|Average Battery Life (in hours)||24 Hours|
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Google Pixelbook Pen
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- A more helpful pen. The smart, responsive pen for your Google Pixelbook
- Get quick answers. Pixel book Pen works with the Google Assistant
- Make your mark. Feels like a real pen, so you can write, draw, and design naturally
- Take Notes Anytime. Instantly capture an Idea or a sketch using Google keep without unlocking your pixel book
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From the manufacturer
The only pen that works with the Google Assistant.
Just press and hold the pen’s button, then circle images or text on your Pixelbook. It’s a fast, smart way to get answers and help with tasks.
Write, draw and design naturally.
With pressure sensitivity, tilt support and virtually no lag, Pixelbook Pen feels natural, like a pen on paper.
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A more helpful pen. The smart, responsive pen for your Google Pixelbook. Get quick answers. Pixelbook Pen works with the Google Assistant. Make your mark. Feels like a real pen, so you can write, draw, and design naturally. Take notes anytime. Instantly capture an idea or a sketch using Google Keep without unlocking your Pixelbook.
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Problem two: and possibly more important is the lack of functionality. I don't know why I would take my hands off the keyboard to pick up--first find, oh! there it is on the floor!!-- and engage the assistant feature, which works primarily with words I could much more quickly cut and paste to search for. In my normal work I have no idea why that would be useful. It took a while and a blog post how to figure out how to trick the Pixelboook into letting me access Andorid apps from my G Suite account, which I now know how to do using search. Few items really require the pen for optimum use. I have to say that I have had good use out of it with goth Google Keep and Squid, While I prefer Keep for notaking and sharing, Squid is very powerful for highlighting text in documentsand saving the results robustly. I've almost justified the cost of this product with that one function, but I don't think it is near enough at this time. And I haven't tried and drawing programs quite yet, since that is not my work, and I prefer to doodle with my spindle or yarn.
Ah Google, you always trick us into beta testing your half-baked ideas! That said, I love the Pixelbook and think it is worth every penny. I am a power user, I work full-time on my chromebook and I'm happy to have something much lighter to carry.
- Atrocious battery life. I hardly ever use mine and I already need to replace the battery 3.5 months into owning it. I've only used it maybe a dozen times, too, since I don't do a ton of drawing with it.
- Uses a stupid moon battery size (AAAA) that you won't use for anything else ever.
- Nowhere to store it on the pixelbook. Google sent me a free pen loop for it, unfortunately it's pretty terrible and I just took it right off. I appreciated the gesture but it wasn't any good. It really needs a way to solidly click into place here or something. As it goes, I keep it in a pen slot in the backpack I have that I carry the pixelbook in, so it's not the end of the world, but I'd probably use it more if I didn't have to go grab the backpack to have it.
- Its special feature is pretty gimmicky for most people. Some will probably have a use case for it, I did not. I played with it a handful of times and "huh that's kind of neat I guess" but it's not often that I want to google assistant something on my screen. I type 130wpm too so its utility to save on typing is a bit less for me unless i'm in tablet mode.
- Limited utility in general for most people for something that costs what it does
I know I listed a lot of downsides here for giving it 3 stars, but it still is a pretty good stylus, and some of the downsides aren't its fault exactly. Other people are going to be more its target market than me. The battery life is inexcusable though. For something that's supposed to be a year long battery life I shouldn't be getting constant "Stylus battery is low - Please replace the battery" warnings already, especially with my minimal use.
tl;dr - Solid stylus if you need a stylus, lousy battery life, no convenient storage.
Nevertheless, it feels like you're writing in a piece of paper in Squid. Let's hope in the future apps will improve the support for the Pixelbook Pen.
Also, I have an Ubuntu chroot using Crouton in my Pixelbook, and the pen works great in there too.
So I like working with a pen a lot, I prefer to use it for most everything rather than just writing and drawing. And when I use it for most everything, it drains the battery pretty quick. And when the battery weakens the pen doesn't work quite as well. I've been going through a battery every week, so I'm trying to wean myself off of using it so much for non-writing functions.
Also, it would have been really handy if Google had made the pen so it attaches to the computer because I keep losing it and it keeps rolling off the desk. I know I can buy a holder or jury-rig something, but for the amount of money I spent it sure would have been a nice touch to include it.
To be clear, I really do like the pen. Most of the time it works like a dream, it feels good in the hand, and it has a clean look. Even with the caveats above, I'm happy I bought it.
Top international reviews
- feels great to write with
- the assistant button is handy
- is well made
- extends the utility of your Pixelbook.
- rolls off of your workspace :/
- no replacement tips
- no way to turn it "off" when in your laptop bag
- really expensive for what it does
- not all drawing/writing apps offer low-latency performance
- need one more button
- the button it has should have been programmable, at least in certain apps.
Let's get this out of the way first, I use this pen a lot with my Pixelbook. Coming from the Samsung series of Note phones (and current Note 8 users), it's natural for me to use an active stylus like this pen.
I use it to write within Google keep, Squid, and Evernote, and to sketch with using SketchBook. In tablet mode, I enjoy swipe-typing with it, and I annotate many screenshots with it as well.
It runs on a single, AAAA battery, which I honestly haven't seen in any stores I've looked in - I ordered replacements from Amazon.
My first new battery lasted less than a week. The problem? It seemed to have been activated when it was in my laptop bag (perhaps the button was being pressed). This is annoying and I wish it had an on/off button somewhere.
Speaking of buttons, there's a single one on the side, which is used only to activate Google Assistant highlighting (circle a photo or text and Google will search it). When it works, it works well, but it's not programmable for use in other apps. This is a huge letdown as it would have been nice to add more functionality to the pen in drawing apps.
The pen itself is nice to hold and feels great when you're holding it. If you set it down, be prepared to have it fall off of your workspace because there's nothing to keep it from rolling away. Google has been offering a free pen loop for a limited time, but it really needed to be included in the packaging.
Writing performance is hit-and-miss depending on the app you're using. Squid works great, but other note taking apps have a lot of noticeable pen latency. It's up to the app developers to fix that.
There are a few other minor issues that Google needs to fix, like when you bring up a context menu using the pen it sometimes disappears before you can take the next action.
Overall, this is a good pen marred by several weak points. If it was 1/3 the price, I may be able to overlook these issues, but at a premium I do expect a premium experience.