Hands-On: Google Pixelbook Chromebook & Pixelbook Pen

Google now has a new Chromebook on offer, the Google Pixelbook. In a similar vein to the new Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones, this Chromebook is designed to highlight how good a Chromebook can feel, how good a Chromebook can look, and how a Chromebook should work by showcasing the best Chrome OS has to offer. The Pixelbook was announced by Google earlier today during its October 4 event and following the announcement we were able to take a closer look at the Pixelbook to see just how good it really is.

While the Chrome OS experience is largely the same across most Chromebooks that does not mean the Chromebook experience is the same in general. Not only do Chromebooks come to market boasting different specs, but they also arrive boasting vastly different build qualities, using different materials, and offering varying degrees of ruggedness. Barring the last, the Pixelbook looks to excel in all aspects, something which is more than evident in terms of the design. As the Pixelbook (consistent with premium Chromebooks in general now) boasts a mostly all-aluminum build, which not only results in a more attractive looking Chromebook, but also one which is extremely light and that is one of the things you will first note with the Pixelbook - just how very lightweight it is. Making it an ideal option for those looking for a portable Chrome OS device while still being able to take advantage of its very powerful (by Chromebook standards) specs. Although what makes it even more ideal for on-the-go use is its foldable design as again, like a number of premium Chromebooks, the Pixelbook includes a 360-degree rotating hinge and this allows the Pixelbook to be used in a number of different positions, including in a folded tablet position.

Which seems to be the other major use case for the Pixelbook as in addition to this being a typical Chromebook, Google is also positioning the Pixelbook as one which will offer a very tablet-like experience - in terms of both the software and the hardware. It is no secret that Google has been looking to integrate various aspects of Chrome OS and Android, resulting in more of a same-experience across the two operating systems. This so far has been best seen by the availability of the Google Play Store and Android apps on Chrome OS. Allowing Chromebook users to start to use apps that are initially designed for a more touch-based interface. Needless to say, the Pixelbook has been crafted to purposely take advantage of this feature and therefore not only comes with what is a very responsive touch display, but is also fully compatible with a stylus that Google has named the Pixelbook Pen.

Like other similar stylus pens, the Pixelbook Pen provides Pixelbook users with a way to further take advantage of Android apps and a more touch-centered experience overall. Sticking with the user experience and Google also announced today that the Google Assistant is coming to Chromebooks and that the Pixelbook will be the first Chromebook to gain the functionality. Which is another aspect that further highlights the consistency of experience across devices that Google is looking for. Speaking of consistency, Google has opted to include a glass panel on the top lid of the Pixelbook which results in this Chromebook adopting a very similar look and style to both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones.

Another design aspect worth noting is the inclusion of USB Type-C ports. Now this is not exactly a new feature as it is one which has been showing up on most premium Chromebooks (and other devices) of late. However what is relevant here is that the Pixelbook places pretty much all of its focus on USB Type-C ports. So not only is this a device that comes equipped with mostly USB Type-C ports for data transfer, but even the power cable (and port) provided with the Pixebook is USB Type-C based. In terms of the more general information, the Pixelbook is now confirmed as coming equipped with a 12.3-inch display along with a 2,400 x 1600 resolution. Inside the Pixelbook is available with either 8 or 16GB RAM, as well as in 128, 356, 512GB storage variants, while coming powered by either an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor. The battery is said to last for up to 10 hours while a 15 minute charge is said to provide a return of 2 hours of usage. Those interested can take a closer look at the design of the new Pixelbook (and the Pixelbook Pen) in the gallery below.

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About the Author

John Anon

John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]
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