Chromebooks have their limits, so they’re usually affordable. Since they aren’t powered by advanced processors, you can’t install any software on them, and they’re just used primarily for web browsing. Google’s first attempt at a premium Chromebook, the Pixelbook, comes with a hefty price tag even though it runs with Chrome OS. For a supposedly restricted operating system, why the high price?
Turns out, there are a lot of valid reasons. It is impeccably designed and boasts the functionality of both a laptop and a tablet. It has full Android app support, is surprisingly fast, and its battery can last an entire day , a huge $279 off its normal price of $1,649.
Right off the bat, we noticed that the Pixelbook looks really good. This is a ruggedly engineered machine with a few sophisticated touches. Like the Pixel smartphones, it has a two-toned brushed aluminum frame in silver and white that is positively eye-catching. Besides its pleasing aesthetic, the Pixelbook is only four-tenths-of-an-inch thick. It may be extremely thin and compact, but it feels sturdy and solid.
Its 2,400 × 1,600, 12.3-inch touchscreen display folds back 360 degrees, turning the laptop into a tablet. At 2.4 pounds, it is relatively featherlight for a laptop. As a tablet, though, it can be a little unwieldy and heavy for one-hand operation.
When it comes to connectivity, the Pixelbook follows the lead of Apple’s MacBook by ditching most of its ports. You can only find two USB-C ports aside from a headphone jack on it.
Since this is an ultra-thin device, we were cautious about how well its keyboard would perform. We’re happy to report that the keystroke feels responsive and precise, with a layout that is nicely arranged and brightly backlit. The glass touchpad is a bonus. While laptops are normally outfitted with a rubberized plastic touchpad, the Pixelbook’s touchpad looks extra luxurious and is wonderfully responsive to boot.
Its seventh-generation Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB RAM ensure that the Pixelbook runs fast regardless of the number of tabs you have opened on the browser. You can even play online games on the Pixelbook with no noticeable lag, something that you can’t do with normal Chromebooks. Finally, despite its small battery, the Pixelbook was able to last for four hours in our continuous web-browsing test, which is a very good number. When used just for document writing and movie watching, it was able to easily last the entire day.
With a sleek and solid build, a lightning-fast processor, and loads of features, the Google Pixelbook justifies its premium price tag with panache. For more options, check out our best laptops and 2-1in-1 laptops for 2019, and for more awesome deals, visit our curated deals page.
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