When Google launched its Pixelbook in October 2017, it completely changed the game for dedicated ChromeOS laptops. Now, one year later, there is a much more competitive Chromebook market. With the absence of a Pixelbook 2 at the Made by Google event, can the year-old Chromebook retain its crown?
It’s been a busy year for Chromebook launches. Since the Pixelbook brought sleek design and unmatchable performance into this market, rival manufacturers have been scrambling to catch up. Long gone are the days of the budget Chromebooks for schools we saw when the concept first launched. We are now entering the age of the premium Chromebook. These new devices are typically priced anywhere from $350 to $1,000, and at that level are not only taking on other Chromebooks, but Windows and MacOS notebooks too.
The competition is hotter than ever
At IFA 2018 in Berlin, Acer its launched its new 14-inch Chromebook, the 514. Whilst it is a stretch to call this direct competition for the Pixelbook given the massive price difference, it is clear that Acer thinks this can compete at the lower end of this market. The device looks great, with an IPS touchscreen with a 1920x1080 resolution, HDR support and USB Type-C connections.
Around the same time that Acer revealed its new Chromebook, Dell entered the race with its Inspiron Chromebook 14. The 14-inch 2-in-1 launches this month and at $600, it is clearly aiming for a slice of that premium Chromebook pie.
Then you’ve got Lenovo’s Yoga Chromebook, probably the only device that can compete with the Pixebook from a design perspective. The large, 15.6-inch device is not only the world’s first 4K Chromebook, but it packs an 8th-generation Intel iCore i5 processor and 8 GB of RAM. At $699, it is also cheaper than the Pixelbook.
Just this week, Asus announced its new 14-inch Chromebook, the catchily titled, C423. Inside is an Intel Celeron processor and the 1080p touchscreen display is powered by Pentium 4200. There’s no word on pricing yet, but this will be a mid-range device closer the Acer Chromebook 14 than the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook.
Then we have the newly announced HP Chromebook x360. Another 14-incher, but this thing is the thinnest Chromebook HP has ever made and HP does thin well. There’s the choice of either an 8th-generation Intel i3 or i5 combined with 8 GB of RAM and a Full HD display. Prices start at $599.
With no Pixelbook 2 in sight, is Google about to lose the top spot?
Now that the Made by Google event is over and the rumored Pixelbook 2 was nowhere to be seen, can Google retain its title of the king of Chromebooks? The company could, of course, reveal a Pixelbook 2 later in the year, but it seems unlikely now that this major event has been and gone.
Despite the increased competition, the Pixelbook is still king of the Chromebooks in my book. Sure, it comes at a premium price, but it is one of the few times in the tech business that it’s worth plumping for the top of the market. These things also hold their value remarkably well.
What do you think about the lack of a Pixelbook 2 at the Made by Google event? Let us know in the comments below.