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Pixelbook

by Google Inc.

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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.

Sink Cap.Voltage (V)Current (A)
5V5.082.89
6V6.112.89
7V7.092.91
8V8.072.9
9V9.082.9
10V10.12.9
11V11.062.9
12V12.082.9
13V13.092.91
14V14.082.91
15V15.042.91
16V16.082.67
17V17.072.55
18V18.092.42
19V19.062.29
20V20.072.16

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.

Port1 Plot

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 variable power supply of 14.25 to 63 watts range (4.75-21 volts @ 3 amps) for charging. Note some compliance failures were observed.

Power Capabilities

Parameter

GetCapabilities

PD_Power_as_Sink

 

Supply Type #1

Fixed

Voltage #1

0x64(5V)

OP Current #1

0x32(.5A)

Supply Type #2

Battery

Min Voltage #2

0x5F(4.75V)

Max Voltage #2

0x1A4(21V)

Op Power #2

0x3C(15W)

Supply Type #3

Variable

Min Voltage #3

0x5F(4.75V)

Max Voltage #3

0x1A4(21V)

Op Current #3

0x12C(3A)

Result Summary

Sl No

Test ID

Test Name

Test Result

1

TDA.2.1.1.1

BMC-PHY-TX-EYE

PASS

2

TDA.2.1.1.2

BMC-PHY-TX-BIT

PASS

3

TDA.2.1.2.2

BMC-PHY-RX-INT-REJ

FAIL

4

TDA.2.1.2.1

BMC-PHY-RX-BUSIDL

FAIL

5

TDA.2.1.3.1

BMC-PHY-TERM

PASS

7

TDA.2.2.1

BMC-PROT-SEQ-GETCAPS

FAIL

10

TDA.2.2.5

BMC-PROT-DISCOV

FAIL

12

TDA.2.2.7

BMC-PROT-BIST-NOT-5V-SRC

PASS

14

TDA.2.3.1.1

POW-SRC-LOAD-P-PC

FAIL

15

TDA.2.3.1.2

POW-SRC-LOAD-CP-ACC

FAIL

19

TDB.2.2.9

BMC-PROT-GSC-REC

FAIL

BMC Eye Diagram


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.

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