At its fall hardware event back in October, Google announced a striking new Chrome OS tablet called the Pixel Slate. The Pixel Slate brings a lot of exciting things to the table and aims to be your go-to device for both tablet and laptop needs. It starts at $599, but if you want a model that'll be powerful enough for moderate workloads and the optional keyboard cover, you're going to spend well over $1000.
As an alternative to that, I strongly recommend looking at the Pixelbook. Google launched the Pixelbook in late 2017, and while it may not be the very latest Chromebook out there, it's still one of the best. And, just in time for Black Friday, you can pick it up for just under $700.
The Pixelbook has a traditional laptop design opposed to the Pixel Slate's detachable form factor, but its touchscreen display can still be folded back 360-degrees and used as a makeshift tablet. Speaking of the screen, it's a 12.3-inch LCD panel with a resolution of 2400 x 1600. The bezels do air on the larger side of things, but the screen itself looks fantastic with sharp text, vibrant colors, and plenty of brightness.
Below the screen is the Pixelbook's full-size keyboard, and my oh my has this thing been a joy to type on.
I do a lot of writing each day for Android Central, meaning I need a keyboard that's accurate and comfortable whenever I'm working. Without a doubt in my mind, the Pixelbook has one of the best keyboard's I've ever had the pleasure of using. The keys have a good responsiveness to them, the texture over them feels soft and inviting, and you've got multi-stage backlighting to help you see what you're doing in the dark. Tying all of this together are two rubber palm rests for you to rest on while kicking out email after email. They're an extremely welcome addition and have stayed surprisingly clean in my 8+ months of using it.
The Pixelbook I have (and the one that's on sale for $699 is the base model with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and a 128GB SSD. You can spend more money for additional storage, RAM, and an upgraded CPU, but I've had no issues at all with my configuration. Chrome OS flies on these specs, and unless you plan on storing a lot of files for movies, pictures, and games, 128GB is more than enough space.
What are some other niceties of using the Pixelbook? There's a dedicated button on the keyboard for prompting the Google Assistant, allowing you to search the web, control smart home devices, and really anything else you'd use the Assistant for on your phone or a smart speaker. It's insanely convenient and something I use quite regularly. Battery life is solid and offers up to 10 hours of use depending on what you're doing. USB-C is used for charging, and with two USB-C ports on either side of the Pixelbook, charging is super convenient and quite fast (you get about 2 hours of use on a 15-minute charge).
Not everything is perfect with the Pixelbook. I wish the speakers had a bit more power to them, smaller bezels would be great, and not having any form of biometric authentication can be annoying. However, none of those things have seriously detracted from my overall experience of using the Pixelbook.
I'm still very pleased with the $999 I spent on this laptop in February, and with it now being offered for $699, I urge you to give it a look. It's got a great build, fast internals, and a ridiculously good typing experience. For a machine of this caliber, $699 is beyond a good deal.
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