Meet Pixelbook, the laptop computer that legitimizes Google’s Chromebook Pixel legacy.
When Google launched the primary Chromebook Pixel in 2013, many tech journalists (myself included) noticed the Chrome OS-based laptop computer as extra of a fantastic mental proposition than a viable client product. It was a halo system that illustrated what a Chromebook might be—in a broad, sweeping romantic sense—if designed with full disregard for client pricing sensitivity.
Certainly, would anybody spend nearly $1,500 on a pc that may’t even run Home windows purposes? The world typically scoffed—after which scoffed once more when Google up to date the Pixel in 2015.
However now we’ve the Google Pixelbook, which begins at $999 for a Core i5/8GB RAM/128GB SSD config, and goes as much as $1,649 for a Core i7/16GB RAM/512GB SSD config. (For full Pixelbook pricing, release date, specs and extra, learn our information story.) The pricing is simply as steep as earlier than, and the machine nonetheless doesn’t assist Home windows apps or PC gaming. However because of a handful of intriguing options, the Pixelbook immediately looks as if a viable first alternative for one’s major laptop, and now not a bizarre curiosity that you simply purchase merely since you’re dumb, wealthy, and curious.
Pixelbook: Skinny, gentle and versatile
Elegant laptop computer design all the time deserves celebration (particularly when so many computer systems appear like dangerous film props), and the Pixelbook is an intriguing design research, identical to its Pixel predecessors. The glass inlay on the again of the show refers again to Pixel telephone design, and is a stupendous flourish. At 10mm skinny, the Pixelbook is absolutely freaking skinny. And at 2.four kilos, it feels remarkably gentle for its bodily footprint.
The Pixelbook can be the primary Pixel laptop computer with a full vary of movement. A easy, completely resistant 360-degree hinge converts the machine from laptop computer mode to pill mode to easel mode to film mode. In the meantime, a 12.Three-inch, 2400×1600, Three:2 facet ratio show provides a beneficiant expanse that makes 16:9 and four:Three shows really feel compromised for productiveness work.
Now, do you actually need a Core i7 and 16GB of RAM to run Chrome OS and Android apps? This stage of firepower would appear to be wanton overkill.
However right here’s the place the Pixelbook begins to make sense: A $99 Pixelbook Pen accent hooks straight into Google Assistant, paving the way in which for a intelligent new method to look. And an computerized tethering function faucets your Pixel telephone for an information connection, do you have to lose Wi-Fi on the street.
OK, now the Chromebook story is getting fascinating. Let’s dig just a little bit deeper.
Utilizing Pixelbook Pen for contextual search
The $99 Pixelbook Pen would appear well-suited for drawing apps. It feels well-balanced within the hand, provides 2,000 ranges of strain sensitivity, and guarantees simply 10ms of latency. However what actually makes the Pen fascinating is the way it hooks into Google Assistant.
Open up Chrome. Load a webpage. See a picture that intrigues you? Press the button on the facet of the Pen, then draw a circle across the photograph. The Pixelbook will acknowledge the contents of the photograph, after which open a Google Assistant session revealing contextual info—as an illustration, hyperlinks to a celeb’s IMDB profile and Instagram. You should use the identical Pen routine to analysis the which means of phrases and ideas.
I solely spent a couple of minutes doing Pen searches, however I discovered the method fast, pure, and rewarding. And since I exploit Google Assistant on a regular basis on my telephone, I rapidly started anticipating how I’ll apply the identical service on my PC. Added bonus: You don’t should speak to Assistant to run contextual searches. You’ll be able to simply use the Pen, or hit a nifty Assistant key constructed into the Pixelbook’s keyboard. This protects you the embarrassment of talking out loud in a public place.
Auto data-tethering between Pixel and Pixelbook
The unique Chromebook Pixel provided an LTE model to ensure you may use Chrome’s cloud-based companies when Wi-Fi was unavailable. Google shed LTE with the second era. The brand new Pixelbook can be Wi-Fi-only, but when your telephone is a Pixel or Pixel 2, it might function hotspot ought to Wi-Fi fail you.
My Pixelbook demo wasn’t set as much as illustrate this function, however Google says its “instantaneous tethering” is seamless: When Wi-Fi drops out, the Pixelbook routinely connects to your Pixel or Pixel 2’s LTE connection, holding you up and operating, and without having to configure a hotspot.
This actually closes the loop on the higher Chromebook promise—a minimum of if you happen to personal a Pixel telephone. Instantaneous tethering obtained a fair amount of applause when Google introduced the function, and certainly, it’s thrilling to the PCWorld workers as nicely.
Chromebooks have rather a lot going for them, particularly if you happen to don’t care about PC gaming or specialised, resource-intensive purposes. They begin up in a flash, they’re not uncovered to Home windows exploits, they usually’re completely suited to customers who already do all their work in Google Drive and Android apps. Replace by replace, function by function, Chromebooks are trying much more enticing, and the Pixelbook improvements solely assist cement the promise—the steep price ticket however.