Google unveiled a swath of new hardware at its event today, and among the new hardware was a new Chromebook in the Pixelbook. It appears to be the next generation Chromebook Pixel, but it leaves the "Chromebook" out of its name. The Pixelbook is a pretty high-end Chromebook, with a starting price of $999. But one of the features that Google showed off during its presentation of the Pixelbook was Instant Tethering. Where the Pixelbook is able to tether from your Android smartphone automatically when there is no known WiFi networks available to connect too. Interestingly enough, this is a feature Apple has had for years, so it's actually a case of Google catching up.
The way this will work, is if you are on a train or at a coffee house and you open your Pixelbook to get some work done, but there's no WiFi available, the Pixelbook will automatically connect to your Android smartphone. So that when you open your Pixelbook, it'll have internet within a few seconds. This takes out the need of setting up and turning on a hotspot on your phone then connecting it on your Pixelbook. Now this is a feature that can be turned on or off, and it will only be active when you are on your Pixelbook. So you won't have to worry about the Pixelbook being tethered to your smartphone all of the time.
This is a feature that Google could, theoretically, make available for other Chromebooks that are on the market, since this is supposedly part of Chrome OS, but Google did not mention whether this would be available on other Chromebooks. It could be something it keeps exclusive to the Pixelbook, so that users have a reason – albeit a small reason – to buy the Pixelbook over another Chromebook, like the Acer Chromebook 15. The Pixelbook is actually up for pre-order now, as is the Pixel 2 and other hardware products that Google announced at the event. The Pixelbook is slated to begin shipping later this month, and comes with a whopping 16GB of RAM and up to 512GB of SSD storage.