Google Chromebook Pixel 2: Unboxing & Review

by birtanpublished on April 4, 2021

What's up guys Mike here the Detroit Board with a look at the second generation Chromebook pixel which is once again designed by Google and sold through the Google Play Store and remains kind of a showcase piece for the Chrome OS because it's pretty high-end hardware with a pretty high-end price tag although it is a bit cheaper now now the new Chromebook pixel looks very similar to the previous generation but we do get new Broadwell processors a new and improved display a redesigned keyboard and trackpad we also get the new USB type-c connector which is a reversible style connector that can be

Used for both data display output and charging now the second-generation Chromebook pixel 2 is $200 cheaper at $9.99 so that gets you an Intel Core i5 dual core with 8 gigs of RAM and 32 gigs of SSD storage the upgraded model for $12.99 gets you an Intel Core i7 again dual core with 16 gigs of RAM and 64 gigs of SSD storage there is no longer an LTE version like we had with the previous generation in terms of graphics these new Intel processors come with Intel's HD graphics 5500 integrated GPUs alright so let's get to the unboxing here and the packaging is very minimal

You see that signature Chromebook LED light that appears on the back of course we'll take a look closer look at that Chromebook pixel on the front that's about it there are no specs or anything on the back here just our FCC information as well as the fact that this is designed by Google and assembled in China now it looks like we have a clamshell tight box here so I'm just going to cut the plastic along the side all right just pull the plastic off here alright so go ahead and lift the lid there you go very nice packaging you can see just a insert surrounding the top of

The Chromebook here you can see there's a little pattern along the side if you look closely so let's go ahead and lift this up alright so let's go ahead and get the plastic off this thing it looks like the design is mostly the same but there are some changes here of course I will compare this to the previous generation alright so I'm just going to pull this to unwrap it alright so I'm just going to slide it out alright so let's go ahead and lift the lid to see if there's anything else here and nothing so let's set that aside for just a moment and take a look at the

Packaging contents to see what else came in the box so inside we'll find our Quick Start Guide powered on find a network or login to your wireless network login with your Google account and launch the apps and that's basically all there is to it now on the reverse side we'll find more detailed instructions as well as some warnings about using your device and how not to break it so if you want to read this in detail just pause your screen we also have a diagram of all the ports along the side and just like the previous generation they haven't labeled them on

The hardware itself so if you need to know what the arm here you go now inside will find all of our essential accessories including our power adapter the great thing about the power adapter here is that this is a fast charger so with 15 minutes of charge you can get 2 hours of battery life of your Chromebook the other great thing about the new Chromebook pixel is that it charges via USB C which can support up to 100 watts and as you know USB C is a reversible connector type that can support both power 4k video as well as data now the design of this

Power adapter is actually very similar to the last generation we have our folding prongs we also have our bun down here for releasing that so when we release that we can pull it out and then you can add your extension cable to extend the range of your power adapter from the wall alright so let's go ahead and lift the lid for the first time and as it normally should do it should boot up right away as soon as you open it up so you can see just how quickly that booted up so the first thing I need to do is set this up so we're going to go with English United States our keyboard

Is the US and we're going to login with my wireless network we're going to agree to our Terms and service and now it's going to install any updates so once the updates are complete I just need to log in with my Google account all right so we're all set to go since I've logged in with my Google accounts already transferred all my previous settings from my previous Chromebook pixel so that's kind of nice and of course if you're not familiar with the Chromebook pixel there's a little tutorial here that'll explore how to use it

Now the new Chromebook pixel looks very similar to the previous generation but there are some design changes one of them is the coloring so the coloring obviously is lighter this time it's actually very similar to Apple Space Gray but once again we have this all aluminum unibody construction which looks really nice it's more angular than a lot of laptops which are tapered so it looks a little more industrial a little more sturdy and definitely really impressive and unique in the world of laptops today and it remains one of my favorite laptop designs on the market

