Google Pixelbook Go review: Function over form

While Google has cut corners in the design department, the PixelBook Go is still one of the more powerful Chromebooks. The base model combines an eighth-generation Intel Core m3 processor with 8 GB of RAM and 64 GB of memory. the one I tested leads to an i5 processor and 128GB of memory. This model costs $ 849 and has comparable specifications to the $ 999 pixelbook. I wish I could have tried the m3 model because I’m curious to see what performance Google offers for $ 650.

Not surprisingly, Intel Core i5 and 8GB of RAM are sufficient for Chrome OS. The Pixelbook Go coped with my normal workload without significant problems. My routine includes about a dozen browser tabs, Tweetdeck, Hangouts, Slack, Todoist, Google Keep, and Trello, all of which run as Chrome apps, along with one or the other Android app. Adobe’s Lightroom, Netflix, YouTube Music and a few games worked mostly well, though music playback caused the occasionally “low memory” hiccup that was frustrating. This is especially not the case when using YouTube Music as a browser tab. This reinforces my belief that Android apps on Chrome are not worth using if there is a web-based alternative.

Overall, I think that most people will be able to cope with the basic configuration. Power users may want to upgrade to the 849-dollar model I’ve tried. Google also sells a 999-dollar configuration that doubles memory to 16GB, while the aforementioned 1399-dollar model includes a Core i7 processor, 16GB of memory, 256GB of memory, and a 4KB display. I would certainly enjoy this high-resolution screen, but I do not think he’s worth this kind of money.

Also on the battery side, the PixelBook Go keeps well, which was not always the case with the original. In our video playback test, the Go ran just over 13.5 hours before being shut down. That’s more than an hour longer than the 12-hour battery life that Google cites with mixed usage. Unfortunately, I never got 12 hours walking through my normal routine, but it took more than eight hours, which is a significant improvement over the first pixelbook.

I’ll notice that my Pixelbook test had a weird problem where the battery life gauge did not update properly. It displayed the percentage that was an app when it was awakened from hibernation and refreshed only when it went back to hibernation or connected. Google confirmed that it was a bug with the current version of Chrome OS, which would be upgraded at the time of the update shipped device. The company also confirmed that the battery is working normally and that this is just a software issue. I’ll check this again as soon as the software update arrives and update this check if the problem persists.

The competition

There are tons of Chromebooks that allow you to compare the Go to, from cheap $ 200 (with specifications) to Google’s own 2017 Pixelbook, which still sells for $ 1,000 or more. However, the next most likely comparison to the Pixelbook Go is the ASUS Chromebook Flip C434, which I tested earlier this year. It has an m3 processor, a 1080p screen, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of memory, just like the basic Pixelbook Go. At $ 579, it’s cheaper than the Go, but also thicker and heavier. It has a 360 degree hinge, but I never wanted to use the flip in tablet mode because it weighs more than three pounds.

Acer has its own high-end option, the Chromebook 13 CB713. For $ 800 you get an eighth-generation Core i5 processor, a higher-resolution (2,256 x 1,504) screen, 8GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. Like the Chromebook Flip, it’s bigger and heavier than the Go.

And then there’s the original pixelbook, which starts at $ 999. That’s $ 150 more than the Go model I tested, but it has the same RAM and memory and an i5 processor (but it’s a seventh generation chip compared to the Go eighth generation). The extra money will give you a thinner, more compact design with a better trackpad and a much sharper display. It also supports the Pixelbook pen and has this ingenious 360-degree hinge. The original Pixelbook has some distinct advantages – and it has been greatly reduced over the past year, sometimes even to $ 750. If you can wait, it may be worth seeing if there are any further price reductions this Christmas season.