Is the New Google Pixelbook Worth Such a High Price Tag?

Most Chromebooks are cheap, simple, and reliable, but Google has been making high-performance laptops with a Chrome-based operating system for years. The latest entry in this series is the $ 1,000 Pixelbook , which seems poised to compete with other laptop / tablet hybrids like Microsoft’s Surface Pro and iPad Pro .

Does the Google Pixelbook stand a chance and is it worth paying to get in? Let’s figure it out.

Not quite a tablet

Unlike the iPad Pro ($ 799 and up for the full-size version) or Surface Pro ($ 799), which are basically tablets with an attachable keyboard and an optional stylus, the Pixelbook is a touchscreen laptop that Google claims is also will work great as a tablet.

As with other convertible laptops , the Pixelbook screen rotates 360 degrees when in tablet mode. You can also tilt it to serve as a keyboard stand if you want to relax and watch a video. This is a big upgrade from Google’s previous laptop, the Chromebook Pixel 2, which had a touchscreen but couldn’t turn into a tablet.

So if you want a laptop that can also act as a somewhat bulky tablet, the Pixelbook is a great choice. But if you’re looking for a real tablet that can act as a laptop as a last resort, you’d better take advantage of what Apple and Microsoft have to offer.

Chrome OS gets better

Chrome OS started out literally as a browser, but over the past few years, Google has expanded the capabilities of its operating system. One of the biggest changes has been the addition of Android app support, which the Chromebook Pixel 2 is also capable of . As an added bonus, the Pixelbook will get a special Snapchat version dedicated to its larger screen (Google hasn’t said if this will be for any other models) …

The iPad Pro runs iOS apps instead of Android, but is otherwise very similar to Chrome OS in terms of features. Apple has also introduced some pretty big improvements to its iPad lineup running iOS 11, adding a new app dock and multitasking functionality that makes it more macOS-like.

But if you want a complete laptop in tablet form, Surface Pro is the way to go. It runs Windows 10, which is a true desktop operating system that’s also designed with touchscreen controls in mind.

The stylus requires additional costs

For the first time, Google is offering a digital stylus for its new Chromebook. The Pixelbook Pen will set you back $ 99 extra. It’s a pretty standard stylus with one big extra feature: hold down the built-in button for instant access to Google Assistant.

Apple and Microsoft also offer their own versions for a $ 99 surcharge. Apple Pencil places great emphasis on creative work with built-in sensors, so you can press harder to draw thicker lines and other artistic effects. The Surface Pen sits somewhere in between, offering pressure sensitivity for drawing, as well as a button that quickly activates Microsoft’s own AI assistant, Cortana.

So is it worth buying this?

If you’re looking for a sleek convertible laptop with very clever software, the Pixelbook is a great (but expensive) option. If you’re looking for a professional-grade tablet, Apple and Microsoft will provide you with everything you need, at least until Google installs Chrome OS on a full-fledged tablet.


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