Google unveils its $999 2-in-1 Pixelbook


TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Rumors that Google would release a new Chromebook Pixel first surfaced in August. Last month we found out its name — Pixelbook — and that Google planned to charge a premium price for the 2-in-1. At its hardware event yesterday, the search giant finally unveiled its Microsoft Surface Pro rival, which starts at $999.

Just under a grand will get you a Kaby Lake Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of SSD storage – an improvement over the 16GB of drive space found in some early Chromebooks. There’s also a $1199 model that comes with a 256GB SSD, while paying $1649 gets you the top-tier machine, which features 16GB of RAM, a 512GB NVMe, and a seventh-gen i7 CPU. They’re all fanless, even the i7 model, and measure 0.4-inches thick.

The 12.3-inch 2400 x 1600 touchscreen with its 3:2 aspect ratio and 400 nits brightness can be flipped behind the keyboard and used as a tablet. Like other 2-in-1s, users can stand the Pixelbook in different positions for watching shows and movies — Google actually describes it as a 4-in-1. There are some pretty hefty bezels, but that makes it easier to hold, apparently, and it weighs in at 2.42 lbs.

The Pixelbook comes with two USB Type-C ports, a headphone jack and a 45W charger that supports fast charging. Google says you’ll get 2 hours’ worth of use after a 15-minute charge, and that it’ll last 10 hours when fully juiced.

Google’s AI assistant is built into the Pixelbook — it even comes with a dedicated key so you don’t have to say “OK Google." For an extra $99 you get the Pixelbook Pen accessory, which, when circling something on the screen, works in conjunction with the assistant by providing information about whatever’s selected. The low-latency (10ms) stylus doesn’t require Bluetooth pairing and its AAAA battery should last around a year.

While the Pixelbook is an impressive piece of hardware that looks gorgeous, it remains to be seen how many people will pay $1000 for a 2-in-1 with Chrome OS, especially one without any biometric authentication or SD card slot. They’re available to pre-order now and start shipping on October 31.

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TS Evangelist
The commercial is cringe worthy.

Voice commands while hovering over the laptop ---- phones & smart speakers anyone?
Taking action photos at a park with a laptop --- because using your phone wouldn't make any sense?
Watching a movie in "tent" mode at home on the sofa --- because your TV has no apps and you wouldn't want to cast from your phone?
The library scene -- they tried to make word processing seem like some amazing experience.
No one care ever make the pen seem useful --- circle random sh-t!

This category makes sense for Windows 10, not Chrome OS.
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TechSpot Paladin
I will start by saying I would never buy anything that is "powerful" if its not a PC.

i7 and 16gb of ram for Chrome OS? Isn't that overkill? What's the purpose? How much computing power do we need for cloud computing? How many demanding apps there are for Chrome?

Like Teko03 said, the commercial is rubbish.
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TS Evangelist
Cool toy, but is there a single application designed for Chrome OS that will even come close to stressing that hardware? I'm having a hard time figuring out this thing's purpose.
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TS Rookie
I thought the entire purpose of chromebook was it was largely cloud based so you didnt need powerful hardware to run it.
Does both cloud and you run things local. So some things like doing video editing you really want the more powerful hardware. You can run Android apps which there is a really good selection. Plus I do a development work on a Chromebook so you want the more powerful hardware.

I use GNU/Linux. A Chromebook you can run your entire stack to Node, Mongo, Express on the server side and do the front end, Angular all on the same box. I use Crouton but others just use GNURoot or Termux and a Linux fake chroot.