Google’s Amazing Laptop… Hard to Recommend – Pixelbook Review

I remember when Google Chrome came out of nowhere and completely pulled the rug out from under Internet Explorer and Firefox. Then, Android stormed from zero to half of the phone market in almost no time at all. Then, we got Chrome OS. A Google polished version of Linux, for the low-power machine that you let your kids use when Daddy needs the real computer. And not much more. Could that change though? The Pixelbook is a laptop with main rig specs and premium design with a price to match but is Chrome OS ready for that kind of responsibility now? No. No, it’s not. And our argument for why is brought to you by Tunnelbear. Tunnelbear makes it easy to privately and securely Browse a more open Internet to try Tunnelbear for free go to linked below Right out of the gate the Pixelbook’s design is polarizing. Some people really like the two-tone back while others think it is outright ugly. But what I think everyone can agree on is the build quality. It is excellent and it’s super portable too at only ten millimeters thick, and 2.4 pounds. Honestly the list kind of goes on from here. The screen and the hinge feels solid, the aluminum chassis is rigid and it stays firmly planted where you put it down whether it’s on the table or on your lap due to the large rubber surface on the bottom. I/O-wise yeah, it’s pretty good for something this thin. I mean yeah, you’ll need USB-C dongles for your- well, most of what you own, But, they both charge the device giving you the option to plug into either side and, it also includes a headphone jack. Which is no longer a given on Pixel devices. Spec wise, our config is pretty much perfect for web browsing and light productivity. It’s a Core i5 dual core with eight gigs of ram and a 256 gig SSD, but you can get it with up to a core i7 and 512 gigs of NVME solid-state storage. And the quality of the hardware extends to the glass-top trackpad which has an excellent feel, and after a bit of sensitivity tuning, is actually pretty close to MacBook level good. And the keyboard, which is solidly built with a light crisp feel to the switches that I really enjoyed. I was easily able to get up to speed and typing on it would be amazing except for three things. One: The lack of a dedicated Delete key and home and end keys, can be worked around with alt backspace and this handy re-mapper tool, but are still annoying emissions. Two: While the rubber wrist rest material feels nice, It is easy for the heel of your hand to end up on the corner between the rubber and the aluminum making it uncomfortable after a pretty short time. And three: The inclusion of a Google Assistant button seems pretty cool in theory, but unless you operate a keyboard and trackpad pretty slowly, voice recognition might not be faster for a lot of things. So I’d have personally preferred a function key with secondary functionality for some of the others. The Pixelbook has a productivity oriented 3×2 aspect ratio IPS display with a bright backlight and vibrant colors. It’s 2400 by 1600 resolution gives you nice sharp text. And there’s lots of room for vertical scrolling content in your web browser. (Which is good because it basically runs a web browser.) And there are great big bezels that give it a bit of a 2016 rather than 2017 look But, I understand why they’re there since you got to put your finger somewhere in tablet mode. Which I guess brings us perfectly to tablet mode. It’s a tablet, I guess. But like not as good as a regular one, so- Anything that you would do in the Chrome browser on your Android tablet is fine. But while theoretically you can install Android apps on Chrome OS, a lot of the ones that we installed had issues ranging from not rescaling correctly for the display to just not working at all. So, We’d strongly recommend an Android tablet if you want to install Android apps – and it’ll run Chrome too. – And furthermore, This one might seem like a pretty petty complaint, but the included touch keyboards issues made the tablet experience Markedly worse. Like why would I ever want to type like this? The shift key inexplicably defaults to some stupid Jaden Smith capitalize-all-the-first-letters mode. And why would I want two spaces when I go back and change a word? I assumed that it would just be the same Google keyboard as Android. but it’s not! And making matters worse, at this time third-party keyboards like SwiftKey aren’t supported. And I mean while we’re at it, the camera is a bit of a disappointment too. I mean it’s not unusable, but I was expecting something in line with the front shooter on the Pixel 2 – For you know crystal-clear video calls isn’t that the whole Pixel branding? Instead what I got was a very soft image, some exposure issues and an included app that doesn’t support recording video! We had to do this through some janky website! It also lacks cool features like face recognition like Windows Hello, or a fingerprint scanner for easy unlocking. Though, if you have a supported Android phone, you can use that to unlock it instead- Unless like me you find it faster to just type in your password than to pull something out of your pocket. And The frustrations just keep coming. This script had to be written in Google Docs because our template for Word crashes Office Online for some reason on this device. File system navigation feels like an afterthought. There’s no back or upper-level buttons. The hardware back key doesn’t work and copy pasting our network drive wouldn’t work. The display scaling is weird and doesn’t actually report useful things like the resolution or scaling percentage. Honestly, the rest of this video could easily be just a boring list of other nit-picky things that, I think will wear on you the same way they did on us Every time you try and be legitimately productive on your Pixelbook. So I won’t bore you with that instead, I want to talk about the possibility then of using a different OS on this device to address them. Because the hardware is ‘Dope’ as the kids say. Windows is locked out at a BIOS level so no luck there. But ,I found this great Lifehacker tutorial for some kind of kick-ass Linux switching functionality. Where you can actually have both OS’s booted even, and then just switch between them. And it works! Sort of, so you switch by hitting ctrl+shift+alt+back, so we’re good so far, but then in Linux the trackpad sucks. And, because of the high resolution display, the icons are super small with, at least in this distro, fairly limited scaling options. So, with this guide, for free by the way, you’ve got the option then of a polished, but somewhat kneecapped experience. Or, a Kind of broken or requires a lot of tweaking Linux experience, that at least lets you do whatever you want. What would be pretty cool on a $200 Chromebook. The issue I have then is that for $1200 U.S you could have a Surface laptop, a MacBook Air, a ThinkPad, A Razer Blade Stealth, I don’t know. Any number of things that come with a real operating system. So, overall the Pixelbook is a sexy piece of hardware and My opinion design that is unfortunately let down by an OS that just isn’t versatile enough to justify the price tag. We love Google around here and we think that they’re doing a lot of cool things right now, but this just isn’t one of them. Speaking of cool things though, Squarespace! Squarespace has 24/7 support via live chat and email, so if you’ve been thinking to yourself “Gee I’d love to set up a website, but it looks kind of complicated!” Give it a try! They’ve got a free trial for 14 days, and then after that it is just 12 bucks a month, and the whole website creation process is cloud-based. So you take one of their gorgeous templates, that will scale great across any device be it a desktop, a Chromebook, a phone, whatever the case may be. You plunk in your photos, you plunk in your text. You uh, you know use their logo designer to make a cool-looking logo, you create a blog that you can publish content in Apple news format making it available to millions of potential readers, and oh, yeah, they’ve got a store module included with every Squarespace site. And It’s off to the races! So head over to and try it out. Then use offer code LTT to save 10% on your first purchase. So thanks for watching guys! If this video sucked, You know what to do. But if it was awesome, Get subscribed, hit the like button, or check out the link to where to buy the stuff we featured in the video description. Also linked in the description is our merch store, which has cool shirts like this one and our community forum, which you should totally join.

