Google Pixelbook Go Evaluation: The Chromebook You Ought to Purchase

"From the excellent build quality to the impressive speakers, the Pixelbook Go is the best Chromebook you can buy."

  • Portable design

  • Bright, colorful display

  • The speakers are impressive

  • Outstanding battery life

  • Chunky bezels

  • No fingerprint scanner

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The Pixelbook was an ambitious laptop. Google followed that with the Pixel Slate 2-in-1 tablet, which was an even riskier venture.

The new Pixelbook Go? Not as much. It's a simple, small laptop that doesn't force Chrome OS to do something it isn't good at yet. You are right to call it safe.

Even so, this $ 649 Chromebook is the best you can buy.

Remarkably sophisticated

The original Pixelbook felt fresh. The unique blend of aluminum and glass, highlighted by the two-tone color scheme, was not a MacBook clone these days, like so many laptops. The design moved, your eye and hand were drawn to the different aspects of the device.

I can't say that about the Pixelbook Go. It is a flat design with very few decorations. With its solid color and subtle Google logo in the corner, the lid is very similar to last year's Pixel Slate. The form factor itself is also much more conventional. It has a standard 13.3-inch screen in pure clamshell design. While it has a touchscreen, the hinge does not turn all the way around. You cannot use the Pixelbook pen with it.

Riley Young / Digital Trends

While the design is much less adventurous than the original Pixelbook, the Go is just as sophisticated. It consists exclusively of a few pieces of magnesium, all of which are held together with as few plates as possible. It's only 0.5 inches thick and 2.3 pounds, and despite its portability, it is There are no signs of bending, creaking or bending. This cannot be said for most laptops starting at $ 649.

The most interesting design feature is the rib pattern along the bottom. I like the fluted look more than I thought. This is a smart way to easily carry the laptop while giving it a unique look. It is always appreciated.

I have two cattle with the design of the Pixelbook Go. The first is obvious and is one of my favorite cases: large bezels. They are thick, especially at the top where the webcam and Google Assistant microphones are located. Huge frames make the Go look dated, and alternatives like the new Samsung Chromebook 4+ and the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 have fixed this problem.

Riley Young / Digital Trends

Then there is the color. Only two are available, Just Black and Not Pink. They are both attractive, but they are polar opposites. The Just Black model looks too formal, while Not Pink is too loud. More variety would have been nice.

Some may be disappointed with the limited choice of ports, but two USB-C ports are enough for a laptop like this.

Your eyes have it

Screens are often the downfall of cheap laptops. Not so with the Pixelbook Go.

It has a glossy 1080p display that is colorful and bright. That's exactly what I want to see from an affordable laptop. It's a warmer hue than a Surface Pro or MacBook, but it's fun surfing the web, watching videos, and anything else you could do on a Chromebook.

Riley Young / Digital Trends

At 1,920 x 1,080, the resolution of the Pixelbook is lower. It's an aspect ratio of 16: 9 now. I would have preferred 3: 2 or even 16:10, but Google clearly wanted to stick to a known aspect ratio. A 4K model with a “molecular display” is on the move, although we don't know exactly when it will actually be available.

The writing surface is A short-range keyboard that Google calls "Hush Keys". It feels smoother than typing on a MacBook Pro or even the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1. The operation is softer and significantly quieter. In fact, it's one of the quieter laptop keyboards I've typed on. Most importantly, the awkward circular keycaps that debuted on the Pixel Slate are gone.

Google spent a lot of time tweaking the speakers, and it shows.

The glass touchpad is sleek and responsive, which is a big win for a laptop in this price range. As mentioned earlier, the display is a touchscreen so you can slide your finger over it if you want. Chrome OS is now compatible with many Android apps and feels more intuitive when using the touchscreen.

Audio quality is a rare pleasure. The speakers are upward, crisp, loud enough to fill a large room, and even offer a bit of bass. I placed it next to the industry leader, the MacBook Pro, and thought the Pixelbook Go did it. I have never left a laptop test that wanted to talk more about its speakers than with the Pixelbook Go. Google spent a lot of time tweaking the speakers, and it shows.

