Google Pixel 2015 Review – Neat update for expensive Chromebook




The Chromebook Pixel is the best laptop you will not buy. The device is full of good qualities, such as the fine screen with 3: 2 ratio and a high resolution, excellent keyboard, the trackpad and the fine solid, stylish body. Compared to the previous model, the battery life has improved and the pixel can compete with the best ultrabooks. The processor is fast, there is enough memory and provide two USB ports c enough connectivity options. Problematic remains the presence of Chrome OS, which makes the whole a schizophrenic combination. How good the hardware is that you build around it, this operating system is designed for low cost systems. If you only use a browser, its use is limited to relatively minor applications, and there is simply not enough for $ 999 to pay.

Good housing
Excellent keyboard and trackpad
Long battery life
Two USB ports c
Price in combination with Chrome OS
Only 32GB EMMC / no Removable Storage
Tweakers zegt: 7
Price for publication: € 886, –
Tested version: Google Chromebook Pixel (2015) Ci5, 8GB, 32GB
In 2013, Google surprised friend and foe with the announcement of his own laptop. Mobile area were all Nexus devices, but in doing so it went for phones and tablets that were made clear by, for example Samsung, LG and Motorola. Pixels as the notebook is called, is designed entirely by Google and is also emphatically as Google device pushed forward.

At the same time Google focuses Pixel at a specific audience. With the laptop, the company wants to show how an ideal laptop with Chrome OS should have to look in his eyes, but it also wants developers to get started with technology that you do not see many other Chromebooks. In 2013, for example, was a high-resolution touchscreen. The aim of Google is that going to make the developers web apps that use that technology. Google also wants to show that its Chrome OS does not have to serve the lower end of the market but is mature enough for premium products. This combination of ideal laptop and new technology that loosens the Pixel is extremely expensive compared with other Chromebooks.

Google Chromebook PixelGoogle Chromebook PixelGoogle Chromebook Pixel
With the 2015 version of the Pixel will Google continue on the same path. Although the dollar price has been reduced from 1299 to 999 dollars, 883 euros converted, but that’s still more than the price of alternative Chromebooks, which fluctuates on average around 300 euros.

Although we have now further two years since the launch of the original model is at first sight very little to change the Pixel. For detailed discussion of the appearance, we also refer to the review as: Google Pixel: a notebook of extremes .

Google Chromebook PixelGoogle Chromebook Pixel
What remains is the solid aluminum housing and the screen is still a touch 12.85 “panel with an aspect ratio of 3: 2 and a resolution of 2560×1700 pixels In addition, the model still weighs 1.5 kilograms and therefore is not. only a heavyweight among the Chromebooks, but also relative to ultrabooks. That is certainly a drawback of this laptop. That the two Pixel laptops seem almost identical, does not mean there are no differences. They are there enough on closer inspection.

Google Chromebook PixelGoogle Chromebook Pixel
Keyboard and trackpad

One of the most striking differences concerning the trackpad. Which is not black, but gray, like the rest of the housing. The soft finish has been replaced by glass, making the trackpad now looks the same as that of the manufacturer with the fruit logo. The trackpad has thus become somewhat smoother, but the effect is just as fine. It is one of the finest trackpads that we used and Chrome OS can smoothly handle gestures like two-finger scrolling and two-finger swipe for ‘page’. The advantage of not using the black finish is that there are no grease stains are visible on the surface.

Even when the keyboard has made a change. The top set of keys and escape with volume and page control, was with the old model a continuous row of touch buttons. That row of keys has been replaced by regular keyboard keys with the same features. It makes working with it finer; The buttons now have the same fine travel and feedback as the other and not the stiff attack fingertip. The backlight will turn on as a user if you keep your hands above the keyboard, thanks to the presence of a proximity sensor on the trackpad.

Less obvious, but no less fun, the changes in the light bar, the slot with colored LEDs in the lid. This shows not the blue, Knight Rider-like glow that turns red when the battery runs down. By default, now the blue, red, yellow and green LEDs visible and the separation between the colors is a lot clearer than the older model. A cool feature is that you can tap with your finger on the cover if the laptop is closed. The LED lights will then in yellow indicates the remaining battery life.

For further outward changes we need to turn the laptop. The 2013 version of the Pixel had a rubber square in each corner in which the laptop rested. Google has changed this into two strips along its entire length with four strips which now supports the laptop. This should better protect the underside of the Pixel.

Google Chromebook PixelGoogle Chromebook Pixel
USB c generation 1

2015 Pixel has twice USB c. Useful with this connector is that it can be used to rap loading the laptop with the 60W-charger and that it is reversible. It is USB 3.1 generation 1 and generation 2 not so speed gains books we own business. The velocity remains at 5Gbit / s, as in USB 3.0. However, it can be used via c-type verloopjes for the video signal over HDMI, DisplayPort and D-Sub. The display port of the 2013-pixel is also disappeared in the 2015 version. Luckily, Google has chosen two connections. You owe it to the laptop drawers, you can use the other jack for video and other applications.

In addition, two regular USB 3.0 ports available. So even without gender can all continue to use your USB accessories. The presence of these gates also does have the effect that the laptop could not be thinner. USB c is not common, but that will soon change. At the Computex trade show in Taiwan in early June, hardware manufacturers already showed a great range of laptops, motherboards and other products with the connection.

