Google has unveiled the Pixelbook, and the Chromebook is a serious laptop option for business users. Not only is the hardware specced out to make Chrome OS lightning fast, the hardware is impeccably designed to rival any convertible laptop on the market.
This smart person's guide is a quick way to get up to speed on the Google Pixelbook. We'll update this resource periodically when there is new information about the Google Pixelbook to share.
- What is the Google Pixelbook? The Google Pixelbook is the latest high-performance Chromebook that can be used as a laptop, a tablet, or a standup hybrid.
- Why does the Google Pixelbook matter? The Google Pixelbook is ideal for any user that needs seamless Google Apps and Google Assistant integration on flagship-level hardware.
- Who does the Google Pixelbook affect? The Google Pixelbook affects any Chromebook user looking for the highest quality hardware and performance to match the best mobile hardware on the market.
- When is the Google Pixelbook available? The Google Pixelbook is available for purchase now in the US, UK, and Canada.
- How do I get a Google Pixelbook? Point your browser to the Google Store to buy it online.
SEE: IT hardware procurement policy (Tech Pro Research)
What is the Google Pixelbook?
At the October 4, 2017 Made by Google event, Matt Vokoun, director of hardware product management at Google, said:
"Pixelbook reimagines the laptop experience by mirroring the best parts of premium performance hardware, the speed, simplicity, and security of Chrome OS, the smarts of Google Assistant, and all your favorite apps."
Imagine a Chromebook as if it were a mixture of a Macbook Pro and a Microsoft Surface with a bit of ninja in its DNA—that's the Pixelbook. It's thin (only .39 inches thick) and light (2.2 pounds) and works in laptop, tablet, or tented mode. The Pixelbook has business-class hardware with a spec sheet that includes:
- CPU: Intel core i5 or i7
- RAM: 8 or 16 GB
- Internal storage: 128 GB, 256 GB, or 512 GB
- Battery: 10 hours on a single charge
The size of the internal storage should raise the eyebrows of any Chromebook user. Considering the original Chromebook Pixels maxed out at 64 GB of internal storage, the Google Pixelbook takes Chrome OS to new levels of offline usage.
Beyond that spec sheet, you'll find a 12.3" touchscreen and a soft touch, backlit keyboard that rivals the Macbook Pro. New to the Google flagship Chromebook is the Pixelbook Pen, a smart stylus that allows users to interact with items on the screen. For example, a user can circle an image or text, and Google Assistant will immediately offer information about what is selected. The Pixelbook Pen uses machine learning for handwriting recognition and works as a standard stylus, so users can write, draw, or take notes when in tablet mode.
Another very important feature that will be of interest to business users is the automatic tethering. If you find yourself in a location without access to a wireless access point, the Pixelbook will automatically tether itself to your Google Pixel phone. Note: This feature only works with either a Pixel or Pixel 2 smartphone.
Google's new Pixelbook includes two USB-C ports that support fast charging from a 45W charger. Google claims the device can reach two hours worth of charge in 15 minutes.
The Pixelbook includes a glass shade on the back of the screen—the Wi-Fi antenna resides in that shade, and the result is a much-improved wireless signal.
The Google Pixelbook can be purchased in these configurations:
- Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB Internal storage: $999.00 USD
- Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB Internal storage: $1,199.00 USD
- Intel Core i7, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB Internal storage: $1,649.00
The Pixelbook Pen is purchased separately for $99.00 USD.
- New Google hardware roundup: Pixel 2, Pixelbook, Google Home Mini, and more (TechRepublic)
- Hands-on: Pixelbook Chromebook is Google's new convertible laptop (CNET)
- Google's Pixelbook in pictures: a sharp-looking, folding Chromebook (CNET)
- Video: Google shows new Pixel Pen for Pixelbook (ZDNet)
Why does the Google Pixelbook matter?
The Pixelbook is the first Chrome OS device to include Google Assistant; this should be a major selling point for business users because it's a best in class digital assistant. The Pixelbook has a dedicated button for Google Assistant. One of Google Assistant's nifty new tricks is if you talk to the Pixelbook on Assistant, it will talk back; if you type a question to Assistant, it will reply silently. This out-of-the-box feature would be useful in the workplace.
