Google launches Pixel phone and high-end Chromebook

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Google launches Pixel phone and high-end Chromebook
Google's new Pixel 2 phones

AI-driven hardware refresh.

Google has launched a new range of devices that it said feature an artificial intelligence inspired design.

These include the Pixel 2 Android smartphone, which will come with a preview of Google Lens that uses AI to provide visual clues for objects via the camera, similar to Samsung's Bixby personal digital assistant.

Pixel 2 also sports an upgraded camera that uses machine learning for computational photography, and updates to the Google Assistant, which can now understand more commands to control the phone.

Google is releasing two models of the Pixel 2, boasting 5-inch and 6-inch OLED screens with resolutions of 1920 x 1080 and 2880 x 1440, respectively.

The compnay has followed Apple and removed the 3.5mm phone jack from the Pixel 2, meaning headphones need to be connected through Bluetooth wireless or the USB-C connector.

The devices are built around Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 chipset, and both have 4 gigabytes of RAM. The Pixel 2 comes with 64GB or 128GB of storage; the 5-inch Pixel 2 has a 2700 milliampere hour battery, and the bigger model has a 3520 mAh power source, with both being non-removable.

A new 12-megapixel camera with optical image stabilisation, phase detection autofocus and f/1.8 lens is also included.

Google is promising security updates for Android on the Pixel 2 devices for three years after launch, and the devices can be pre-ordered in Australia from October 20. Prices start at $1079 for the smaller version and $1399 for the larger Pixel 2.

Pixelbook with 4-in-1 design

The online search and advertising giant also released a new "high performance" Intel-based Chromebook, called Pixelbook, that runs the Android-based Chrome OS operating system.

Pixelbook has a foldable keyboard, allowing it to be used as both a laptop and a tablet, along with a pressure-sensitive 12.3-inch touch screen and up to 512GB of storage.

Google Pixelbook

The device weighs in at 1.1kg. 

Google promises up to ten hours of battery life from the Pixelbook, with 15 minutes of rapid charging via USB-C giving the laptop two hours of battery life.

Australian pricing is yet to be confirmed, but the Pixelbook starts at US$999 for 128GB storage in the United States, and tops out at US$1649 for 512GB.

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