It's quick enough

$ 649 is affordable for a laptop, but a high-end product in the Chromebook world. The typical Chromebook costs between $ 200 and $ 300 and contains poor processors like Intel Celeron or Pentium.

With the Pixelbook Go, the options for the Intel Core m3 begin. an 8th generation dual-core processor. That's 8 GB of RAM and a 64 GB SSD. That doesn't make you excited, but remember, this is a Chromebook. Unlike Windows 10, dual-core processors in Chrome OS can do an excellent job. Unless you're someone who is always connected to a 4K monitor with fifty tabs open, the startup configuration should be sufficient.

My test device was the Intel Core i5 version. It is also an 8th generation chip that jumps up to four cores. When multitasking, I couldn't find the limit. It flew through web apps and hordes of browser tabs.

Would a 10th generation chip from Intel have performed better? Probably. The latest iris graphics from Intel would have been nice to see here. However, this is one of the most powerful Chromebooks you can buy. A Core i7 model is also available if you need even more power.

It's the best battery life I've tested on a Chromebook so far.

For a student or someone who needs a laptop to travel with, the $ 649 Core m3 model is an excellent choice compared to the chunky, dated Windows 10 PCs that are often available at this price.

The efficient fanless processors from Intel also extend the battery life. Chromebooks are known for their long battery life, but the Pixelbook Go takes it to another level. The Pixelbook Go lasted over 13 hours both in the local video loop and when surfing the Internet. That's more than the 12 hours given by Google and the best battery life I've tested on a Chromebook so far. This extended battery life helps the Pixelbook Go to live up to its name. Take this thing on the plane or all day at school and you won't have a problem.

Still room to grow

There is a lot to like here. However, some functions are also missing.

First, there is no form of biometric registration. No fingerprint scanner, no face recognition. Nothing. That's a bit of a shame since Google just launched its Face Unlock technology in Pixel 4. Apple is still missing the Face ID in its MacBook series. Microsoft is ahead of the game with Windows Hello, which has been offering facial login for years.

Riley Young / Digital Trends

Because of the choice of processor, there are also some other small bugs. Because they are 8th generation Intel processors, you won't get access to the new Wi-Fi 6 standard, which could be useful in the future.

You also have no option for LTE. That seems to be an entry into connectivity and mobility. It would have been interesting to see how Google gets on the Qualcomm train with the new Snapdragon 8cx chips, which are standard on board with LTE.

Our opinion

You might think $ 649 (or $ 849 for the Core i5 model) is too much to pay for a Chromebook. You're right that you can get similar performance at a lower price on other Chromebooks.

You still get what you pay for. The Pixelbook is more attractive and robust than the competition. It's also at the top end of Chromebook performance. It is proof that Chrome OS can be used as a Windows or MacOS alternative in conjunction with the right hardware.

Is there a better alternative?

The closest competitor to the Pixelbook Go is the Acer Chromebook 13. The build quality isn't nearly as good there, but it does come with a higher resolution screen. The $ 700 base model has a similar dual-core processor, but only 32 GB of memory.

There are some impressive 15-inch Chromebooks, but they don't have the same portability as the Pixelbook Go. The Lenovo Yoga Chromebook is a 15 incher, but has a great screen and impressive performance.

When you're ready to switch to Windows, the Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 offers a price similar to the Core i5 Pixelbook Go, while offering better performance, thinner frames, and a more diverse port selection.

Do you want more options? Check out our favorite laptops from 2019.

How long it will take?

Google has supported the original Pixelbook with continuous software updates, which has left the laptop surprisingly agile. As long as it doesn't break off quickly like the Pixel Slate, I expect the Pixelbook Go to have a similar durability. It comes with a one-year warranty, but you can add Google's Preferred Care for an additional $ 150.

Should you buy it

Yes. This is the first Google laptop designed for the average person. It's the best Chromebook you can buy.

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