If we sum up the complete story in a few words, there would be two best things about Google’s new Chromebook, the Pixelbook Go. The first is the keyboard, which is delightful to type on and still amazingly quiet. The second is the battery life, which is much better than any Intel laptop we’ve reviewed ever. Keep reading to see the full review of Google Pixelbook Go.
Those are the best things, but there are lots of useful things, too. It has a simple, clear design, best speakers, and a solid trackpad. The model we are examining, which has an Intel Core i5 Y-series processor, is fast and active. Practically everything about this laptop makes we want to suggest it as the go-to, default Chromebook for everyone.
Everything, that is, besides the price. It starts at $649 and the model we are examining is $849. Similar Chromebooks cost at least a hundred bucks less for comparable features. So with the Pixelbook Go, what are you paying for?
Review of Google Pixelbook Go
The Pixelbook Go is a good-looking 13.3-inch laptop with an understated, neat design. Or at least, the black model we are using is understated; it will also finally be available in a color Google calls “Not Pink,” that has a soft pink finish with a glossy, coral base. It’s not much distinct looking from a MacBook Pro if you could have one of those in black.
It weighs 2.3 pounds and seems strong and reliable credit goes to a magnesium frame. Many Chromebooks have plastic frames, so a bit of what you’re paying for with the Pixelbook Go is the materials.
Three out of the four Pixelbook Go models come with a 1920 x 1080, 16:9 LCD touchscreen. The bezels on the top and bottom of the screen are on the large side, but the screen itself has much bright and doesn’t cause any objections. Truly speaking, our only query is with that aspect ratio: We are not fans. We understand not everybody prefers the taller 3:2 aspect ratio on laptops, but even 16:10 would have seemed a little less restricted when we are browsing websites.
All Pixelbook Go models are fanless because all of them are powered by Intel Y-series chips. In fact, Google is using 8th Gen Intel chips rather than something fresher. That’s somewhat a cost-saving step, we guess, but the fact is we didn’t see any real problems with speed. We are experimenting with the mid-range model with the Core i5 and 8GB of RAM and have yet to find any actual retardation.
Battery life is also exceptional. We haven’t really noted Google’s claimed 12 hours of use, but we haven’t had any difficulties going through a full eight-hour workday. The Pixelbook Go is also capable of fast charging over either USB-C port, and in my test, we took it up from 0 to 35 percent in just 30 minutes. (Chrome OS still has some difficulties to work out, by the way: its time remaining estimate was continuously incorrect.) The USB-C ports also manage the common USB stuff, including video out, but they don’t support Thunderbolt 3.
Google got the already premium Pixelbook keyboard and emphasized on it a little, presenting the keys somewhat quieter. The trackpad below the keyboard is big, but not huge. Google has done a good job with palm rejection on it, too. Unluckily, the Pixelbook Go doesn’t have any kind of biometric authentication like a fingerprint sensor or face unlock.
One of the admirations that the Pixelbook Go works so great is that Google has simply decided to do less with it than it did with last year’s Pixel Slate tablet. That machine worked and failed so badly that Google eventually dropped its programs to make more Chrome OS-based tablets and just made this manageable laptop instead.
The main question with the Pixelbook Go for us is whether it can excuse its price as compared to other Chromebooks. We recently evaluated a half-dozen of them for our best Chromebooks article and noticed that everything in the $500-600 range is strangely comparable. One stood out for its screen and manufacturing quality, though, the Asus Chromebook Flip C434.
Good and Bad
The Google Pixelbook Go has an outstanding keyboard, great battery life, simple and neat design. While in the bad, it is costly as compared to its competitors, has no MicroSD storage expansion, and 16:9 screen can feel uncomfortable.
Specs of Pixelbook Go
Brief specifications are given below:
- Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core m3, i5, or i7
- RAM: 8GB / 16GB of RAM
- Storage: 64GB / 128GB / 256GB SSD
- Weight: 2.3 pounds (FHD)
- Thickness: 0.5 inches / 13.4 mm
- Battery: Claimed 12 hours, with fast charge
- Display: 13.3-inch, 16:9 touchscreen; HD (1920 x 1080) or 4K (3840 x 2160)
- Camera: Front-facing 2MP, 60 fps, 1080p video
- Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2x2 (MIMO), dual-band (2.4 GHz, 5.0 GHz)
- Bluetooth: 4.2