Google has announced the follow up to the now two-year-old 2017 Pixelbook at today’s Made by Google event. Unlike last year’s Pixel Slate 2-in-1 tablet, the Pixelbook Go is a more traditional clamshell laptop in a small form factor. Despite some similarities, the Pixelbook Go shouldn’t be considered a direct successor to the older Pixelbook, since the specs and design suggest a new type of device.
Is it worthy of the Pixelbook name? Keep reading to find out.
A new kind of Pixelbook
The Pixelbook Go is a 13.3-inch clamshell laptop that takes a simpler approach than the other ChromeOS devices in the lineup. While it does feature a touchscreen on all models, it doesn’t feature a 360-degree hinge like the Pixelbook and also nixes support for the Pixelbook Pen introduced in 2017.
The Pixelbook Go offers two screen options, a Full HD display for most models and a 4K “Molecular Display” for the most expensive i7 variant. However, all of them use a 16:9 format instead of the 3:2 format of the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate. The Pixelbook Go once again sports the same fantastic keyboard used in the Pixelbook.
The case features a new rugged texture on the bottom, which should make it easy to grab and help prevent minor wear and tear. At launch, two colorways will be available: Just Black and Not Pink. There are two USB-C ports (one on each side), and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Perhaps the most notable design improvements are two front-firing speakers and two built-in mics. Combined with the modest 2MP front-facing camera found above the screen, the device should be more than capable of chatting with family members on Google Duo and other video messaging platforms.
On the inside, the Pixelbook Go can be configured with 64, 128, or 256GB of storage and 8 or 16GB of RAM. It contains the same Titan C chip, WiFi, and Bluetooth components as the Pixel Slate. Processor options include the Intel Core M3, i5, and i7 processors.
The entry-level Pixelbook Go costs $649, with the top-spec Intel Core i7 model with 256GB of storage and 16GB of RAM jumping to $1,399.
Who is the Pixelbook Go for?
Google’s in-house Chromebooks have always been somewhat niche devices, aimed at hardcore Google fans that want the very best specs. Unlike the Pixelbook, the Pixelbook Go seems like Google’s attempt to appeal to mainstream users with starting prices that still put it in the premium Chromebook range but without pushing it into overkill territory.
There have been plenty of recent Chromebooks in the $500-$700 range, suggesting there might be a real opportunity here for Google. The good news for Pixel Chromebook fans is that Google isn’t neglecting the high-end either, it’s simply offering more configurations so it can reach more users.
How can I buy the Pixelbook Go?
Pixelbook Go pre-orders start today in the US and Canada, and in January in the UK. At the moment only the Intel Core m3 version with 64GB of storage and 8GB of RAM, as well as the i5 128GB model with 8GB of RAM are available for purchase, with the others “Coming soon”. You can, however, get on a waiting list for the i5 version with 128GB of storage and 16GB of RAM, although there’s no word on when it will ship.
Currently available models will ship on October 28.
Be sure to check out the rest of our coverage of Google’s 2019 Made by Google event!