I’ve been using a Pixelbook for several months now. I thought it was a more versatile, powerful alternative to a high end iPad. And that, for the most part, has been true.
I have a number of Android and Chrome apps from Netflix to a browser-based SSH client. The variances from a PC keyboard took a bit of getting used to, but it works as a laptop and tablet and can stand up to watch movies.
I don’t have the pen; the consensus seems to be you don’t need it. I haven’t used Google Assistant much but then again, I don’t use Cortana much either. I did get a USB-C hub.
I got a KVM switch so I have it connected to a PC keyboard and mouse and a 26 inch monitor.
I’ve been able to mount network shares on my NAS, SSH to Amazon servers, connect to a Windows 10 machine with Chrome Remote Desktop.
I’ve stuck with the “stable channel” for upgrades and never put it in developer mode because I want the security features and simplicity.
Project Crostini is a Linux container that allows Linux apps to be installed on the Chromebook like the popular Gimp image editor. You also get a Linux terminal window where you can do what you do at the Linux command line.
The ability to use it as a “Linux box” opens a whole new realm of possibilities not already solved by the Chrome browser, built-in apps and file manager, Google Drive and Google Suite, and Android apps.
It’s an incredibly powerful laptop weighing 2.4 pounds with not a lot of RAM or memory (in my case 8 gigs of RAM with a 256 gig solid drive).
It’s also usable offline, but definitely limited (but what computer isn’t these days?).
Chromebooks have come along way from just about the cheapest computer you could buy, good for surfing and email.