Google Pixelbook: What You Need to Know About This Chromebook

The lowdown on this high-performance laptop

The Google Pixelbook is a high-performance Chromebook that Google released in 2017. Its sleek design, versatility, and power launched Pixelbooks into the same conversation as high-end Windows and Mac laptops. Here's a look at the Google Pixelbook's features, specs, and pricing.

Google released the Pixelbook Pro in late 2019, aiming for a lower-priced, lightweight, and more portable alternative to its flagship Pixelbook.

The Google Pixelbook with the screen open
Google 

Google Pixelbook Design

The Pixelbook features high-end hardware and a premium design that incorporates an aluminum chassis along with Corning Gorilla Glass detail. The Pixelbook offers several configurations for a choice of processor, memory, and storage.

At 0.4 inches (10.3 mm) thick when closed, the Pixelbook is strikingly slim, rivaling a 13-inch MacBook Pro. The Pixelbook boasts 360-degree flexible hinges, giving it a hybrid convertible design similar to the Microsoft Surface or Asus Chromebook Flip. This design lets the keyboard fold flush against the back of the screen to use a Pixelbook as a laptop, tablet, or propped-up display.

The Pixelbook's battery gives you up to 10 hours of use time, though real-life results may vary. The battery is designed for fast charging, giving you two hours of battery life after a 15-minute charge.

Google Pixelbook Specs

Here's a by-the-numbers look at the Pixelbook's tech specs:

Manufacturer Google
Display  12.3 in Quad HD LCD touchscreen, 2400x1600 resolution @ 235 PPI
Processor 7th gen Intel Core i5 or i7 processor

Memory 

8 GB or 16 GB RAM

Storage  128 GB, 256 GB, or 512 GB SSD
Wireless Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2x2 MIMO, dual-band (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz), Bluetooth 4.2

Camera

720p @ 60 fps

Weight 2.4 lb (1.1 kg)

OS

Chrome OS

Release Date

October 2017

Google Pixelbook's Chrome OS

One important aspect separating the Pixelbook from previous model Chromebooks is that the operating system is no longer just focused on Wi-Fi and cloud connectivity. The updated Chrome OS offers standalone functionality so you can multitask and download media content for offline playback.

The Pixelbook also incorporates full support for Android apps and the Google Play Store. Earlier Chromebooks were limited to only browser-based versions of select Android apps and apps designed specifically for Chrome.

Notable Pixelbook Features

The Pixelbook boasts some unique and noteworthy features.

Google Assistant

The Pixelbook is the first laptop with Google Assistant already built-in. Interact with Google Assistant through a dedicated keyboard key, voice activation (say "OK Google" for the Pixelbook's microphones to pick up), or by pressing the Google Assistant button on the Google Pixelbook Pen.

Google Assistant can launch apps, send emails, manage calendar items, set reminders, create notes, control media, and provide relevant information about photos, text, or events.

Google Pixelbook Pen

The Pixelbook offers active stylus support for the Google Pixelbook Pen (sold separately). Created as a joint partnership between Google and Wacom, the Pixelbook Pen delivers a virtually lag-free writing experience with tilt support and pressure sensitivity (with select apps).

Create and save handwritten notes and designs or sketches with natural precision, even from a locked screen. The Pixelbook Pen also doubles as a magnifying glass or a laser pointer for presentations.

Instant Tethering

The Pixelbook features instant tethering with Pixel phones. If wireless internet is unavailable to the laptop, instant tethering allows it to seamlessly connect to a Pixel phone to share the mobile 3G/4G data.

Fast-Charge Battery

With the included USB-C 45 W adapter (also works with Pixel phones), the Pixelbook can gain up to two hours of use time with only 15 minutes of charging or up to 7.5 hours with 60 minutes of charging.

Backlit Keyboard

For those who might work in low-light conditions, the Pixelbook's backlit keys make it easier to type.

Hardware Security Module

Although ideal for business and enterprise consumers, everyday users can appreciate the added layer of protection safeguarding personal and sensitive data.

Glass Trackpad

The Pixelbook trackpad has a smooth, responsive glass surface that offers edge-to-edge operation. The trackpad also has finger-swiping shortcuts to see all open windows, open links in a new tab, or quickly change tabs.

Pixelbook Pricing

The Pixelbook with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD retails for $999. The same model with a 256GB SSD runs $1,199. A Pixelbook with an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB NVME SSD will set you back $1,649.