Earlier this week Google announced the Pixelbook Go, marking its return to conventional laptop designs after a brief experiment with trying to push Chrome OS onto tablets. The new Pixelbook Go might look reminiscent of the original 2017 Pixelbook, but there’s one major difference: pricing. Instead of launching at over a grand, the Go starts at $649.
Finally a Pixelbook for those that want better performance than a “cheap” Chromebook but aren’t looking to spend over a grand. I’m really digging the Pixelbook Go and I feel like the lower starting point was a wise move. That said, I feel like they could have offered an even lower base model to better compete with sub-$600 devices like the Asus Flip C434. But I digress.
If you thought paying a grand for a Pixelbook was outrageous, I absolutely recommend you consider the Pixelbook Go. Personally, I always felt $1000 was too much for a Chromebook, so I’m considering an M3-based Pixelbook Go myself.
If you’re more interested in the pricier i5 or i7 models? I’m not so sure the Pixelbook Go is the best choice. Depending on what you’re looking for, you might want to just go and buy an OG Pixelbook.
On the high end, it has some weird trade-offs
On the high end, the Pixelbook Go has faster performance than the OG Pixelbook series, thanks to newer 8th gen Intel i5 and i7 processors. It also adds an updated Titan security chip to keep your data protected. That’s all well and good, but there are certainly some trade-offs here when compared with similarly priced OG Pixelbooks:
- Only the $1399 model has a 4K display, the rest are all 1080p. The Pixelbook line had a QHD display.
- There’s no more Pen support. You might not care, but it’s still something to consider.
- The keyboard and overall design aren’t quite as premium this time around.
- It’s no longer a 2-in-1 device, it’s just a clamshell laptop.
If you don’t care about 2-in-1 designs or the Pen, you might be perfectly fine with these concessions. And if you are interested in spending $1,399, then the resolution issue is also a moot point. Still, for those looking for one of the middle-priced models, paying $849 and $999 for a Full HD display is a pretty big turn off.
The Pixelbook can be found for much cheaper these days and still has plenty of life left
The OG Pixelbook series is much cheaper now than it was at launch.
For $899.99 you can get the Pixelbook with an i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 128GB of storage, and of course there’s the 2,400 x 1,600 12.3-inch display. In comparison, the $849 Pixelbook Go has a newer i5 processor but is missing the 2-in-1 design, Pen support, and downgrades to a Full HD display. It does match the RAM and storage, however.
For $995 you can get a Pixelbook that offers double the storage of the $999 Pixelbook Go, at 256GB. The OG Pixelbook also has QHD over 1080p, though it does have just 8GB instead of 16GB of RAM.
Even on the highest end, you can get a Pixelbook for $50 less than the $1,399 Pixelbook Go. You’ll get double the storage at 512GB and the same 16GB of RAM. The trade-offs are a QHD over the Go’s 4K display and a slightly older i7 processor over the 8th gen version.
As you can see, the Pixelbook matches or exceeds the highest-end Go models in many ways while having about the same price tag. And we imagine even deeper price cuts are just around the corner. For those that are worried about the older processor, don’t be — it can handle anything in Chrome OS with absolute ease.
As for software support? Google guarantees at least 6.5 years of auto-update support on the Pixelbook and so there’s at least a little over four years of support and we wouldn’t be surprised to see support last even longer.
I’m not saying that the Google Pixelbook Go isn’t worth it on the high-end. If you don’t care about the 2-in-1 design, pen support, can fork over $1399 or don’t mind 1080p — absolutely get the Go. The design might not be quite as fancy, but I’ve heard from several folks who say they actually like it better, and you might just be one of them.
For those that feel like the Pixelbook Go is an odd step backward however, don’t let the Pixelbook’s age turn you off. It’s still plenty powerful and cheaper than ever.