100 thoughts on “Google’s Amazing Laptop… Hard to Recommend – Pixelbook Review

  1. So a very thin pc with I5 and same specs at 1000 $ is fine but this one not ? This is definitely pure bias. It will soon also be able to double boot with Windows. Still a bad deal ?

  2. It's made a lot of progress in a year with crostini, and more stable android support. I've been using it as my day to day driver for a few weeks and am really enjoying it now.

  3. Amazing laptop, but expensive, ChromeOS is amazing, but needs perfecting and support from Adobe and equivalent

  4. I just bought this on Ebay for under $700 factory sealed. I like it for searching the web and minor document processing.  It's super portable and very pretty, but definitely not for working.

  5. 7:12 sudo stErtxfce4 seems to be a misspelling of stArtxfce4 – just in case anybody actually tries to do this.

  6. If you remove the write-protect screw, you can install windows on it. You might need 3rd party drivers, but it works pretty well.

  7. I've got a Pixelbook, I do video and photo editing weekly with ease (yes on Chrome OS)…love this fuckin thing.

  8. basically it's great hardware but limited by chrome os. if this would be running windows or something it would make more sense, but running chrome os? no

  9. google should have talked to linus before making any of their products. google think they are steve jobs. but they arent. hence they make computers that dont sell. they cant even copy properly from other people. nowadays when i hear the word pixel, i wont even use it even if they pay me. when it comes to desktop, google overpaid team should be fired because anyone else can do better.

  10. Linus PLEASE HELP!! I bought a chromebook for my daughter and I am in kind of a conundrum. There are certain apps she wants to install however I am noticing a trend that there are requirements to add a credit card to the account to do so. Unfortunately I am not going to add a credit card to my seven year old daughters account just because she wants to download FREE APPS that require a credit card. I have spent a couple hours searching the web and any verbiage I use I seem to find only dead ends.
    I have found a few videos recommending to install Linux however she is seven and that kind of takes away her independent use of the machine.
    I know you have many more resources to find a work-around so I am reaching out to you to possibly help me with this problem. If it werent for your channel (well bitwit and jayztwocents) I would have never been able to build the 2 rigs that I have. PLEASE HELP!!

  11. they could have just let the bios to install windows on them and no one would have complained!! ….and they could have sold much more units !!! I would buy one anyday if it had supported windows 10 or 7……

  12. I need Software, so I stick with windows. It isn't hard to disabled Cortana, disable Bing Start Menu web search, stop Candy Crush from installing automatically, uninstall all the MSN stuff that is installed such as Money, Sports, News, and Groove Music. I stick with windows

  13. No chrome book should be more than $300. Chrome os is great compared to windows, on a 200 dollar computer… also I geekbenched my chrome book and it thought I was running nougat for some reason

  14. A chrome book is better and is more cheap

    It doesn’t have tablet mode or the google assistant but it’s fine

  15. 3:00 ~ i love the #AssistantAI key. It's fun to break the silence with spoken commands. Yet all the experts behind the technology, seem to experience iQ burn out and want all users to shut the fuck up and type. It's not my fault that they have not figured out how to learn context in speaking, when apparently the search bar and are context sensitive. I think you meant this, because you were searching this, is definitely present in Google Text Search, so why does the talking experience lack context clues?

