Google announced gadgets and gizmos aplenty today at its annual Made by Google event, and as cool as the Pixel 4 is, the Pixelbook Go might be my favorite gadget that we saw today. It’s a seriously impressive piece of hardware.
At first blush, it may look like just another Chromebook, but that’s not it at all. It honestly seems like the return to Google’s original concept for Chrome OS, though with a more modern twist. Everything the company has learned from its past Chromebooks (and Chrome OS in general) are fully realized in the Pixelbook Go.
While it may be easy to think of the Go as a sequel to the original Pixelbook, it’s really more of a lateral movement. Since it’s not a convertible (it doesn’t flip around into tablet mode), it just is what it is—a laptop for the user who wants a laptop. It still has a touchscreen, though, which is really a must on any modern laptop, but especially one that also runs Android apps.
Speaking of the display, Google has opted for a more traditional16:9 panel for the Go’s 13.3-inch display, a departure from the 3:2 format found on the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate. That’s likely to be a hit-and-miss choice from some people, but I personally think it makes a lot of sense for something that’s supposed to be a laptop and not a tablet. That said, most of the models are running at 1920×1080, which is a bit low compared to most modern machines. In my hands-on time with the Go, however, I couldn’t tell the difference compared to the Pixelbook. If you want to make sure you get the most Pixels you possibly can, however, there will be a version with a 4K Molecular Display available.
Moving below the screen is a user favorite from the Pixelbook: the keyboard. The Go’s keyboard is largely the same as the Pixelbook, except now it’s even quieter. The trackpad is also very similar, but it’s a bit larger and features rounded edges instead of the square profile found on the Pixelbook. The Go is very much about refinements.
Before we get to the Go’s innards, though, I want to quickly talk about the bottom of the device: it’s kinda weird. It’s a textured/ridged bottom that definitely makes it easier to hold and carry, which is the whole point. Google told us that the number one way most laptops get broken is by being dropped, so this is there to help prevent that. And really, if you don’t like how it looks, you’ll never see it when you’re using the laptop anyway.
On the inside, the Pixelbook Go is still quite interesting, because a lot of its components mirror what’s found in Google’s Chrome OS tablet (the Pixel Ste). All models have 8th generation Intel Core processors, along with at least 8 GB of RAM (even in the base model) and a minimum of 64 GB of storage. The sweet spot seems to be the Core i5 model with 16 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, but I can also see how that would be overkill for a lot of users.
If you’re looking for the meat and potatoes for the Pixelbook Go, here it is: this is a killer Chromebook. I’ve been using the Pixelbook as my main laptop for over a year and I’ve had no reason to want to change to anything else…until now. The Go is sleeker, lighter, faster, and, dare I say it, sexier. I can’t wait to get one.
You can snag the Core m3 model with 8 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage for a mere $649, but a couple hundred more with boost the processor to an i5 and storage to 128 GB ($849). If you’re a RAM junkie, then tack on another $100 for an i5/128 model with 16 GB of RAM ($999), or go full bore and grab the i7 model with 16GB of RAM, 256 GB of storage, and a 4K display for a cool $1,399.
Pre-orders start today for the two base models in Just Black, with the other two builds and No Pink color coming later.