The Pixelbook is already pretty damn great, but there’s always room for improvement.
I’ve been the proud owner of a Google Pixelbook since February, and since then, not a moment’s gone by that I don’t regret replacing my 2016 MacBook Pro with it. The Pixelbook is one hell of a machine that’s proven to be perfect for my workload, and of all the laptops I’ve owned, has quickly become one of my favorites.
However, as much praise as it deserves, nothing is ever perfect. Google hit a home run with the Pixelbook, but there are a few things I’d like to see changed whenever gen-two is released.
Whether we see a Pixelbook 2 with the Pixel 3 this October or have to wait until 2019 for a successor, this is what Google can do to make its next Chromebook flagship even better.
Put those bezels on a diet
The Pixelbook has a downright gorgeous display. The 3:2 aspect ratio is excellent for productivity, the Quad HD panel is sharp and crisp, and the 400 nits of brightness means you can always see exactly what you’re doing. However, as great as it is, I can’t help but cringe whenever I see those giant black bars surrounding all sides of it.
Google says it made the bezels the size they are so that you have a place to hold the Pixelbook when used it Tablet Mode, but I don’t think anyone would really complain if they went on a much-needed diet.
We don’t have to go quite as slim as what Huawei’s doing with the Matebook X, but some reduction here would be greatly appreciated.
I wouldn’t change a thing about the screen itself, but by reducing the picture frame around it, it can look even more impressive on the Pixelbook 2.
Give us better external speakers
The Pixelbook’s speakers are hidden under the keyboard — smart 👍.
Slimmer bezels would allow the Pixelbook 2 to be a truly fantastic device for consuming TV shows, movies, and more, but in order for it to be a true media powerhouse, Google has to use better external speakers on it.
The speakers on the Pixelbook get plenty loud, but that’s about the only praise I can give them. They’re flat, boring, and a huge step-down from the speaker setup on my old MacBook Pro.
I think Google got the positioning of them right by hiding them underneath the keyboard, but I’d love to see higher-quality ones introduced next time around.
Add a fingerprint sensor, face unlock, or both
In day-to-day use, one of my biggest gripes with the Pixelbook is the lack of any biometric unlocking system. Your only options for unlocking are typing in your password or using the fingerprint sensor on your Android phone if waking the Pixelbook up from sleep/standby, and after a while, this can get awfully annoying.
It wouldn’t be hard at all for Google to slap a fingerprint sensor on the top or side of the Pixelbook 2, but I also wouldn’t say no to Google introducing a face-unlock system similar to what a lot of Windows 10 laptops have with Windows Hello.
Keep improving on the Pixelbook Pen
I decided to pick up the Pixelbook Pen a few months after using the Pixelbook without it, and since then I’ve been addicted to using it. I’m about as far from an artist as you can get, but the Pen has been a great tool for jotting down notes for editorials, scrolling through web pages, and tapping small buttons/checkboxes my clumsy fingers struggle with.
The current implementation of the Pixelbook Pen works quite well, but I’ve noticed that there’s a fair bit of latency when using it. It’s nothing game-breaking and is still perfectly usable for note-taking, but it’s still an eyesore and something that should be addressed.
Also, while the 2,000 levels of pressure sensitivity feel nice, Samsung’s recently announced Chromebook Plus V2 boasts more than double at 4,096 and costs $500 less. Couple increased sensitivity with decreased latency, and the Pixelbook 2 will make the Pixelbook Pen a no-brainer.
This is one of the shorter editorials I’ve written, but that’s because Google really did get almost everything right with the Pixelbook.
It’s incredibly fast, the keyboard and trackpad are both fantastic, and battery life is superb.
With those few changes and upgrades to the latest-available silicon, the Pixelbook 2 is going to be incredibly exciting. I probably won’t be upgrading as all the updates I want to see are fairly minor, but for folks that missed out the first time around, I’m excited for them to get their hands on the second iteration of Google’s vision for what laptops should be.
What about you? Whether or not you’ve got the first Pixelbook, what are you hoping to see in gen-two? Drop a line in the comments below!
Psssttt — The Pixelbook is still an awesome buy and is on sale right now for just $750 — an entire $250 off its normal MSRP.
June 19, 2018 at 04:00AM