Edge of Innovation

In the Google Pixelbook, Android has never looked so good

What makes a good 2 in 1? Typically, it’s a machine that strikes a good balance between power and battery life; a machine that’s not too heavy, yet comes equipped with a surprisingly roomy display; a machine that’s so eye-catchingly thin, it makes other people envious when they see it.

The new Google Pixelbook is a case in point.

Yet it’s not a traditional portable. For a start, it doesn’t run Windows. Instead the Pixelbook is built around Google’s Chrome OS. It boots in seconds, runs all manner of Android apps from Google Play, and has the honour of being the first 2 in 1 to come with the Google Assistant AI built-in.

“The Pixelbook is Google’s vision of what a laptop should be,” wrote Wired. “It is ludicrously thin at just under 10.3mm thick and weighs 1.1kg. Its chassis and accompanying Pixelbook Pen stylus are made entirely from aluminium, while its trackpad and external stripe — the latter of which houses the antennae for WiFi and Bluetooth — are made from Gorilla Glass.”

Consequently, the Google Pixelbook isn’t cheap. Prices start at £999. But what you get for your money is a spec that includes a 128GB, 256GB or 512GB SSD, a 7th Gen Intel® Core™ processor, 8GB or 16GB of RAM and a 12.3-inch (2400 x 1600 pixel) touchscreen display that can fold back on itself, quickly transforming Android laptop into Android tablet.

Fanless computing

“To me, though, the most impressive part of the design is that it’s fanless,” said Dieter Bohn on The Verge. “The Pixelbook isn’t the first computer with a true, full-powered Intel i5 Kaby Lake processor to go fanless, but it also doesn’t need fans on the more powerful i7 configuration.”

The processor inside the Pixelbook doesn’t just deliver a more responsive computing experience, faster web browsing and smoother gaming. The 7th Gen chips can also output a 4K video stream to an external monitor, connected via USB-C.

Speaking of USB-C, the Pixelbook features fast-charging functionality which allows the 41Whr battery to absorb enough juice for two hours of use after only being plugged in for 15 minutes. Expect a full charge to last you 10 hours.

Pixelbook Pen input

Like other 2 in 1 systems we’ve looked at, the Google Pixelbook also supports stylus input in the shape of the Pixelbook Pen. Not only does this digital pen allow you to draw on the screen, with pressure sensitivity, tilt support and almost no lag, it also works with Google Assistant. Simply ink a circle around something you want to know more about and Google’s AI will do the rest.

“The Google Pixelbook is a gorgeous machine with a price tag to match,” said TechRadar. “Its specs and Google Assistant integration seem promising and provide an experience beyond what other Chromebooks are currently capable of.”

For anybody looking for a simplified, secure and long-lasting Chromebook experience with the luxurious finish of a £1,000 Windows laptop, the Google Pixelbook is ideal. Powered by Intel technology, it’s one of a number of exciting new laptops and 2 in 1 machines that represent the future of portable computing.

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