Chromebooks have emerged as a simple, sleek and low-cost choice for business and education, yet being spectacular in performance at the same time.
Google Pixelbook is the newest arrival in the series that includes a powerful processor, an elite metallic look and a heavy price tag this time. Users now need to prioritize their needs vs budget before buying Chromebook. However, this machine outclasses its predecessors in speed, utility and design.
Pixelbook: What you Need to Know
Good news for the people who have to deal with google suite of apps daily. This machine goes one step ahead when we talk of usability and utility. In addition to access to mostly web based apps, Pixelbook also provides access to a wide range of apps on Google Play Store. Ability to be flipped and be used as a Tablet adds to the essence and make this product to stand in the front line.
Detailed specifications of Google Pixelbook are as under:
|Processor||Dual-core 3.3GHz Intel Core i5-7Y57|
|Memory slots + Available||1 + 0|
|Dimensions||290 x 220 x 10mm|
|Sound||Realtek HD Audio (3.5mm headset port)|
|Screen resolution||2,400 x 1,600|
|Graphics adaptor||Intel HD Graphics 615|
|Total storage||256GB SSD|
|Optical drive type||N/A|
|Ports and expansion|
|USB ports||2x USB-C|
|Memory card reader||N/A|
|Operating system||Chrome OS|
Hefty Price Tag
Pixelbook has definitely given a scrape to the reputation of Chromebooks being cheap. Starting from 999$, the Pixelbook comes with a core i5 processor, 8 GB Ram and 128 GB SSD. However, demanding 256 GB SSD (128GB extra) will cost you 200$ more altogether. The Pixelbook prices may go upto 1699$, If you are a specs buff and you ask for core i7, 16GB Ram and 512 GB NVMe SSD.
The Pixelbook price is almost twice that of the Samsung Chromebook, which has nailed the other Chromebooks in the past. If Chrome OS is the thing you are looking for, HpChromebook 13 can be the best fit. However, if you are looking for android apps only, Samsung Galaxy S3 Tab is just the right choice for you.
Design, Built and Hardware
Display is 12.3 inches touchscreen with a resolution of 2400 x 1600. Google engineers have worked a lot on display and it happily provides a full HD screen with an aspect ratio of 3:2. However, Bezel around the screens are slightly big and a bother a little.
The industrial design of Pixelbook is just so cool and with a spectacular build quality.Body is really sleek not exceeding 10mm. This time, Google came up with a combination of metal, glass and silicone. Body is completely metallic with a glass shade back. Keyboard is sleek, full length and backlit.
Keyboard backlit is synced with ambient light sensor, so it never turns on when you don’t need it. Palm rests for keyboard are made of Silicon, allowing a better feel while typing. Touchpad is made of glass, and is fast and accurate. You can easily adjust the sensitivity of touchpad as per your convenience.
Software – Chrome OS
Chrome OS now comes with the Google Assistant built in. You can trigger this feature by pressing a dedicated key at the last row of keyboard. Alternatively, you can say “OK Google” and four integrated microphones of Pixelbook responds instantaneously to it.
But Chromebook has not yet proved to be an all-rounder. If you use your laptop for 3d modelling, rendering & gaming, this machine is a definite NO, but if you are just ok with an elite, corporate look of a laptop with ability to deal with routine matters, this machine is a must. Android OS is also improving on the abilities every passing day like with Office 365, you can edit, create and send your documents at ease.
Few changes in the OS has improved overall UI. Launcher is reshaped to distinguish between web based apps and android apps. Just like an Android phone, there is a google search bar at the top to enable quick access to search functions.
Pixelbook being new to Android OS apps, all android apps open up as full screen by default and hence 12.3 inch sized screen of android apps bothers many users. Plus, a lot of apps that have both web and android versions, forces you to choose one out of it. Though Google has not stopped updating its OS and is on a constant move of improvements, there is still a lot awaited.
Battery and Pixelbook Pen
Google claims almost 10 hours of battery life of mixed use, however, most users have not found it to be more than 8 hours. Some claim that video playback of 8 hours is not a creepy battery life. This dictates an easy and smooth use for a day. The battery can be recharges within a time of almost 1.5 hour.
Pixelbook pen is ahandy device which has multifarious uses. The company took the help of Wacom, the go-to company for creating this input device. Pixelbook pen is a responsive stylus with good pressure sensitivity and surprisingly little latency.
The bad part is that this device doesnot come with this machine as an integral part and costs you additional 99$, but the good part is it uses aAAAA size battery enough to be used for almost a year. It’s a good piece of hardware but sometimes lags with few apps who donot use latest codes.
Google Pixelbook is not a low-cost choice to buy, but users who demand a sleek look with a faster machine can be looking forward for this purchase.
Although Google is toiling hard to make Chromebooks better with every passing day but there is no doubt about the fact that Pixelbook is not a replacement to conventional windows laptops. Usability of Android based apps adds to utility of Pixelbook but at the same time raises questions about simplicity of use as well.