Ocotber 4th has come and gone and with it, Google’s second annual hardware showcase has graced us with a sack full of new goodies to talk about, review and marvel about.
We will be covering a number of the new #madebygoogle products in the very near future as they pertain to Chrome Unboxed. For now, we just wanted to give you a quick rundown of everything that Google unveiled at yesterdays event in San Francisco.
Google covered a lot of ground at this year’s event and we are excited about all of it but we flew across the country to see the PixelBook so I will share the rundown of the new Chromebook first. There will be a lot of talk about the PixelBook in the coming weeks as we hope to answer any and all questions you may have.
For now, here are the specifications, pricing and availability for the PixelBook and you can find our hands-on, first impressions here.
- Chrome OS
- Intel 7th Gen Kaby Lake Core i5-7Y57 or i7-7Y575 fanless SoC
- 8GB RAM (i5) or 16GB RAM (i7)
- 128/256/512 GB NVMe SSD (512 available on Core i7 only)
- 12.3″ LCD 2400×1600 (3:2) bright display @ 400 nits
- Backlit, soft-touch keyboard. 0.8mm travel
- Etched glass, edge-to-edge trackpad
- Aluminum uni-body build with Gorilla Glass lid. (Ala Pixel Phone)
- 2 x USB-C/3.5mm headphone jack
- Dual speakers with 4-mic array.
- Built-in Google Assistant key and multi-purpose “hamburger” key
- Optional PixleBook Pen (Wacom AES technology powered by one AAAA battery.)
- 11.4 in x 8.7 in x 0.4 in, 2.4lbs (290.4mm x 220.8mm x 10.3mm, 1.1kg)
- Optional Preferred Care with 2 years accident protection and 24/7 live support for your device
Okay, that’s an impressive resumè. We will be talking more about these features and some PixelBook exclusives in the coming days but needless to say, this thing is stunning.
Now, we come to the price. The base model runs $999 with the larger storage, i5 model coming in at $1,199. For those of you willing to wait, the Core i7 PixelBook will set you back $1,649 but availability for this version has yet to be announced.
The PixelBook Pen is an extra $99 but I can tell you that, from our brief time with it, it’s worth the extra Benjamin. With over 2000 levels of pressure sensitivity and its Assistant capabilities, the PixelBook Pen is just incredible.
One item that wasn’t mentioned from the stage is Google’s optional Preferred Care Program. At $249, the “protection plan” may seem a bit steep but the fine print reveals more than just a simple product replacement agreement.
Preferred Care gives you TWO claims on your PixelBook in the two-year span but also grants the owners priority access to 24/7 support and tips for your device. For many users, this may not sound like a deal and the $90, 3-year protection plan from Amazon is a way better deal. However, new-to-Chrome OS consumers could find great benefit in Google’s plan.
Google said, from the stage, the PixelBook will be available on October 31st and the Amazon listing reflects this date. This is only for the Core i5 models. Pre-orders opened yesterday and as of now Google, Amazon, Best Buy and BH Photo are taking orders for the PixelBook.
Now I’m going to do a quick-fire of everything else we saw in San Francisco. Stay tuned this week for details on these new, #madebygoogle products.
While Google didn’t tout this year’s event as a “Pixel launch”, the new Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 were, without a doubt, the most consumer-facing product at the show.
The only real surprise from Google’s flagship phones was the fact that they share the same features including the SnapDragon 835 (not 836, sad face) and FRONT FACING SPEAKERS!!! Yes, we’re excited about that.
Just like last year, we will make an exception and review the new Pixel phones because, well, we want to and they’re #madebygoogle. It scored a 98 on the DcOMark camera rating. It’s kind of a big deal.
Google Home Mini and Max
Adding to the expanding ecosystem of Assistant-enabled speakers, Google launched to rumored Google Home Mini which will go toe-to-toe with the Amazon Echo Dot. At $49, the tiny Home speaker gives you that same capability as the original Home only in a smaller, more aesthetically flexible speaker that is about the size of a donut.
We got our hands on a Mini and are bringing it back home with us. We will have some first impressions later this week.
The Google Home Max was probably the most surprising hardware announcement yesterday as the rumors of its existence surfaced just last week. The $399 intuitive sound box uses machine learning to optimize its output based on surroundings.
Another recent leak, the Google Clips camera is a wearable device that uses machine learning to look for good moments to capture photos so you never miss that perfect shot. It can also be used as a remote camera with the corresponding app on your phone. Very interested in testing this one out.
The Pixel 2 phones have axed the headphone jack so Google decided to offset the salty masses with a new type of in-ear headphones. The Pixel Buds host a number of unique features like Assistant optimization and in-case charging. For Pixel phone users, there are some incredible tricks you can do with the $159 headphones and we will highlight those later.
The second iteration of Google’s VR headset features a heatsink, much-improved lenses and a new look. We also heard from the Daydream team that the ability to Cast your VR experience would finally be arriving soon. (presumably with the launch of the Pixel 2)
The other side of Google’s event revolvled around the melding of AI, software and hardware. We will share more tomorrow about some very intriguing new projects from Google as well as some new features and apps you can look forward to from Mountain View.
In the meantime, check out this snazzy little video showcasing everything new that’s #madebygoogle.