Google Pixelbook i7 Laptop Complete Review

Chromebooks have a reputation for being inexpensive in terms of price and build quality. However, several premium models, including Samsung’s Chromebook Pro, HP’s Chromebook 13, and Google’s Chromebook Pixel models, have long disputed this notion. Google has also entered the competition with the Pixelbook, the first laptop to include Google Assistant. Retailing at $999, the Google Pixelbook i7 laptop is a necessary upgrade from the original Pixelbook and any other surface laptop of the same caliber. 

Google Pixelbook i7 Features

One of the top reasons to buy the Google Pixelbook is that it has an Intel Core 7th generation processor. The processor makes it possible to navigate quickly while performing multiple activities, such as watching movies or downloading games and software. This Pixelbook also has 16GB of memory and a 512GB solid-state drive (SSD) for improved speed and performance. It’s a must-have for those looking for better display, productivity, convenience, and an appealing design.

This model is integrated with Google Assistant, which allows you to get answers quickly and easily manage your day-to-day tasks. Google Pixelbook can assist in three ways: speaking, typing, or writing with the Google Pixelbook Pen. The Pixelbook has Chrome OS (operating system), which is evolving to resemble Android’s OS, and it even works with the Play Store’s apps. As a result of it being cloud-based, you won’t need as many apps or as much internal storage space for file backup. Therefore, Chromebook’s start-up time is significantly reduced, making it a more efficient device.

The four-in-one touchscreen built with Gorilla Glass can be spun 360 degrees for use in tablet, tent, and presentation modes, or as a standard laptop. With a backlit keyboard, 12.3-inch display, 10-hour battery life, and a skinny 10-millimeter thickness, this laptop is unique and powerful.  

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Display and Resolution

The resolution on the 12.3-inch display is awesome. While the HP Chromebook 14’s 1080p resolution is commendable, the Google Pixelbook i7’s 2400×1600 resolution is outstanding. Pixel density increases the vibrancy of colors. It also responds to your touch, which is a major plus for artists and those using a Google Assistant-powered pen. 

Design

A silky-smooth trackpad allows your fingers to slide over its surface easily. It’s only 10mm thick and lightweight which makes it ideal for travel. At the pinnacle of the design is a beautiful glass back panel reminiscent of Google’s Pixel phones. The laptop includes a USB-C charging port, which will soon be standard on all laptops. The convertible design makes it very user-friendly. The webcam, with its 720p resolution and 60 frames per second capture rate, is ideal for video calls and conferencing.

The 0.8mm key travel on the illuminated keyboard makes typing quiet and comfortable. The keyboard’s silicone pads are comfortable and provide stability as a tablet or when tilted up on its side. You’ll also find a few additional buttons on the keyboard that aren’t found on most other laptops. For example, on the left-hand side, a search button replaces caps-lock and allows you to easily search your device or Google. A button on the upper right corner of the keyboard, appearing as a stack of three short lines, allows you to quickly access system information such as Wi-Fi connectivity and volume level.

This is Google’s most visually attractive and impressively designed computer to date. Every design aspect, from the brushed metal frame with smooth edges to the rubberized palm rest, offers equal parts flair and substance. 

Pixelbook i7 front view
Photo source: Amazon.com

Weight and Durability

With dimensions of 11.43 x 8.69 x 0.44 inches and a weight of 2.45 lbs, the Google Pixelbook i7 is incredibly slim and beautiful. It is particularly unexpected, given that the body is constructed completely of aluminum. Its strength easily surpasses that of the Lenovo Chromebook S330.

Processor

The “standard” processor for the Pixelbook is an Intel Core i5-7Y57. There is also a Core i7 option, but you must upgrade to the $1,650 model. The Core M series, which uses less power than regular Core gear, includes both Core chips which can hurt performance. Although technically viable, you’re unlikely to consider this 2-in-1 core if editing images is a significant portion of what you do on a computer.

