5 Key Announcements At The October 'Made By Google' Event

The Latest From Google

On the anniversary of Google's introduction of the Pixel smartphone line, the company on Wednesday held its fall event to show off its newest hardware. The announcements included follow-ups to the original Pixel devices—the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL—as well as the first expansion of the Google Home lineup, with the debut of the Home Mini and Home Max. Google also unveiled a new highly portable Chrome OS laptop, the Pixelbook.

In the following slides, the CRN Test Center has the details on Google's five biggest announcements from its Oct. 4 hardware event.

Pixel 2 XL

Google's new flagship smartphone, the Pixel 2 XL, will feature the sort of design that aims to rival that of Apple's iPhone X and Samsung's Galaxy S8. The Pixel 2 XL includes a 6-inch display with a minimal bezel, meaning that the screen mostly covers the front of the device. The display uses OLED technology for enhanced colors and contrast and has QHD+ (2,880 x 1,440) resolution. The Pixel 2 XL comes with a single 12.2-megapixel camera with features including optical image stabilization, along with ruggedness features such as IP67 water resistance and Gorilla Glass 5. The device will also have a large battery (3520mAh), 4 GB of RAM and Qualcomm's top mobile processor, the Snapdragon 835. The Pixel 2 XL is available for pre-order now, starting at $849 for a model with 64 GB of storage. Shipping begins Oct. 19.

Pixel 2

The main differences between the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are around the display and the battery. The Pixel 2 has a 5-inch display with a larger bezel above and below the screen and includes FHD (1,920 x 1,080) resolution. The display is also OLED, however, and most of the other specs and features are the same as on the Pixel 2 XL--identical camera (12.2-megapixel with optical image stabilization), water resistance (IP67), processor (Snapdragon 835) and RAM (4 GB). The battery is one exception, as it is a good deal smaller at 2700mAh. The Pixel 2 pre-orders have also already begun with shipping to begin Oct. 19. The device starts at $649 for the 64 GB model.


Google debuted a new laptop, the Pixelbook, which the company says is the first laptop to come with the Google Assistant built in. The Pixelbook includes a 12.3-inch display with 2,400 x 1,600 resolution, and the display can fold all the way back for use in tablet mode. The laptop is one of the thinnest on the market with a thickness of 0.4 of an inch, and it is also very light at 2.4 pounds. The Pixelbook will run Google's Chromebook operating system, Chrome OS, but Google says users will be able to store files on the local hard drive; internal storage options will include 128 GB, 256 GB or 512 GB. The laptop will offer choices between 8 GB and 16 GB of RAM, and also between seventh-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors. Additionally, the laptop will work with a new digital pen, the Pixelbook Pen, which is sold separately.

Google says the Pixelbook will have a starting price of $999. Pre-orders have begun, and the laptop will be shipping as of Oct. 31. The Pixelbook Pen is priced at $99.

Google Home Mini

In a follow-up to its original voice-controlled smart speaker, the Google Home, Google on Wednesday introduced the Home Mini. Aimed at competing with Amazon's Echo Dot, the Home Mini has a diameter of 3.86 inches and height of 1.65 inches. Like the original Home, the Home Mini is powered by the Google Assistant and has comparable features overall; the main difference is that the Mini comes with a less-powerful speaker and is enclosed entirely in fabric. The Google Home Mini is priced at $49 and is available for pre-order now, with shipping to begin on Oct. 19.

Google Home Max

Google is also looking to compete on the higher end of the smart speaker market with companies such as Apple and Sonos. The Google Home Max includes dual 4.5-inch woofers and is 20 times as loud as the original Google Home, the company said. Google also said that the Home Max can automatically adapt the sound to the environment--a capability that will improve over time, the company said. The Home Max is powered by Google Assistant and works with music services including Spotify, and the speaker has an input option so that users can plug in external devices such as record players. Notably, the speaker can be placed to stand up either vertically or horizontally. The Google Home Max is priced at $399 and will be available in December.