainly makes sense for schoolchildren who have become accustomed to the operating system and are searching for something a little more powerful. However, Chrome remains a difficult sell for many users who are already committed to Windows or macOS — and the $999 starting price tag is unlikely to sway those searching for a bargain.
The Google Pixelbook is an excellent all-purpose device. It has a lovely lightweight body frame, a powerful processor, memory, and plenty of storage space. That, combined with its stunning display, fantastic Android support, and ample battery life, makes it a serious contender in the current Chromebook market. Although it appears to be a little more expensive than its competitors, it still delivers quite a punch for the price.
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