Google Assistant

The Pixelbook’s keyboard contains a dedicated button for Google Assistant in the lower-left corner between the ctrl and alt buttons. The Google Assistant window appears in the lower-left corner of the screen once you tap the button. As soon as Google Assistant is launched, it may analyze your screen and suggest top search results based on what you’re looking at, just like on Android phones. “OK, Google” can also be used to activate the feature. Google Assistant allows both text and voice input and can accurately track the conversation regardless of which technique is used. However, don’t expect the Pixelbook to be a replacement for Google Home because you can’t talk to it like a smart-home speaker.

half open i7
Photo source: Amazon.com

Pixelbook Smart Pen

The Pixelbook Pen works brilliantly as a pen, with enough pressure responsiveness and tilt support, making sketching on display a joy. The display’s quick responsiveness allows the digital ink to follow the pen closely enough that any delay is imperceptible

The Pixelbook Pen has a single button that acts as a Google Assistant button but also seems to include some of the new Google Lens technology available in smartphones such as the Google Pixel 2. When you press the button while inking, the ink thickens but does not draw anything.

Another benefit of the Pixelbook Pen is that it has enabled Google Keep to allow pen input even from the lock screen, making note-taking much simpler. There are also programs available that can transform the Pixelbook Pen’s scribbles into standard text. This will be a very valuable tool for students in particular.

With the Google Pixelbook Pen, you can use Google Assistant on your laptop or tablet. Unlike the Apple Pencil, which requires charging, pairing, or Bluetooth, the Pixelbook Pen is more like the Microsoft Surface Pen in form and only works with the Pixelbook. In addition, the battery life of the Pixelbook Pen is better than that of Apple because it uses AAA batteries.

Google Assistant can be accessed by pressing a button on the Pixelbook Pen. Using the stylus, you can circle an image or highlight text on the screen by tapping it once. Afterward, Google Assistant will search for your chosen topic. In addition to navigating the touchscreen, the Pixelbook Pen features a convenient stylus for taking notes, doodling, and capturing. Unfortunately, the laptop does not have a place to keep the Pixelbook Pen. Pen clips can be an additional expense for persons who frequently misplace stuff. In contrast, Samsung’s Chromebook Pro has a dedicated slot for a stylus.

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Screen

The Pixelbook i7 has a 12.3-inch LCD touchscreen and provides a resolution of 2,400×1,600 pixels. The screen’s 3:2 aspect ratio gives the Pixelbook a square appearance. With a 235 PPI resolution and precise color reproduction, the Pixelbook display is on par with some of the greatest displays available, Chromebook or not. It shares the same class as the 267 PPI Surface Pro 6 and the 227 PPI 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Brightness and viewing angles are excellent on this display, making it great for watching shows and movies or photo editing. The 400 nits of brightness are of great assistance here. However, because it still has a glossy surface, it doesn’t fare well in harsh sunlight. In any case, the touch sensitivity of the display is very good, especially when used in conjunction with the Pixelbook Pen. However, the speakers have a low volume. Therefore, connecting a Bluetooth speaker or headphones is recommended rather than using the Pixelbook’s built-in microphone and speakerphone.

Storage

It has 128GB of storage. Even the entry-level model is a major step up from the standard 16GB or 32GB disc capacity typically found in Chromebooks. 

Battery Life

The Google Pixelbook i7 has a battery life of 10 hours, so you won’t have to worry about recharging during the workday. If you need a little boost, charge it for 15 minutes. Fast charging allows the Pixelbook to last an additional two hours on that charge. However, in the video streaming test, the battery only lasted up to 9 hours.

Inputs

The Pixelbook i7 offers a few ports. A single audio jack and two USB-C connections are included. Other features include 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a USB 3.0 port.

i7 side view
Photo source: Amazon.com

Chromebook Tips and Tricks

Even though millions of people use Chromebooks, not all of the laptop’s power features are readily accessible. However, if you know a few tricks, you’ll feel like you’re getting more value out of your Chromebook. 

Unicode

As a Chromebook user, you’re likely to encounter situations when you need to input characters that don’t have designated keys, such as Ü and ಠ_ಠ. You’ll need to use a Unicode character to achieve this. and knowing the Unicode number makes typing them much easier. It’s as simple as pressing Ctrl + U + the number to enter them.

Android OS on a Chromebook

The Pixelbook’s full support for Android apps and the Google Play store may be its most notable feature. The brand-new launcher experience to access these apps is next to that. The outcome is, quite simply, amazing and a testament to Android’s enormous adaptability. Under the pixel-dense display, all Android apps we loaded, including Sonic the Hedgehog and the VLC video player, performed well and looked fantastic. Some configuration windows look like they belong on a smartphone due to compatibility concerns. That, though, has more to do with the app creators than with the Pixelbook itself.

