Gle Pixelbook i7 is unlike any other Chromebook. Its power and versatility outperform most competitors in its class, including the Chromebook Pixel, and place it among the best Chromebooks and 2-in-1 laptops.
Google Pixelbook is about more than just looks and functionality. This Google Chromebook, which shares a design philosophy with Google’s Pixel Slate, is also very stylish. Along with 7th-generation Intel Kaby Lake processors, it has a stunning 2,400 x 1,600 display and support for the Pixelbook Pen, which unfortunately does not come with the device.
With the inclusion of Android, without losing any of Chrome OS’s features, Google Pixelbook has helped raise the profile of premium Chromebooks and what they’re capable of as worthy adversaries to Windows 10 laptops.
The relatively inexpensive GLE Pixelbook i7 is a premium experience that easily rivals any of its competitors, with specs similar to Apple’s offerings. And while the Google Pixelbook Go is a more affordable option for those on a tight budget, the Google Pixelbook remains more appealing for those seeking a premium experience.
Here is the Google Pixelbook configuration sent to TechRadar for review:
- CPU: 1.2GHz Intel Core i5-7Y57 (dual-core, 4MB cache, up to 3.3GHz)
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615
- RAM: 8GB LPDDR3 (1,866MHz)
- Screen: 12.3-inch QHD (2,400 x 1,600, 235 ppi) LCD touchscreen (400 nits, 72% NTSC color, 3:2 aspect ratio)
- Storage: 256GB SSD (eMMC)
- Ports: 2x USB-C 3.1, headphone/mic jack
- Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi (2 x 2 MIMO), Bluetooth 4.2
- Cameras: 720p webcam (60fps)
- Weight: 2.4 pounds (1.1kg)
- Size: 11.4 x 8.7 x 0.4 inches (290.4 x 220.8 x 10.3mm; W x D x H)
Price and availability
The Google Pixelbook is, without a doubt, an expensive Chromebook. Starting at $999 or £999 and going up to $1,649 or £1,699 – even without the $99 (£99, about AU$130) Pixelbook Pen, though Google generously includes a pen loop for those who need a place to secure the pen.
However, for that premium price, you also get 7th generation Kaby Lake Intel Core i5 processors in both the entry-level 128GB configuration and the mid-range 256GB configuration, each with 8GB of memory. On the other hand, the top-tier 512GB option includes a Core i7 processor and 16GB of memory. Because all these processor options are Intel’s low-power, low-heat Y series chips, all Pixelbook models are fanless.
GLE pixelbook i7 Design
The Google Pixelbook is the culmination of years of hard work by Google in refining a unified design across all of its hardware offerings. However, the Pixelbook could also be viewed as a watershed moment for Google’s design philosophy.
It’s easy to say that this is Google’s most stunning and impressively designed computing device to date. Every design element, from the brushed aluminum frame with flush edges to the rubberized palm rest and underside, has achieved both style and substance in equal measure.
However, if you haven’t bought a laptop in the last few years, you may struggle to accept the lack of ports. Nonetheless, the Google Pixelbook is future-proof. This reminds us that the webcam, with its 720p resolution and 60 frames per second capture rate, is equally suited to an increasingly video-centric future.
The same cannot be said for the audio. Google has crammed the speakers beneath the keyboard, resulting in tinny sound, becoming standard in thin, light notebooks. Fortunately, the Pixelbook has a 3.5mm audio jack, allowing you to use the best headphones.
On the plus side, the glass trackpad is a joy to use, tracking smoothly and precisely in both single- and multi-touch gestures. However, we discovered that the trackpad does not like it when we rest our thumb on it to click while tracking with our index finger – a common use case but not one that this editor prefers. Read More; HP Pavilion vs Envy – Comparing The Differences
The panel is fantastic for movies, photos, and photo editing. The 400 nits of brightness greatly aid this. However, it is still a glossy screen and, as such, does not fare well in direct sunlight. The display is extremely responsive to touch, especially with the Pixelbook Pen.
Pixelbook Pen and Google Assistant
The Pixelbook Pen works beautifully as a stylus, with plenty of pressure response and tilt support, making drawing on the display a joy. The display’s quick response allows the digital ink to follow the pen closely enough that any delay is imperceptible.
The Pixelbook Pen has a single button that acts as a Google Assistant button but also appears to incorporate some of the new Google Lens technology found in smartphones, such as the Google Pixel 2. When you press the button while inking, the ink thickens but does not draw anything.
Instead, anything captured within this blue ink is sent to Google Assistant for analysis, displaying anything that Google’s servers can learn about whatever you encircled. If you circle a picture of a hippopotamus, Google Assistant will bring up a Wikipedia page about the animal. In fact, Google’s knowledge graph is so extensive that when we circled a picture of Ron Livingston from Office Space, Google Assistant spat back his character’s name – Peter Gibbons – before telling us more about the actor. Read Also; Google Pixelbook i7: The Best Chromebook
Another benefit of the Pixelbook Pen is that it has enabled Google Keep to support pen input even from the lock screen, making note-taking even easier. Even apps available can convert the Pixelbook Pen’s scribbles into traditional text.
If you don’t want to buy the Pixelbook Pen, you can activate Google Assistant with a dedicated keyboard or your voice. The latter, however, only works when the laptop is logged in; we’re told that waking the gle pixelbook i7 with a ‘Hey, Google’s voice command is in the works.
In general, Google Assistant is just as useful as it is on smartphones and works in the same way, with an OS-level chat record and a voice response.