    If chess is a conversation game, why is it so difficult to turing test a virtual girl dating service or #GalGames? ~

    I read a manhwa or #artpanels about the digipet digi roleplay personality becoming a god among female genies. ~ Really interesting loving story.

    This writing and art sense, was always tasteful and pleasant, isn't life really just a set of scripted tv narratives, that are only ever frustrating when TV plays games against the intelligence or well being of its parrots. ~ What i >_> #Money=Marriage or if good with word games SportFucks. I suppose the later more often. Tho #DogTheBountyHunter & #RussellCrowe are my ideal Sons if i ever Get a Woman Pregnant, You marry all you fuck & you promise $40,000 a year for 50 years to the safety and well being of your children. But there are emotional cues people key themselves to desire or feel insecure about. ~ Why would people ever fake insecurities? #GalGames, who teaches them these things?

  16. You sound like a whine baby the pixelbook and chrome os is amazing. It can legit compete with entry level MacBook air and windows runs so sluggish. The chromebook runs faster then the surface pro and IPad pro. The pixelbook has its place. Not worth the price but still a nice device. The HP x2 and x360 14 are premium devices for a realistic price.

  17. good for gachatubers like myself though i also do gaming so i keep a pc and all common consoles for that too

  18. Appel makes a laptop with 4 THUNDERBOLT 3 ports

    Everyone: F**k apple I don't want to carry dongles

    Google makes a laptop with 2 USB-C ports

    Everyone:tHaT iS gEnIUs

  19. great… but instead of google docs, can u even install exe files or the microsoft applications from google play?

  20. Google is in the advertising business not the computer business I wouldn't buy a laptop from I want to be a Microsoft manufacturer

  21. I kinda agree on all of it but still disagreeing I am even agreeing to this. Yet again, I'd love to have one.

  22. 2005: Using internet explorer to download files.
    2010: Using internet explorer to download games
    2015: Using internet explorer to download chrome
    2017: Using chrome to download windows
    2019: Using chrome to download chrome

    Technology is so great today.

  23. to fix the icons on linux just install a different desktop envirment like plasma. the one in the video is xfce and is known for not working with different hardware settings

  24. not a clue why i watched this video…..At All.. but linus… thank you for honest feedback…and making me think more about linux..
    Honest Feedback Buddy..

  25. I've had the Pixelbook for 1 year. I absolutely love the hardware and love the fact that it can be a tablet or laptop. HOWEVER.. the software is just awful. The basics are fine..BUT apps are very, VERY VERY poorly optimized. I've spent more time trying apps only to find out they either don't work, or quit working with an app update, or have super small font size, that cant not be changed. These bugs, and severe lack of optimization…SEVERE. I really, REALLY wanted to like this. The keyboard is actually the best I've ever felt but, what good is that if the software is so POOR. I'm afraid I'm done with this Pixelbook.. despite some good things about it. As this video says, the frustrations are ENDLESS.. I'm actually genuinely bummed. I paid $700 for it btw. It tends to go on sale. Don't pay full price for this!

  26. Great device!!!
    It needs to change screen ratio to 16:9, screen frame to slim fit.
    And 8th gen. i5 quad core cpu is required.
    Than is it for me better choice than macbook pro. Hey google, just do it!

  27. Hey, I was wondering if Chrome OS has gotten any better since this video, and if it would be worth it now.

  28. After 2 years, this thing is becoming more and more attractive to pick up used. Are there any fixes reported about the bugged behavior and unconventional rescaling of Android apps?

  29. Other Chromebook reviewers:
    Just 16 or 32 gigabytes is not enough

    People that are doing Pixelbook review:
    And just 512 gb is a lot for a chromebook


  30. Can you review Hp Pavilion x360 please? It is an old laptop. But I would love to hear a review of it from you

  31. 😞 it's kinda not the greatest, but it does seem mainly for work… you can't exactly do much with it it's alright, but you can't download a lot of things, it doesn't come with java, img file (images, yes but not img), most downloads require MAC or Windows, it doesn't come with word, you'll only have google docs, and ect. . the options are limited.
    you can download apps ( it's basically like a bigger phone that only fits in a bag…), you can also connect your phone, and there's tons of space. If you are a person that doesn't like distractions or just very busy with work i recommend! 😊 (there are emojis included btw lol)

  32. idk whos paying 1200 for a chromebook but your just a tim cook dick rider lmfao get off the shitty apple bandwagon have fun with a garbage os and an outdated combatibility to other softwares and products

  33. I really like the idea of Chrome OS as I'm really invested into the Google ecosystem and not a big fan of Microsofts. I really hope they develop this into something great.

  34. Seems to be what every pixel drive is like, great hardware, sub par to unusable software, which I weird being that google is a software company

  35. MY biggest beef with Chrome…… IT REFUSES TO SIGN ONTO MY WIFI!!!!!! 😫😫😫


    So a computer that does EVERYTHING EXCLUSIVELY on the internet refuses to sign onto an internet signal its' competition's product has NO problem doing.

    Way to go, GOOGLE, way to go. 😡😡😡

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