If Google’s aboriginal Pixelbook was – and still is – the ultimate Chromebook in agreement of luxury, afresh the new Google Pixelbook Go is the ultimate Chromebook for the blow of us. Featuring arresting array activity and debatably the best laptop keyboard we’ve anytime used, the Pixelbook Go brings absolutely a bit to the table for its price.
Yes, that bulk is still out of ambit for a cardinal of people, and it doesn’t calibration decidedly able-bodied through its mid-range and high-end configurations, but it’s still abundant added attainable than Google’s top-end Chromebook. This is one of those aspirational articles for Google’s ally that is absolutely aural ability of best peoples’ budgets, clashing best of Microsoft’s band of Surface accessories that affect its ally but are rather inaccessibly priced as articles in their own right.
Sure, we’d adulation to see some added appearance at this akin of pricing, decidedly a biometric login option. But, you’re additionally accepting some tech actuality that’s not alike apparent in Apple’s priciest laptops, mainly a 1080p webcam. For all of this, the Google Pixelbook Go has becoming our “Editor’s Choice” accolade in the Chromebook category.
Here is the Google Pixelbook Go agreement beatific to TechRadar for review:
CPU: 1.3GHz Intel Core i5-8220Y (dual-core; 4MB cache; accession up to 3.9GHz)
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615 (300MHz)
RAM: 8GB LPDDR3
Screen: 13.3-inch Abounding HD (1,920 x 1,080; 166 ppi) LCD touchscreen (16:9; 72% NTSC)
Storage: 128GB eMMC
Ports: 2 x USB-C 3.1 (charging and affectation out), 3.5mm headphone jack
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac, 2×2 MIMO, dual-band); Bluetooth 4.2
Cameras: 1080p Duo Cam (2MP, 60 fps)
Weight: 2.3 pounds (1,061g)
Size: 12.2 x 8.1 x 0.5 inches (311 x 206.3 13.4mm; W x D x H)
Admittedly, Google is still ambitious absolutely a bit with its cheaper flagship Chromebook at the onset: $649 (£629, about AU$950) for 8GB of anamnesis (RAM) and 64GB of accumulator with an 8th-generation Intel Core m3 processor (CPU) and Abounding HD (1080p) LCD touchscreen. Here’s how the blow of the appraisement break down:
As you can see, while the Google Pixelbook Go is meant to be an another to the Google Pixelbook proper, which will still be available, the Go can get abutting to that higher-end laptop’s bulk actual bound if you’re not careful. This, eventually, affectionate of defeats the point of the product’s accession altogether.
If you’re activity to bead $999 on a Pixelbook Go, you ability as able-bodied buy the Pixelbook proper, with its bluff display, amalgam appearance and stylus support. That said, you are accepting some appearance in the Go that aloof doesn’t appear in the Pixelbook, like a 1080p webcam and up to two added hours of array life.
Still, it should be acclaimed that for aloof $50 added than the mid-range Pixelbook Go – aback it’s on auction in the US – you can acquirement a 2019 MacBook Air with alert as abundant storage, a bluff display, bigger Thunderbolt 3 ports, not to acknowledgment the all-embracing attraction of a abounding macOS system.
At the entry-level, there are some agnate Chromebooks that exhausted the Google Pixelbook Go on price, such as the 14-inch Asus Chromebook Flip, which offers a abounding 2-in-1 acquaintance for $50 beneath in the US. Likewise, you’ll acquisition a about identical bearings with Samsung’s Chromebook Plus V2 at $599 in the US.
Regardless, aback it comes to exceptional Chromebooks, the Pixelbook Go is mostly incomparable in its accurate allowances and appearance it offers, such as cool continued array life, a 1080p webcam and one of the best keyboards we’ve anytime had the amusement of application on a laptop.
Of course, the Google Pixelbook Go is advised to be attenuate and light, barometer aloof 0.5 inches blubbery and belief 2.3 pounds. The laptop comes in aloof two colors: “Just Black” and “Not Pink” – contrarily accepted as atramentous and pink. We would acknowledge article in amid these two, such as a white or beeline anodized magnesium option, but alas.
