Google Doubles Down on USB Type-C with the Google Pixelbook
Google was the first to release a USB Power Delivery based device with the Google Chromebook Pixel (2015) which was also its first foray into its own Google designed Chromebook hardware product. While the high relative price point and lack of marketing limited the Google Chromebook Pixel (2015)'s commercial success, the Google Chromebook Pixel (2015) showed how Google could develop new hardware architectures based on new industry hardware standards.
With heavy advertising of the Google Pixelbook and promotion through multiple sales channels, Google is serious about changing people's initial perception of Chromebook's as an inexpensive browser based laptop used by students and casual users to that of a premium product that could rival those from Apple, Microsoft, etc.
We purchased the Google Pixelbook from Best Buy in Milpitas, California.
Google's hardware section at Best Buy is now as massive as those from Amazon although not yet the same size of Apple or Samsung's showcase area.
The Google Pixelbook has the same pricing as the Google Chromebook Pixel (2015), showing that Google has not abandoned the premium pricing positioning of its Chromebook's.
The Google Pixelbook box keeps the same Google styling as other Pixel products.
The Google Pixelbook comes with a 45W USB Power Delivery based USB Type-C charger which is less wattage than the Universal Type-C Charger, 60W needed by the Google Chromebook Pixel (2015).
The 45W USB Type-C charger supports 15 watts (5 volts @ 3 amps), 27 watts (9 volts @ 3 amps), 36 watts (12 volts @ 3 amps), 45 watts (15 volts @ 3 amps), and 45 watts (20 volts @ 2.25 amps).
The Google Pixelbook blends a smooth plastic material with its aluminum frame, a design element seen on other Pixel products, somehow making it work.
Using the USB Power Test App from Granite River Labs with the Granite River Labs USB Power Delivery Compliance C2 Tester, we generate the following test results for the Google Pixelbook to observe the power capabilities.
The USB Power Test App first negotiates a power contract emulating the Source to determine the Power Delivery Sink capabilities of the Google Pixelbook. The USB Power Test App then reports out the voltage and current supported by the Pixelbook for each of the Source PDO's advertised to the PC.
The USB Power Test App from Granite River Labs also produces a voltage, current trace plot which graphically shows the voltage and current requested by the Google Pixelbook for each advertised Source PDO throughout the power negotiation.
Using the USB Power Delivery Compliance C2 Tester from Granite River Labs to run just a subset of the full USB Power Delivery compliance test suite, we can verify that the Google Pixelbook supports both a fixed PDO of 2.5 watts (5 volts @ .5 amps) and programmable power from 14.25 watts to 63 watts (4.75-21 volts @ 3 amps) for charging. Note some compliance failures were observed.
Supply Type #1
OP Current #1
Supply Type #2
Min Voltage #2
Max Voltage #2
Op Power #2
Supply Type #3
Min Voltage #3
Max Voltage #3
Op Current #3
BMC Eye Diagram
We further verify using the GRL-USB-PD C2 Compliance Test Solution App to produce a load diagram which displays different voltage and current levels used by the Google Pixelbook for charging.