Light and do heavy lifting for business
can’t handle heavy software processes is increasingly a shaky one.
Despite its slimness and lightweight frame, the hardware is beefy enough with 8GB of Ram (16GB is available) and an Intel i5 processor (an i7 version is optional). This is easily enough horsepower to handle almost any mainstream application, or several of them at once.
For those into voice control, one of the laptop’s big features is its integration with the Google Assistant. Saying “OK Google” immediately opens up the Assistant, which can help with general web queries, location information, weather, sport results and other minor queries.
The more you use Google’s ecosystem (such as Google
Gmail) the more helpful it is. However, it has some limitations. Sitting in an Insomnia cafe in Drumcondra, Dublin, I asked it for the nearest cafe. It gave me the name of one a mile away, despite at least three others being closer (including the one I was sitting in). But this is a small quibble. Integrated into one’s workflow, this could be a very useful feature.
The Pixelbook has one other trick when used with the Pixelbook Pen stylus.
Using this gadget, you can circle text or images and get information instantly. This also works for some locations or public figures. Calendar entries also work using this method, too, by circling a date and a time. It’s one of the best implementations of a screen stylus
I’ve ever seen, with one drawback: the pen itself isn’t rechargeable (it takes batteries) and it can’t attach to the Pixelbook.
Battery life is fine, although it’s a stretch to say it’s 10 hours, as Google guides. Expect six hours without too many exceptions.
So what’s the verdict?
This is one seriously impressive laptop. It’s easily the best Chromebook I’ve ever used. It’s light and portable and serves me way better in downtime (for things like Netflix) than most laptops do.
However, it should be said that this type of machine won’t suit everyone. If you use a few custom pieces of software, particularly those you need for your work, the Chromebook format is still inherently more limited than Windows or Mac machines.
But I can honestly say that there’s almost nothing I use a laptop for that wasn’t satisfied by the Pixelbook.
I use laptops mostly for work (writing, word processing, presentations, photoediting and web research). I suspect that’s not so different from the majority of laptop use cases out there.