While many tech users were looking forward to the unveiling of Google’s latest flagship smartphones, there were a few other devices announced during today’s Google Event. Google is adding a new Google Home Mini and Max, a new Pixelbook (complete with Pixelbook Pen), Pixel Buds, and an updated Daydream View headset to their device lineup. Google was focused on reiterating that you can interact with Google Assistant on these new devices to quickly get the information you need and help you get through your daily routines. Read on for a brief overview of Google’s newly announced devices.
Google Home Mini and Max
Google Home was first announced at Google I/O last year and released in the fall. Now two new devices join the Google Home family: the Google Home Mini and Google Home Max. The Google Home Mini is a small, donut sized assistant speaker to deliver hands-free portable help around the house. Its custom fabric is available in Chalk, Charcoal, and Coral. With 360-degree sound and far-field microphones, the Google Home Mini leverages Google Assistant to answer questions, enjoy music, entertainment, and control your various compatible smart home devices. In addition, the Home Mini can differentiate and recognize up to six different voices with Voice Match, allowing you to customize the experience further.
Google Home Max, on the other hand, is a monster of a speaker which utilizes Smart Sound to analyze the room you’re using it in to deliver a more accurate listening experience. Like the Home Mini, it also includes far-field microphones and Google Assistant.
The Google Home Mini is super affordable as well, with an MSRP of only $49USD. In Canada, the Google Home Mini is available for pre-order today for $79CAD on The Google Store, Best Buy Canada, and select retailers. The Google Home Max will be coming at a later date and will run at $399USD.
After recent rumours, the Pixelbook is official and once again puts ChromeOS in a high end, high-performance laptop form factor. At 10.3mm “thin,” the Pixelbook has a 4-in-1 design, 12.3″ high-res display, 7th Gen Intel Core processors, up to 500GB of storage, and a backlit keyboard. The new Chromebook features up to 10 hours of battery and a quick charging for an additional 2 hours of use after a 15-minute charge. With offline and Google Play support, not only can you get your work done virtually anywhere but you can also enjoy apps like Netflix or Adobe Lightroom to further leverage the power of the device. If you also pick up a Pixel phone, a new feature called Instant Tethering can be set up to automatically connect and use your phone’s data when Wi-Fi isn’t an option.
Google also introduced the Pixelbook Pen which offers a “natural writing and drawing experience” with tilt support, pressure sensitivity, and “virtually” no lag. The Pixelbook Pen also features intuitive Google Assistant support through the use of a button which, when held, allows you to circle text or images on the Pixelbook screen and get more information.
Pixelbook will be available in three configurations starting at $999USD/$1299CAD, so you can choose the processing power, memory, and storage you want. The Pixelbook Pen will run you another $99USD/$129CAD. Both will be available for pre-order starting today.
Also rumoured was the fact that Google Assistant functionality could be coming to headphones and earbuds. The Google Pixel Buds are a pair of wireless earbuds that are optimized for Google Assitant. Designed with an intuitive, one-touch control which allows you to answer calls or adjust volume, the Pixel Buds also offer one-touch Google Assistant functionality. Users can use Google Assistant to easily ask for instructions, play music, send a text, or other hands-free functions. With up to 5 hours of listening on a single charge, the charging case allows you to extend that to up to 24 hours. Unlike many other wireless earbuds, the Pixel Buds have an adjustable fabric loop that keeps them secured in your ears.
The Pixel Buds also leverage Pixel owners with real-time translation via Google Translate, as well as easy one-touch pairing with Pixel devices or other phones running Android Nougat.
Pixel Buds will be available later this year for $159/$219CAD in Just Black, Kinda White, and Almost Blue.
Google Daydream View
Google’s Daydream View mobile virtual reality headset is also getting an update. Compatible with Daydream ready devices like the Pixel 2, Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+/Note8, LG V30, and the Moto Z, the Daydream View lets you immerse yourself in VR games as well as experience sports, live events, and more in full 360-degree panoramic view. The updated headset features high-performance lenses for better image clarity and a wider field of view. It also comes in three premium two-tone fabric finishes: Fog, Charcoal, and Coral.
The new Google Daydream View is available for pre-order today for $99USD/$139CAD on the Google Store and select retailers. Additionally, from now until the end of the year, if you live in the U.S., U.K., or Korea, your purchase of Daydream View will come with a bundle of games.