Google has launched its new laptop device called Google Pixelbook. There is a great excitement regarding this device in the market because it has some brilliant features that set it apart from Google’s previous laptop called Chromebook, and other mainstream laptops based on Windows and Linux. The elegant design even poses a threat to Macbook as well. This new pixelbook is very powerful and has a lot to offer, yet cannot provides complete utility because of the limitation in its software side.
What is Google Pixelbook?
According to Google, this is the latest self-constructed, Chrome OS device, which is equipped with features to give a high-end performance while maintaining the simplicity and elegant look. Google is touting this device as its bellwether product, and the successor to its previous Chromebook models. A lot of features in this model had been improved compared to its previous models, for instance Its system memory capacity, processing power, storage, and many more things had been improved. While unveiling this product, Matt Voukun said, “We’ve worked hard to combine the most helpful parts of a laptop, a tablet, and a smartphone all together.’’
Features of Pixelbook
The Pixelbook is powered by Chrome OS as its predecessors. This is the default operating system of Chromebook series based on Linux kernel as Android OS. As application software, both web apps and android app can be used on Chrome OS. However, at the outset, only web apps could be used, but later on with a new update the feature to run Android app was released as well. So, nowadays both web apps and Android apps can be used simultaneously. However, it’s noticed that the performance of the Android apps on Chrome OS isn’t good as much as on Android OS. This performance issue is attributed to the virtualization that is used by Chrome OS to run Android apps. Nevertheless, with the ability to run Android apps, Chrome OS now has access to millions of apps on playstore, but most of the apps are not designed for desktop environment.
It features 3:2 aspect ratio display, and the screen has been shrunken to 12.3 inches. Although the bezels are a little big, it doesn’t affect the user experience at all. Its LCD touch-screen is smooth to touch as a mobile screen and when it’s used with the stylus, the touch is effortless. Stylus is a pen used to draw/write on the screen, and can be purchased separately or along with pixelbook at extra cost. Although the pixel pen is a really nice product on its own, some apps on chrome OS, especially the ones that are not regularly updated, cause lags. 235 pixel per inch pixel density and vibrant color reproduction make it one of the best displays in laptop device category. Unfortunately, the screen glare makes it difficult to use it in sunlight, and therefore it’s not recommended to use it outside in a clear-sky day.
Right now, it is one of the thinnest Chromebooks available in the market with thickness of 10.3mm. It has a brushed aluminum frame with flush edges and the rubber palm rest on the laptop and rubber strip under the laptop to enhance the grip when it’s being carried around. A part of the back has a glass inlay, which makes it look like the Google pixel phone. The bottom part is made of plastic. It is also inclusive of trackpad, palm rest, which is slightly raised to prevent the keyboard from touching the screen while the device is closed. Drop test was taken by dropping it on a carpet from six inches above, but no break and damage were seen. A buyer has claimed a drop from 10 feet of height on a concrete floor caused no significant amount of damage. This makes it more suitable for environments where somewhat durability is expected. The keyboard is elegantly designed and the keys are effortless to tap on. It also has a Google assistant key that launches Google Assistant from the laptop. Furthermore, folding the keyboard behind the laptop turns it to a tablet due to its well-made design.
The 7th generation Kaby Lake Intel Core i5 processor is available on both, the entry-level 128GB option and mid-range 256GB option, each paired with 8GB of memory. The top-end 512GB option comes with a Core i7 processor and 16GB of memory. However, all these options contain low-end Intel processors that generate low-heat. Core i5 and Core i7 device models utilize i5-7Y57 or i7-7Y75 processor models respectively; and thus it’s quite suited for seamless 4K experience as well.
Chrome OS and Pixelbook support Wi-Fi standards a/b/g/n/ac, and dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz), and therefore it’s compatible with virtually any device regardless of the year it’s released as long as it’s not the oldest legacy version that released at the very beginning. Addition to Wifi, Bluetooth connectivity that equipped with version 4.2 caters to the growing market of Bluetooth devices. Nowadays USB-C port is quite popular among masses; hence Pixelbook has not just one but two USB-C ports for transfering data and charging the device at a faster rate. Data transfer rate through USB-C is fairly enough to transfer a 4k video file with a relatively short time period. Furthermore, So many devices are not purchased by a lot of people just for not having a 3.5mm headphone jack. However, It’s already archaic, and replaced with USB-C port, but still it has a significant amount of market share; and thus Pixelbook has a 3.5mm headphone jack to satisfy this existing need.
Pixelbook charges itself with Type C USB port a little faster than regular laptops, and Google proclaims that one can get up to two hours of mixed usage from just 15-minute charge. That is an impressive feature for a laptop device even though it already exists among many flagship smartphones. A fully-charged battery can keep the device on with mixed usage for about 10-hours as per Google. However, realistically the device can be used for about seven to eight hours with moderate load.
Google has not isolated the Pixelbook from Google features. In fact, it has provided an inbuilt Google Assistant, which makes it possible to use apps from Google Play Store and Android on Pixelbook. It has the ability rotate its two plates about 360 degrees, which allows to use the device as a laptop and also a tablet.
Touch-screen supports both fingertip and stylus, but for having a better user experience Google recommend to purchase Google Pixelbook Pen, which is mostly useful when drawing on the screen. The stylus can be bought either separately or along with the device and the charger as seen in Amazon. The only issue with this stylus is not having a cable to attach it with the Pixebook in order to secure it from losing and inbuilt case to hold the stylus; hence it has to be carried separately. The Pixelbook is a good device in terms of getting most of the work done but in terms of software it still does lag a bit behind compared to Windows based devices, because most of the software is written for Windows platform. Although the design and hardware set the device apart from many general purpose laptops, it still need a lot of improvements in the software side, especially more general purpose applications developed specifically for Chrome OS is needed to make it more popular among desktop users.