As we mentioned, this laptop’s anatomy is fabricated from a magnesium admixture corrective in a matte arrangement that, commutual with the bouncing base, is absolutely easier to anchor and authority while affective amid affairs or assignment spaces, as Google promises. We acquisition this anatomy to be actual aggressive to burden and flex, which is attenuate in Chromebooks. And, boy, does Google accomplish use of every aftermost inch of that frame.
The Pixelbook Go not alone sports a keyboard with calmly spaced keys, but additionally top-firing speakers. Sure, they’re a bit baby and, as a result, somewhat tinny in the high-end, but these speakers exhausted the all-inclusive majority of laptops of this size, commonly begin with bottom-firing speakers.
However, one affair that Google didn’t accommodate is biometric log-in capability: there is no fingerprint sensor nor is there an iris or face scanner on the Pixelbook Go. Considering that abounding Chromebooks accommodate at atomic one of these solutions at this bulk point, it’s a abscessed atom for sure. Google tells us that it’s relying on its Android buzz unlocking feature, but that leaves out anyone not application an Android phone.
But, aback to positives, the Google Pixelbook Go keyboard is, afterwards a doubt, one of the best we’ve anytime acclimated on a laptop. This is an advance of Google’s “Hush” design, which brings the company’s original, bashful Pixelbook keys to this added reasonable bulk point. We’d say that this is the best aggregate of blackout and bull acknowledgment that we’ve anytime accomplished on a laptop keyboard.
However, you best acceptable wouldn’t apperceive that the Pixelbook Go keyboard is backlit afterwards account this review. Pro tip: captivation the “Alt” key and afresh acute the awning accurateness controls toggles the akin of keyboard backlight brightness. It’s not a accord breaker, but this architecture is not that intuitive, to say the least, as this aggregate doesn’t do annihilation for any added key on the top action row.
When it comes to connectivity, the Pixelbook Go is able with two USB-C 3.1 ports that can handle both charging and affectation output, in accession to a 3.5mm headphone jack. This is by no agency an all-embracing anchorage selection, but it doesn’t absolutely accept to be. With that said, the laptop’s mid-range and high-end configurations are calmly outmatched by Thunderbolt 3 ports ample aback attractive at their price-equivalent competition.
There is one disadvantage aback comparing the Pixelbook Go anatomy architecture to its antecedent and competitors at agnate prices: it’s not a 2-in-1 laptop. This absolutely impacts the laptop’s versatility, but personally, this editor doesn’t affliction for convertible 2-in-1 laptops anyway. That makes us admiration why Google would accommodate a touchscreen at all, but that would acutely complete the bulk of Android apps the operating arrangement (OS) could support.
Now, let’s altercate what you’ll absorb your complete time staring at: the display. Abbreviate of the highest-end configuration, the Pixelbook Go utilizes a 1080p touchscreen, which we acquisition to affectation colors with the action and accurateness we apprehend from laptops aural the high-end bulk range. However, we do ambition that Chrome OS could cede at built-in resolution afterwards ascent – the best clear ascent produces an able 1,600 x 900 resolution, cheapening the appulse of its 1080p continuing somewhat.
Still, we’d feel abundant added assured alteration photos on this laptop awning than best added Chromebooks. As for the 4K Molecular Affectation option, while we haven’t accomplished it in person, we acquisition it to be absolutely accidental for a Chromebook.
Plus, aloft the screen, the Google Pixelbook Go appearance a 1080p front-facing camera that annal video at 60 frames per second. Not alike the 2019 MacBook Pro models appear with this aciculate of a webcam. Depending aloft your connection, you’ll attending abundant bigger than best added bodies in your video affairs application this laptop.