You’ll need a place to put all of these programs and the things they’ll interact with, which is where the vast amounts of local storage start to make a lot more sense than they ever did on earlier Chromebook Pixel models.

To access all of these apps, Google needed a new interface, which is where the new Chrome launcher comes in. This tool allows you to search among all installed apps and open apps with a screen tap. It is accessible through a key that has taken the position of the “Caps Lock” button and a circular button on the taskbar-like “shelf.”

In the end, Chrome OS’s reliance on the Chrome online store for app-like experiences is effectively eliminated thanks to this level of Android app support. It effectively blurs what was previously a very thick barrier between Windows 10 and macOS, bringing the operating system’s capabilities and versatility considerably closer to those two platforms. Thanks to this Android expansion, we’ve finally reached a stage where switching from a Windows or Mac computer to a Chromebook requires little to no compromises in terms of operating system usability and versatility.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Shortcuts like reloading a page or returning to your home page in the browser are popular on Chrome OS. Unfortunately, there are so many of them that it’s hard to track. To display a list of all available keyboard shortcuts, use Ctrl + Alt +? As time passes, you’ll become an expert at Shift+Alt+L and Alt+Shift+B.

keyboard view i7
Photo source: Amazon.com

Extra Perks

When you buy a Chromebook, you also get some freebies from Google. Visit the Chromebook Perks Page after purchasing your Chromebook and logging in to take up the offers before they expire. Free games and applications, extended subscription trials, and even reductions on hardware like storage drives can all be found here, though the offerings change frequently.

Share Your Chromebook

When you set up your Chromebook, it’s only tied to your Google account. If you want to share your Pixelbook, you can exit your Google account by clicking “Sign out” in the lower-left corner of your Chromebook’s lock screen. Use the guest mode from the lock screen to give your Chromebook to someone else for a short time. Everything done in the guest mode will not be linked to your Google account and will be removed as soon as the guest signs out. In addition, the Users section of the settings menu allows you to restrict access to your Chromebook so that only specified users (or you) can access it and sign in.

Powerwash

If you want to restart with a “like new” Chromebook, you can utilize a “Powerwash” feature that only requires a couple of clicks in the settings. Then, simply click the button to restore your Chromebook to its original state and confirm.

Split Screen

On tablets, sliding an app’s thumbnail to the left or right side of the screen will allow you to open two apps simultaneously in a split-screen layout. The Pixelbook has the same capabilities, but this feature is only available in tablet mode. Slide your chosen app and release it when you see that half of the screen is illuminated. Then, select another active program from the Overview interface or open a new app from your launcher to fill the remaining space. A wide range of websites, Chrome extensions, and Android applications (and even Linux ones) can be used to accomplish this.

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How Long Will Pixelbook Last?

Given its relatively modern hardware, the Pixelbook shouldn’t become outdated any time soon. However, even if the Pixelbook as a whole might last for a while, a prospective follow-up that would have better hardware and more future-proofing could quickly replace it. There is also the issue of brand-new, high-end Chromebook competitors, which may ultimately offer greater value.

Like all of its rivals, Google provides the Pixelbook with a normal one-year warranty against mechanical flaws.

Final Thoughts

Google’s Pixelbook i7 may not be ideal for serious gamers or for anyone that needs a high-end display and memory for photo and video editing. However, if you’re in the market for a high-quality laptop for everyday purposes, Google’s Pixelbook i7 laptop is a great option. The design and performance of this Pixelbook are outstanding, especially for a convertible laptop. It’s thin, light, and fanless which makes it ideal for working on the go, but still packs a tremendous punch in terms of hardware. With Chrome OS and the i7 core, you will experience a low-maintenance and speedy browsing experience. If you don’t require the capabilities of a full-featured Mac or Windows PC, the Pixelbook is a good investment. 

Although it has a lot going for it, the Pixelbook has several unpleasant flaws, and more work needs to be done to make the Assistant and the Pixelbook Pen usable. Hold off to see how the upcoming second-generation hardware works because it’s also likely to make an appearance in the not-too-distant future. New generations of the Pixelbook might solve some of these minor issues and result in a price reduction on the first-generation gear.