Any app available on Google Play can be installed on the Pixelbook; this will be a boon for business users that need more functionality than what the traditional Chrome OS offers. Plus, true productivity apps, including WPS Office, Polaris Office, and Evernote, are at the ready.
The Pixelbook Pen has seamless integration with Google Assistent. With the press of a button on the pen, Assistant mode is enabled, and the user can select an image or text on the screen and Google Assistant will provide information about it.
With the flagship-level hardware, Chrome OS will boot in seconds, making it possible for a user to start working with their Chromebook in the time it would take a user with a Windows or macOS laptop to log in to their machine. And, as with all Chromebooks, seamless integration into Google Apps is a no-brainer.
- Google's $1,000 Pixelbook is what Apple's MacBook should be (ZDNet)
- Why Chromebooks need Google Assistant to survive in the business world (TechRepublic)
- Google launches Chrome Enterprise with added security and Active Directory integration (TechRepublic)
- If you're really concerned about browser security, Incognito isn't enough (TechRepublic)
- What do macOS and Android have in common? Both are booming malware markets (TechRepublic)
- Cybersecurity in an IoT and mobile world (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Photos: The evolution of the laptop computer (TechRepublic)
Who does the Google Pixelbook affect?
These are the target users for the Google Pixelbook:
- Business users who require the utmost efficient computing platform possible;
- Students who want to purchase a Chromebook that won't be obsolete by their last year of school; and
- Home users who need a simple platform without simplistic hardware.
Basically, anyone who enjoys the simplicity of Chrome OS, but would like more power than the standard Chromebook, or longs for high-quality hardware, will want the Google Pixelbook. The speed of the hardware, the simplicity of Chrome OS, and the added efficiency of Google Assistant makes for a combination that will improve the way nearly any user works. And with the additional local storage, working offline won't suffer the same constraints found on lesser hardware.
- 3 reasons a Chromebook might be the laptop for you, and 1 reason why it might not be (TechRepublic)
- Tech budgets 2018: A CXO's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Reducing the risks of BYOD in the enterprise (PDF) (TechRepublic)
- BYOD policy (Tech Pro Research)
- The Complete Google Analytics Course For Beginners (TechRepublic Academy)
- Master Google Sheets (And See Why It's Better Than Excel) (TechRepublic Academy)
When will the Google Pixelbook be released?
The Google Pixelbook was announced October 4, 2017 and is available to purchase through the Google Store in the US, UK, and Canada. The first and second-generation Pixels sold out rather quickly, so anyone who wants a Google Pixelbook might want to order one sooner rather than later. As of now, it looks like the devices will ship in 4-5 weeks.
- Raspberry Pi laptop? Here's a super-simple kit you can build yourself (TechRepublic)
- The 5 most important features of the Samsung Chromebook Plus (TechRepublic)
- Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA review: A classy convertible (ZDNet)
- Best Chromebooks of 2017 (CNET)
- Best laptops of 2017 (CNET)
How can I get a Google Pixelbook?
Purchasing a Google Pixelbook is as simple as heading over to the Google Store, configuring the device to meet your needs (CPU, RAM, storage), adding the Pixelbook Pen to your shopping cart if you want one, and clicking Buy. The Google Pixelbook can also be purchased at Best Buy or Amazon (only the i5 version is available on Amazon at the time of this writing).
What are the main competitors to the Google Pixelbook?
The Google Pixelbook has a number of competitors—some of which are powered by Chrome OS, others that are powered by competing OSes—though these are the main ones business users should know.
- Microsoft Surface Pro 4
- MacBook Pro
- ASUS Chromebook Flip
- Lenovo N23 Yoga Chromebook
- Dell XPS 13 2-in-1
- 10 tips to help you become a Google Chromebook power user (TechRepublic)
- Video: How to migrate your Android contacts to Google (TechRepublic)
- How to enable Chrome extensions in Incognito mode (TechRepublic)
- 7 Chrome extensions that will make you more productive on Twitter (TechRepublic)
- Gain quick window snapping sizes on your Chromebook with Dualless (TechRepublic)
- How to tweak your Google Calendar to make it easier to read (TechRepublic)
- Need an SSH client for Android or Chromebook? Check out Termius (TechRepublic)
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.