Can I let you in on a little secret? I’ve been using a Google Pixelbook that Verizon gave me as demo for a few weeks now. What’s the secret, you say? The secret is that I don’t want to give it back!
What is a Pixelbook?
The Google Pixelbook is a super lightweight (2.4 lbs) laptop (Chromebook) that runs Chrome OS. That means it’s not a PC (no Microsoft Windows) and not a Macbook (no Mac OS). Really, it’s more like an Android smartphone or tablet with a bigger (12.3”) touchscreen (which can fold all the way back to function more like a tablet) and an attached keyboard, which makes it feel more like a traditional laptop.
The model I tested has an Intel i5 processor with 8GB of memory and a 128GB Solid State Drive (SSD) for storage.
Notice I didn’t say terabytes (TB) of storage, as is custom for newer, traditional laptops? That’s because the Pixelbook isn’t designed to be bogged down with huge software programs or store a ton of documents, photos, videos or music.
Let me clarify that. The Pixelbook is not designed to store these things on its internal storage. Instead, it’s designed to store these things in the cloud.
It almost reminds me of the dumb terminals (that’s what they called them) that connected to big IBM mainframes 30+ years ago. Except now the terminals aren’t so dumb and the mainframe is the internet.
Apps, not software
If you’ve never used a Pixelbook before, you’ll be amazed at the things you can do with it, without having to install any large pieces of software. In fact, most internet-related things like web surfing and checking your email and social media accounts can all be done right within the already-included Google Chrome browser.
Plus, there’s no need for the Microsoft Office suite either. You can do all of your writing, spreadsheets and presentations using Google’s cloud-based software. In fact, I’m writing this review on the Pixelbook using Google Docs, which is included free with my Google account.
If you still have an itch to make your Pixelbook do more, you can always head to the Play Store to download new apps, rent or purchase television show and movies, buy a book or find some new music.
Google Assistant built-in
Of course, being a Google product, the Pixelbook has the Google Assistant built-in. That means anything you can dream up to ask with your voice via, “Okay, Google”, can be asked on your Pixelbook. There’s even a dedicated Google Assistant key on the keyboard if you want to save yourself the “Okay, Google” and just press a button instead.
Pixelbook vs. a laptop
You might be asking yourself if you could get by with a Pixelbook, instead of a traditional laptop. It all comes down to cost and how you want to use the device. If you mainly surf the internet, check email, watch videos and use office-like software, the Pixel fits the bill perfectly, but it does have a slightly higher retail price tag of $999.99.
On the other hand, if you are tied to that genealogy, greeting card or other custom software, you’ll probably want to stick with a $400 – $600 laptop.
At the end of the day, I would say over 95% of the people I’ve worked with could do everything they already do on their laptop with a Pixelbook.
Here’s a video from Unbox Therapy with more details on the Google Pixelbook.
Note: The Google Pixelbook in this review was provided to me by Verizon Wireless and can be purchased at your local Verizon Wireless store or at www.verizonwireless.com.