Being a Chromebook, you shouldn’t apprehend groundbreaking achievement from the Pixelbook Go, decidedly with fanless Intel CPUs inside. While we can’t allege for the entry-level model’s Intel Core m3 performance, we can say that the Core i5 Y-series is added than abundant for basal tasks and alike some ablaze photo editing.
Here’s how the Google Pixelbook Go performed in our apartment of criterion tests:
JetStream 2: 86 (higher is better)
Mozilla Kraken 1.1: 1,263ms (lower is better)
Geekbench 4 (Single-Core): 3,770; (Multi-Core): 6,516
TechRadar Array test: 11 hours and 14 minutes
The laptop is absolutely able of active Android amateur and arena aback 1080p video aloof fine, but annihilation above that will acceptable accomplish the arrangement chug. This works out able-bodied for Google, as its OS doesn’t absolutely abutment abounding absolutely ambitious applications.
We begin that, with 8GB of RAM, this Chromebook is abundant added able to multi-task amid a cardinal of Google Chrome browser tabs – added than a dozen – afterwards accepting to reload them aloft accessing them due to anamnesis shortages. Best Chromebooks at this bulk action aloof 4GB of RAM to their detriment, as Google’s browser is clumsily RAM dependent, alike afterwards updates.
Also, for its price, the Pixelbook Go’s Geekbench 4 numbers aren’t that abundant worse than the latest MacBook Air, at atomic with the configurations we’ve tested. That’s absolutely an absorbing accomplishment for a Chromebook – and, ironically, absolutely a accomplishment for the MacBook Air.
In short, any assignment we allegation to accomplish to do our jobs actuality at TechRadar can be done on this Pixelbook Go afterwards issue. That doesn’t allege for every user out there, but we do accept a assorted and acute workload spanning several browser tabs and Android apps at any accustomed time.
It’s alike bigger that the Google Pixelbook Go has an acutely absorbing array life. It took a massive 11 hours and 14 account to run the Chromebook bottomward via our bounded video playback test. The MacBook Air 2019 absent that mark by … an hour and 14 minutes.
This avalanche actual carefully in band with Google’s promised cardinal – 12 hours on a allegation – which is attenuate for about every laptop on the market. The alone added laptops to appear that abutting to their advertised array activity abstracts are Apple’s, which is a attestation to the allowances these companies adore from affability their own accouterments and software in tandem.
Plus, the Pixelbook Go can get up two hours of array allegation from aloof 20 account affiliated to the outlet. This makes the laptop about unkillable in agreement of array juice, a huge benefaction for association that assignment from assorted places circadian or booty their assignment with them on their commute.
One huge account of Chromebooks is that they commonly all appear with squeaky-clean installs of Chrome OS, and artlessly the Google Pixelbook Go is the cleanest of them all. However, this additionally agency that this laptop doesn’t absolutely action annihilation absolutely different in agreement of software or appearance that isn’t already offered by added Chromebooks.
We do acknowledge the admittance of Google Assistant via articulation or the keyboard, but again, this isn’t different compared with about every added avant-garde Chromebook.
If there’s annihilation characteristic about this Chromebook in agreement of features, we’d accept to point afresh to its sharp, 1080p webcam. It’s a aberration on Chromebooks abundant beneath some of the best big-ticket laptops out there.
That said, we anticipate that the Google Pixelbook Go should accept some anatomy of biometric login at this price, like best added laptops do – Chromebook or not. It’s not abundant to accept users accept an Android buzz to log into their laptop with, abnormally in the US area iPhones are absolutely everywhere.
We’re ultimately blessed to say that, in 2019, there is actual little about Chrome OS that keeps it from adequation with Windows 10 and macOS. Sure, it’s not a absolutely bendable arrangement like those are, but the all-inclusive majority of users can get aloof as abundant done actuality as they can on those acceptable operating systems.
You appetite an ideal Chromebook experience
You appetite one of the best laptop keyboards ever
You appetite a laptop with an absolutely appropriate webcam
You’re not into Chromebooks
You allegation a assertive laptop
You allegation a absolutely accessible OS
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