Taking a closer look at our hardware once again we have a twelve point eight five inch display with a three by two aspect ratio which is really geared toward web content so it's really geared toward web so again this is really custom fitted for Chrome OS the resolution once again is 2560 by 1700 at 239 PPI which is a bit better than the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display again this is a IPS display so it looks great off access and we do have an anti-glare coating on the display but more importantly this is a multi-touch display so you can actually

Interact with this display now compared to the previous generation this display is no sleep better with much better color gamut deeper contrast more vivid colors it's also cooler so it's not as warm and washed out as the previous generation which I really didn't know it had an issue until I compared it to the new one the keyboard has also been slightly updated once again we have backlighting with adaptive brightness the layout is the same but the top row of keys have been redesigned to be more integral with the rest of the keyboard the functions up top include back and

Forward for navigating through webpages refresh for refreshing webpages we have full screen mode we have this overview to see all your open windows then we have our brightness as well as our vine controls and the power button the multi-touch trackpad has also been updated here this time with more of a glassy surface that resembles the MacBook as opposed to the more rubbery plasticky surface of the previous generation now hidden in the edge to edge glass bezel at the top we'll find a 720p HD wide-angle camera with blue glass for filtering the light now right

Next to that is an LED indicator as well as an ambient light sensor for adjusting the brightness of the display and the keyboard now the other big story with the pixel 2 is the new type-c connector which you can find on the left hand and right hand side so this is used to both power the computer you get a 60 watt power adapter which supports fast charging at least the battery supports fast charging this can also support 4k display output and 10 gig data transfer speeds also on the left side are two USB 3.0 ports as well as a headphone jack now on the right side you'll find the

Other USBC connector which again can be used to power the computer so you can plug it in on either side and then you have an SDXC card slot now if we compare the i/o to the previous generation chromebook you can see we have a dedicated power port instead of a USB see we still had two USB 3.0 ports but we also had a display output which is now filled by the USBC connector on the right side the previous generation just had a SDXC card slot which is kind of moved down here on the newer one and on the front you'll find the thumbnail work for lifting up the lid of the

Display and once again the hinges nicely weighted so you can lift up the lid without lifting up the computer now speaking of that hinge once again it's all metal you can see your chrome branding toward the back now it has been slightly redesigned from the previous generation this time it's a little simpler the bottom of the Chromebook pixel to looks very tidy here there are no exposed fasteners at all everything is kind of hidden behind these rubber feet now these rubber feet are quite a bit bigger than the ones from the previous generation but again it

Provides a lot more protection for the bottom of your computer now one of the fun aspects from the original Chromebook pixel was the LED strip on the back which is kind of its signature so again it returns with a new pixel to the LED looks a little darker here at least the lens of the LED looks darker compared to the previous generation buts it been expanded with additional capability so one of them is that you can double tap the back of the display and it will actually tell you your battery status now when you're charging and you double tap those lights will strobe and when

It's fully charged it will strobe in green now when the display is open you'll see the four Google colors this is a little different from the previous generation which had a strawberry blue light instead and once again our favorite Easter egg from the previous generation Chromebook is returning here I have to do is input the Konami code on your keyboard and you get a light show from the LED so once again that's up up down down left right left right B a now we are running pretty high-end mobile processors in this Chromebook so of course we do have fans which breathe

Through the keyboard also coming through the keyboard are the stereo speakers now unfortunately I don't think they sound really good other kind of tinny kind of high-pitched but they are loud and they're pretty clear but unfortunately they tend to crackle at their top-end so let's go and take a listen to see how they sound USB type-c is a new connector that allows us to deliver power data display over one connector one cable and one port it's about the same size of the microUSB connector but it's good for up to 100 watts super high-speed data and

Allows you to output 4k display over now using Chrome OS on the pixel 2 is very similar to using Chrome OS on any other Chromebook but of course we have the benefit of a touchscreen so of course with the touch screen I can just tap the icon to bring up the window if you're not familiar with Chrome OS it's very similar to using a Chrome browser so for example when they bring up one of these icons here that really just bringing up tabs or windows within Chrome browser now with this multi-touch trackpad you can actually use a four finger gesture to get this overview of all your open