In addition, the Pixel 2015 also has a SD card reader and a combined audio input and output.

The processor

Under the hood we might see the biggest change; Core i5-3427U Intel Ivy Bridge generation has given way to the Core i5-5200U of Broadwell series. The latter has a higher clock speed, 2.2 vs. 1.8GHz, while the TDP is reduced from 17 to 15W. So we can expect better specifications and a longer battery life.

Performance is measured to run Chrome OS by Kraken.

Kraken 1.1
System Name Processor In milliseconds, lower is better
Chromebook Pixel 2015 Core i5-5200U ** 1216
Chromebook Pixel Core i5-3427U *** 1769
Chromebook 14 Celeron 2955U ***** 2734
Toshiba Chromebook Celeron 2955U ***** 2736
Dell Chromebook 11, 3120 Celeron N2840 ******* 4109
Based on the results of JavaScript benchmark, the performance is quite improved. 2015 The Pixel is a great distance the fastest Chromebook. Results at Peacekeeper from Futuremark show a similar list view .

Battery life

Will the performance gain associated with an increase in battery life? The battery life of the original pixel was unimpressive; it was one of the downsides. We have launched the browser test to see how it stands now.

Battery test browsing 2013 (180cd / m²)
System Name Processor Battery capacity In minutes, higher is better
Chromebook Pixel 2015 Core i5-5200U 72Wh ******* 10u30m
Toshiba Chromebook Celeron 2955U 52Wh ***** 8u13m
Dell Chromebook 11, 3120 Celeron N2840 43Wh ***** 7u16m
Chromebook 14 Celeron 2955U 37Wh ***** 7u12m
Chromebook Pixel Core i5-3427U 59Wh *** 4u22m
The battery life has progressed by leaps and bounds. Where are we then still could not record 4.5 hours, the Google laptop keeps it 10 hours and 30 minutes. This laptop beats not only Chromebooks considerably slower processors, but the model can also compete with the best ultrabooks and MacBooks from Apple.

Google does not increase the battery life magically. The manufacturer has just built a lot stronger battery with a capacity of 72Wh. In combination with the fuel-efficient CPU and, presumably, optimizations of Chrome OS, this leads to the great battery life. We will retest the old Pixel with the latest Chrome OS version to see what the impact is of the software optimizations.

Charging time
System Name Battery capacity In minutes, the loader, lower is better
Apple MBA 13 “, 2014, OS X 54WH **** 134
Chromebook Pixel 2015 72Wh **** 137
HP Chromebook 14 37Wh ***** 140
Apple MBP 13 “, 2015, OS X 75Wh ***** 157
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 43Wh ***** 157
Apple MacBook, 2015, OS X 40Wh ***** 163
Dell XPS 13 (fhd, 2015) 53Wh ****** 185
Chromebook Pixel 59Wh ******* 215
Despite the large battery charging time is fine and this is thanks to the 60W charger. Who was so worried that the new USB standard to longer load times would be disappointed.

Pixel has 8GB of memory, which is a nice large quantity, so that you can open tabs enough without the machine is slow. The storage quantity is still only 32GB, provided by a Kingston-EMMC module. This is the result of Google Chrome OS philosophy that must be used in conjunction with online storage.

Besides the processor, memory and battery capacity, the network had a makeover. The Pixel had a 2×2 network for good reception, but now also has support for Wi-ac, the youngest generation WiFi, with support for higher bandwidth and better range. At the same time, there is Bluetooth 4.0 support.

The screen

The display can radiate according to Google 400cd / m², but we did not go beyond 322cd / m². That is less bright than the 2013 model, which does not come to 400cd / m ², but around 390cd / m ² fluctuates and thus comes close. We have both models tested under the same conditions at the same time.

Google Chromebook Pixel 2015 screenGoogle Chromebook Pixel 2015 screen
The screen tests, we see come to dominate the blue and green when displaying white, as lighter whites appear. The deviation is slightly stronger than the model from 2013 and return to the screen is less. However, the color deviation less; colors are reproduced faithfully in this pixel than the previous Pixel Chromebook. The screen of the 2015 version of the Pixel is due to the resolution sharp and the color reproduction is good, but the clarity of us had more liked.


Google has maintained most of the good features of the original pixel and some new ones added. Especially as battery life is concerned, the huge improvement and load goes smoothly. With two USB ports c laptop connections is what concerns tasty versatile and prepared for the future. The presence of the ‘old’ USB ports means that even without verloopjes current accessories can be used, already prevented the use of the ancient gates that Google could make the laptop thinner and it’s no lightweight.

Biggest stumbling block and Chrome OS remains in combination with only 32GB of storage. As described earlier, a browser operating system its advantages, but it is still “only” a browser. A small amount is justifiable, but if you’re willing to pay $ 1000 for a laptop which is using only a browser, you have to be sure that you allows the feet. Adding an SSD to extend the memory and to install another operating system is not there. That said, there must be a group of users who complete the feet can with Chrome OS and who is willing to dip into their pockets to use the software in an excellent high-end laptop. That group had only been much higher if the price around, say, was located 500 to 600 euros.

We give the Pixel 2015, a broad enough because that Google has certainly earned his improvements, but would not it be nice if you could put an SSD in this machine and could choose the operating system.


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