This week I got to review my first Chromium device in Google Pixelbook. In the end, I have to say, I was pretty impressed. Simply taking it out on Day one and having someone come up to me and ask me about it was also pretty promising.But could I see myself switching to a Pixelbook?
First Impressions of Google Pixelbook
When I took it out of the box, I was impressed how light it was. Even with the glass trackpad, and aluminum body, this only weighed in at 2.45 lbs. It also worked like any 2-in-1 laptop I’ve ever used. Tablet, tent, or laptop mode, it holds pretty much the same.
I saw some video talking about a poor touchscreen experience – especially with their Pixelbook pen. But those must have been software issues, because my pen experience was pretty flawless.
Now keep in mind, I did not have the Pixelbook pen, but I used the pen from my HP Elite X2. The Pixelbook uses the same Wacom technology, so the pens were interchangeable.
This was the i5 Pixelbook. Decent for most web stuff, but not high-end for things like video creation.
Taking the Pixelbook to Vegas and Infocomm
I brought the device to Infocomm 2018, along with my Macbook Pro (which I use for video processing on the road). It was light enough to put into my Case Logic camera bag while I roamed the halls of the event. With the 10 hour battery, I didn’t have to take the wall plug, but still could send out some tweets, write a couple posts, and check socials. I am not a fan of the “Block plug” – even my Macbook has the power extension so I’m not hogging 3-4 plugs for my laptop.
BTW – there is no SIM card, but if you have a Google Pixel, it will create a special pair so you can use it easily. I can also pair my iPhone to it, so an extra SIM is not necessary.
There are two USB-C ports, and a 3-pole headphone jack to connect to. It is not Thunderbolt 3, which I feel is a small let-down. Especially if I wanted to dock the laptop for displaying 2 – 4k monitors, or attach external devices like a capture card. But the 12 MB passthrough does allow me to copy to and from a hard drive at good speed, or connect to a single 4k monitor.
It’s a great device to have – especially if you are all-in on Chromium. Web surfing and email is a breeze. Apps download fine. I could play some of my favorite Android games, such as Clash of Clans, in laptop or tablet mode.
The price is a little high for the machine, even after the price drop during WDCC. In fact, the price went up since to $824 on Amazon for Pixelbook. But one thing I’ve found is that fans are willing to pay a little more for the device they want. Still, a standard i5 with the same specs is $529, and you can easily install Chromium OS on any device you purchase.