Google’s mysterious looped pen holder accessory for the Pixelbook Pen is now shipping for customers who took advantage of the free offer in mid-January. It serves as an alternative to the weak magnet already provided just beneath the back of the Pixelbook’s screen. It attaches to the bottom of the Pixelbook using a sticky surface and reportedly holds the pen firmly in place.
Google launched its Pixelbook in October with a starting price of $999. It’s the first Chromebook with native Google Assistant support, packing a seventh-generation Intel Core processor, up to 16GB of system memory, up to 512GB of SSD-based storage, and a 12.3-inch screen with a 2,400 x 1,600 resolution. The only inputs and outputs you’ll find are two USB-C ports and a headphone jack.
You also won’t find the Pixelbook Pen bundled with Google’s latest Chromebook. It’s a $99 accessory that relies on an AAAA battery (read: small) and a single button that supports Google Assistant — just press the button and then circle text or images to get relevant answers.
Unfortunately, there is no built-in socket for storing the Pixelbook Pen. Instead, Google supplies a weak magnet under the surface of the lid to temporary store the pen when it’s not in use while you’re seated at Starbucks, in the office, and so on. Actually storing the pen means sticking it into a briefcase, pocket, or purse, which could prevent its use simply because it is not in your line of sight.
To fix this problem, Google began offering the Pixelbook Pen loop accessory in mid-January for free on a special landing page. Those who took advantage of the offer only needed to fill out a form: No payment was necessary. But once customers submitted the required form, Google didn’t provide any confirmation, nor did the company say when or if the pen loop accessory would even ship.
That said, there were no real signs of the accessory until one Google Plus member posted screenshots, confirming receipt. According to the post, the accessory appeared around two weeks after submitting the form on Google’s website. Although it attaches to the bottom of the Pixelbook via a sticky surface, Google’s premium Chromebook still sits flat on a table or desktop despite the accessory’s added thickness.
A closer look at the Google Plus post shows that another individual received the Pixelbook Pen holder, too. So far there is no indication that Google will provide the pen holder for free again, simply sell the attachment through Google Play, or bundle it with the Pixelbook Pen in the near future