Google Pixelbook Go review

The Google Pixelbook Go has quite a few things going for it, especially at its price. The most budget-minded might find it a little out of their price range. Compared to flagship products like the Google Pixelbook however, it offers an enticing alternative. It may not be the cheapest option out there but it’s much more affordable than top-of-the-line options. The Go is an excellent and reasonably priced way to enter the Google product line.

It does come with some compromises, however. When upgrading the Google Pixelbook Go, the higher configurations just offer less value for what you money as you spend more. Since it’s not a budget machine, you would expect a little more in terms of features. For example, we wish it came with a biometric login.

With that said, the Google Pixelbook Go does come with a few features that you won’t even find in Apple’s best offerings, such as a 1080p webcam and incredible battery life. In fact, this machine has one highlight in particular – its keyboard. As far as laptop keyboards go, it doesn’t get better than this.

Considering these features and the price tag that the Google Pixelbook Go comes with, it’s no wonder that it’s our “Editor’s Choice” for Chromebooks. Those with the cash will still find the flagship Pixelbook to be their go-to option. For most though, the Go will be an ideal choice that balances performance with price.

The good news is that the Google Pixelbook Go is likely to receive some nice discounts for Black Friday. We recommend waiting until then to hit that buy button. Black Friday rolls around at the end of November, so you won’t have to wait for long.

Admittedly, Google is still demanding quite a bit with its cheaper flagship Chromebook at the onset: $649 (£629, about AU$950) for 8GB of memory (RAM) and 64GB of storage with an 8th-generation Intel Core m3 processor (CPU) and Full HD (1080p) LCD touchscreen. Here’s how the rest of the pricing breaks down:

  • Intel Core i5 (8GB, 128GB) – $849/£829/about AU$1,250
  • Intel Core i5 (16GB, 128GB) – $999/£949/about AU$1,470
  • Intel Core i7 (16GB, 256GB, 4K) – $1,399/£1,329/about AU$2,050

As you can see, while the Google Pixelbook Go is meant to be an alternative to the Google Pixelbook proper, which will still be available, the Go can get close to that higher-end laptop’s price very quickly if you’re not careful. This, eventually, kind of defeats the point of the product’s positioning altogether.

If you’re going to drop $999 on a Pixelbook Go, you might as well buy the Pixelbook proper, with its sharper display, hybrid features and stylus support. That said, you are getting some features in the Go that just doesn’t come in the Pixelbook, like a 1080p webcam and up to two more hours of battery life.

Still, it should be noted that for just $50 more than the mid-range Pixelbook Go – when it’s on sale in the US – you can purchase a 2019 MacBook Air with twice as much storage, a sharper display, better Thunderbolt 3 ports, not to mention the overall allure of a full macOS system.

At the entry-level, there are some similar Chromebooks that beat the Google Pixelbook Go on price, such as the 14-inch Asus Chromebook Flip, which offers a full 2-in-1 experience for $50 less in the US. Likewise, you’ll find a practically identical situation with Samsung’s Chromebook Plus V2 at $599 in the US.

Regardless, when it comes to premium Chromebooks, the Pixelbook Go is mostly unmatched in its particular benefits and features it offers, such as super long battery life, a 1080p webcam and one of the best keyboards we’ve ever had the pleasure of using on a laptop.

Admittedly, Google is still demanding quite a bit with its cheaper flagship Chromebook at the onset: $649 (£629, about AU$950) for 8GB of memory (RAM) and 64GB of storage with an 8th-generation Intel Core m3 processor (CPU) and Full HD (1080p) LCD touchscreen. Here’s how the rest of the pricing breaks down:

  • Intel Core i5 (8GB, 128GB) – $849/£829/about AU$1,250
  • Intel Core i5 (16GB, 128GB) – $999/£949/about AU$1,470
  • Intel Core i7 (16GB, 256GB, 4K) – $1,399/£1,329/about AU$2,050

As you can see, while the Google Pixelbook Go is meant to be an alternative to the Google Pixelbook proper, which will still be available, the Go can get close to that higher-end laptop’s price very quickly if you’re not careful. This, eventually, kind of defeats the point of the product’s positioning altogether.

If you’re going to drop $999 on a Pixelbook Go, you might as well buy the Pixelbook proper, with its sharper display, hybrid features and stylus support. That said, you are getting some features in the Go that just doesn’t come in the Pixelbook, like a 1080p webcam and up to two more hours of battery life.

Still, it should be noted that for just $50 more than the mid-range Pixelbook Go – when it’s on sale in the US – you can purchase a 2019 MacBook Air with twice as much storage, a sharper display, better Thunderbolt 3 ports, not to mention the overall allure of a full macOS system.

At the entry-level, there are some similar Chromebooks that beat the Google Pixelbook Go on price, such as the 14-inch Asus Chromebook Flip, which offers a full 2-in-1 experience for $50 less in the US. Likewise, you’ll find a practically identical situation with Samsung’s Chromebook Plus V2 at $599 in the US.

Regardless, when it comes to premium Chromebooks, the Pixelbook Go is mostly unmatched in its particular benefits and features it offers, such as super long battery life, a 1080p webcam and one of the best keyboards we’ve ever had the pleasure of using on a laptop.

The laptop is certainly capable of running Android games and playing back 1080p video just fine, but anything beyond that will likely make the system chug. This works out well for Google, as its OS doesn’t really support many truly demanding applications.

We found that, with 8GB of RAM, this Chromebook is much more able to multi-task between a number of Google Chrome browser tabs – more than a dozen – without having to reload them upon accessing them due to memory shortages. Most Chromebooks at this price offer just 4GB of RAM to their detriment, as Google’s browser is awfully RAM dependent, even after updates.

Also, for its price, the Pixelbook Go’s Geekbench 4 numbers aren’t that much worse than the latest MacBook Air, at least with the configurations we’ve tested. That’s quite an impressive feat for a Chromebook – and, ironically, quite a feat for the MacBook Air.

In short, any task we need to perform to do our jobs here at TechRadar can be done on this Pixelbook Go without issue. That doesn’t speak for every user out there, but we do have a varied and intense workload spanning several browser tabs and Android apps at any given time.

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