Windows so again you can just swipe up here you also have a dedicated key for that function now if you're within a window you can maximize it by again hitting that full-screen key on the keyboard of course you can also just minimize your windows here so you can see your desktop and you can bring them for it again just by tapping the icons and all the windows that are active are lit so you can see right below those icons you see these little indicators which indicate that those particular pages are open and ready to be viewed now in the lower left you can see we

Have our app drawer very similar to an Android device so for example if you want to end goggle photos your shelf I have to do is drag and drop it or you can right-click using a two finger gesture here to pin to shelf and then you can move this around by tapping and holding on it you can right-click on it to unpin it and answer I think you can also select Auto hide shelf so this will hide the shelf whenever you bring up an app like YouTube so if you move away from the shelf it'll hide when you move back to it it'll come back for it now you can

Also swipe up from the bottom here to hide the shelf and swipe up again to deactivate that now I also have voice control in here I have to do is bring up the after and say ok Google what's the weather like tomorrow in Rochester Hills Michigan tomorrow's forecast for Rochester Hills is 53 degrees with fog notes or you can also just tap the cert key to bring up your app launcher along with the search utility now Melora right you'll find your notification center this is where you'll see all your notifications from Google+ Twitter or all the apps that support the sort of

Feature within Chrome OS and you will see some of your Google now cards not all of them and you have your settings here you can clear them all and you can meet your notifications we also have our system tray here which allows us to adjust our volume you can disable Bluetooth connect to wireless or manage your wireless settings and you can jump right to settings from here now the Settings panel is pretty comprehensive you can even adjust which search engine you want to use when you bring up search of course google is here by default which you have Yahoo Bing ask AOL live

Search Search me and more you can also go to advanced settings to get even more so you can adjust your date and time your privacy settings your Bluetooth settings passwords smart lock which is very interesting feature this will allow you to unlock your Chromebook and log into your account if you authorize certain devices nearby such as an Android phone now we do have a marketplace for apps here we just go to the web store now you can see we have apps extensions and themes so you can theme out your browser if you want which is pretty familiar to the Chrome browser

And I can select whether you want Chrome apps which wraps specifically designed for Chrome OS so you can see vine Vimeo and other things we also have web sites now web sites are basically websites that you can pin to Chrome OS like Outlook comm and quite a few others but perhaps the most interesting category here is available for Android see these are apps that are available on Android and Chrome OS so they're specifically designed to be dedicated apps as opposed to websites or that sort of thing so one of the apps I've downloaded is hangouts so as you can see here instead of a

Hangouts tab or window I have this dedicated app and icon which floats around on the desktop or above whatever I'm doing here so if I want to quickly access my hangouts all I have to do is tap this icon and look at my conversations here so I can tap this conversation and then it stays active when I move away from it so I can close that out or I can bring it up again like so and I get this little chat head which appears right there so if I go to minimize that it stays in the background while I do other things and I can jump right back to it and anytime I get a new

Notification the message will pop out or I'll see a little indicator telling me that I appending messages now as you can see in this full-screen view I have nothing but the website it hides everything else and if I want to gain access to that I just take my cursor up to the top or to the bottom so with this touch screen I can scroll up you can see I have kinetic scrolling I can also pinch in and out to zoom in on my text and everything is really smooth and quick and of course I can also use my trackpad now as I said in my original pixel review I'm not going to

Say anything that people haven't already said about the pixel which is that it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for most users because the operating system limits what you can do with it now it's a great operating system I really like chromeless especially if you're heavily invested in Google or you just spend most of your time on the web it's a fantastic operating system completely trouble-free robust and secure but in the end all this high-end and expensive hardware is really unnecessary for powering Chrome OS you're not going to

See huge benefits here but of course this is a smooth fantastic operating computer beautiful display definitely the best display you're going to get on any Chromebook which is a big deal I think so maybe that's the biggest reason to purchase it if you really want to use Chrome OS but I really think this is geared toward Googlers or people who work at Google or developers who really want to work with a quality product and not one of the cheap $200 laptops that are out there but ultimately this is a beautiful piece of hardware with a great display and a great design so that's

Going to do for me in this video thanks for watching and I'll see you again in the next one

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