The Google Pixelbook is a truly excellent piece of hardware, as I stated in my review of it over two months ago. The refrain so often heard about Chromebooks, though, is that Chrome OS's limited application ecosystem prevents it from being a "serious" laptop operating system. As someone who frequently travels and has to be mobile as part of my job, I thought I'd put Google's laptop to the test in a live environment: CES.
Now, CES isn't quite the on-the-ground reporting slog it once was for Android Police. The number of smartphones announced at the show is tiny, and much of our work stems from various briefings and meetings rather than rubbing shoulders with attendees on the show floor. Read More
Until February 1, U.S. customers can get a free Pixelbook Pen with the purchase of a new Pixelbook at the Google Store, Amazon, or Best Buy.
Integrated stylus functionality has become one of the big selling points for high-end portable devices, but the big players in this space, Apple, Microsoft, and Google, each charge $99 for their device-specific styluses. That's on top of the many, many hundreds of dollars they already charge for the iPad Pro, Surface, or Pixelbook devices themselves. So this is a risk-free opportunity for would-be stylus slingers to see if they would find such an accessory useful. Read More
Given that not all displays are equal—IPS is better than TN, HDR is better than non-HDR, some people prefer LCD, others prefer OLED—a certification system for what displays can do seems overdue. The display standards body VESA has (at least partially) filled that void with the newly-announced DisplayHDR standard, which defines the abilities of display panels used in notebook PCs and monitors for desktop PCs. Read More
The Yoga Book is definitely one of the most interesting and divisive laptop designs to come out in a while - users either love or hate its touchscreen/keyboard deck hook. To a digital artist its integrated "Create Pad" is a godsend, but a mechanical keyboard fan probably sees its integrated haptic key layout as sacrilege. Either way, you'll soon have more options if you want to check out that unique hardware: a Lenovo executive told a Tom's guide reporter that the Yoga Book would be sold in a Chrome OS model in 2017. Read More
We got a brief glimpse of the HP SlateBook back in April. We were a bit confused as to why the consumer PC giant would cram Android into a form factor almost exclusively dominated by Windows and OS X machines. Now the 14-inch, Android-powered laptop is official, and we're no less puzzled. HP made the announcement today, though the laptop won't go on sale until July 20th in the US. The starting price for the 16GB model will be $399.
First: this is a conventional laptop, not a tablet with a removable dock, like previous Android-powered members of the "Slatebook" line. Read More
Asus has lately become the king of anime-style transforming electronics, with their Transformer tablet line and Padfone devices. It looks like Google is paying attention, at least when it comes to conceptual hardware. US patent 8,649,821, granted to Google in February of this year, describes a laptop with a built-in and detachable cell phone, with the two working in tandem for various functions. While Android and Chromebooks aren't specifically mentioned in the patent documentation, it's easy to assume they were on the engineers' minds, since it was filed in September of 2012.
The basic idea is that the laptop can borrow the cell phone's wireless connection for on-the-go Internet access, as well as use the removable handset as a speaker and microphone for VOIP calls and other obvious functions. Read More
When people think of laptops, Android isn't the first operating system that comes to mind, but the number of options continue to grow. The Asus Transformer series showed that a tablet and a keyboard packaged together nicely could prove to be more appealing than a netbook, and the more recent HP Slatebook x2 managed to feel more like a laptop and less like a tablet. Now Lenovo is ready to do its competitors one better by debuting an Android laptop that is more than a tablet packaged with a nice keyboard dock - the Lenovo A10, a convertible 10.1-inch laptop running Android 4.2. Read More
Part of the reason I was drawn to the Chromebook Pixel is that it's essentially a thin client for accessing the same content I interact with using my phones and tablets. Having to move and maintain files between separate machines is a chore I no longer wish to deal with, so I'm happy to see that this issue may soon be a thing of the past. Today at IFA, Acer demoed its Extend prototype, a laptop-dock that could enable you to use a smartphone as a your primary computer.
If this concept sounds familiar, that's because it is. A couple years ago, Motorola introduced the Motorola Atrix 4g and a proprietary dock called the lapdock - a laptop without a brain that only worked when the Atrix was docked in its back. Read More
Yeah, we know – it doesn't run Android, and really, it has nothing to do with Android. But it is a Google product, so by default it's at least tangentially related - call it Android's cousin. It's also Google's statement that ChromeOS is important, that it's not just some side project. It's saying that we should all pay attention. That ChromeOS is the real deal, and the Chromebook Pixel is the best experience that ChromeOS has to offer.
And what an experience it is. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill, $250 Chromebook. Far from it, in fact – the Pixel is jam-packed with some of the best hardware on the market (rivaling most Ultrabooks), and has the most beautiful display I’ve ever laid eyes on. Read More
Yesterday, Google did what Google does best: announce a first version of something that is completely ridiculous, very few people care about, most folks mocked, and that will ultimately end up forgotten in the annals of internet history. No offense, Goog. Some later products are spectacular, but let's be real. Very rarely does Google get it right on the first try.
However, the Chromebook Pixel is still a huge deal and the savvy analyst should take notice, because things just changed in a big way. Google isn't selling a product with this new laptop, it's making a statement. It's planting a flag on the future because, well, no flag, no future. Read More