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Google announces Pixelbook laptop along with Pixelbook Pen stylus

By Liu Hongzuo - on 8 Oct 2017, 10:52am

Google announces Pixelbook laptop along with Pixelbook Pen stylus

Note: This article was first published on 5th October 2017.

Google announced many products at their Google Event keynote – one of which was their Google Pixelbook, a Chrome OS machine that does far more than what we give it credit for.

 

Google Pixelbook

The successor to the Chromebook laptops, Google Pixelbook is a convertible laptop that runs on Chrome OS, with what Google dubbed as a “4-in-1 Design” – it can stand as a standard upright laptop, or with its keyboard folded underneath for video watching. It can be flattened into a tablet and propped up like a tent for stability. This flexibility reminds us of the laptops like the Lenovo Yoga 920.

The Chrome OS machine offers a 12.3-inch touchscreen LCD display rated at Quad HD (2,400 x 1,600 pixels resolution). It offers 41Whr battery capacity, with up to 10 hours of use, and it utilizes a USB Type-C port for charging. Unlike the Mi Notebook Pro, the Pixelbook doesn't have a fingerprint authentication feature. It does, however, have two USB Type-C ports, and one 3.5mm headphone jack.

This significant product refresh also brought forth Google's lightest and thinnest ever laptop configuration – the Pixelbook weighs 1.1kg with a 10.3mm profile. Despite its lightweight build, the Pixelbook packs a punch with an Intel Kaby Lake Core i5 processor (with the option to upgrade to i7, too). Google also offers other variants, up to a maximum of 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage.

Users can also expect a full-sized backlit keyboard (19mm pitch, 0.8mm travel) and an edge-to-edge trackpad, but what's cool is their built-in Instant Tethering feature. The Google Pixelbook can automatically connect to a Google Pixel phone's mobile data for connectivity, instead of needing the user to manually link up a hotspot between devices (the keynote illustrated Instant Tethering with a Pixel 2 XL notification on the Pixelbook). The Pixelbook is also the first laptop to have Google Assistant A.I. built-in.

Another software perk is its integrated compatibility with the Google Play Store that's usually reserved for Android smartphones and specific Chromebooks - your smartphone apps (like EverNote) can be utilized on the Pixelbook. According to Google, developers and firms (like Snapchat) are already developing suitable interfaces for their apps to work seamlessly with the Pixelbook. With this, the Pixelbook has graduated from “Chrome OS machine” to something more practical for everyday use, with control under Google's purview. 

The Pixelbook starts at US$999 with Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, and 128GB of storage. The maximum-spec variant with 16GB RAM, 512GB storage, and Intel Core i7 chipset goes at US$1,699. It's available in U.S., Canada, and U.K. Pre-order begins today, and officially in stores on 31st October 2017. The rest of its technical specifications can be found here.

 

Pixelbook Pen

The cherry on top is the Pixelbook Pen stylus, which is sold separately from the Pixelbook. It's similar to the Apple Pencil, as the Pixelbook Pen acts as a sketching and drawing tool. It also provides users a physical way to bring up contextual menus and help that's tailored to the wielder (thanks to Google Assistant, of course). 

The Google stylus has 10ms latency, angular awareness of up to 60°, and more than 2,000 levels of pressure sensitivity – all these specs help to bring the Pixelbook Pen features to life. It's powered by an AAAA battery.

The Google Pixelbook Pen retails at US$99, with the same projected launch date as the Pixelbook itself.

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