Google Pixelbook Go Laptop Review

About the Google Pixelbook Go

The thin (.5 inch) and light (starting at 2.3 pounds) Google Pixelbook is essentially built to run a single program: Google’s Chrome web browser. If you already spend most of your time on a Windows or macOS computer using the web, switching to Chrome OS may not require a major adjustment. However, you will have to find web-based replacements for desktop apps or run their Android versions in smaller windows on the Google Pixelbook Go.

Google sells the Pixelbook Go in four basic configurations that start at $649 and top out at $1,399, which is pricier than many Windows and Mac laptops. All configurations of the Pixelbook Go feature 13.3-inch touchscreens, an Intel processor, and a relatively small solid-state drive (SSD) that starts at just 64 gigabytes (GB) in the base configuration.

Unlike many other Chromebooks, the Pixelbook Go is not a two-in-one design that lets you rotate the screen all the way around to turn the laptop into a tablet.

Google Pixelbook Go

Tied for No. 2 in our rating of the Best Laptops of 2021, the Pixelbook Go is Google’s current entry in the laptop category it created when it announced its web-centric Chrome OS in 2009. Like other Chromebooks, the Pixelbook Go runs an operating system written around Google’s Chrome browser and apps that run inside it. It can also run Google Assistant and some Android apps, and it can play media files stored on its small solid-state drive. With a price starting at $649, the Pixelbook Go costs more than most Chromebooks, but it’s also lighter and offers a longer battery life than many of its competitors.

Google Pixelbook Go

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Google Pixelbook Go Review

The Google Pixelbook Go tied for second in our Best Laptops of 2021 rating and first in our list of the Best Chromebooks of 2021. Reviewers frequently praise its elegant design, solid construction, long battery life (Google puts it at 12 hours), and high-quality 1080p webcam. They’re not so enthusiastic about the price, which even in the entry-level $649 configuration makes the Go one of the pricier Chromebooks available; the $1,399 price for a 2.4-pound model with a UHD 4K “Molecular Display” is particularly steep in this category.

The Google Pixelbook Go offers the same software advantages as other, cheaper Chromebooks: a quick setup and automatic backups, plus the ability to install and run most Android apps. Chrome OS also offers excellent security, although there’s no fingerprint reader near the backlit keyboard or anywhere else to ease logging into the computer. You can also install Linux on the Go if you do want to run traditional standalone programs.

The Google Pixelbook has just two USB-C ports, one of which may be occupied charging the laptop. With no USB-C to USB-C adapter in the box, you will need to buy your own to connect older USB-A and other peripherals, and even many new ones.


Is the Google Pixelbook Go Right for Me?

Best for those who:

✓ Already rely heavily on Google web apps like Gmail and Google Docs

✓ Don’t have a large set of existing peripherals

Not recommended for those who:

- Regularly use traditional Mac or Windows 10 apps

- Are in the market for a two-in-one laptop

- Have a limited budget

While Chromebooks have proved to have a wide appeal, the Pixelbook Go’s price puts it out of reach of many Chromebook buyers. On the other hand, its relatively long battery life and refined design will appeal to some. With only two USB-C ports, it will also help if you don't have a lot of peripherals.

Other Laptops Offered by Google

This is Google’s only current Chromebook offering, and it will likely be its only such product until the company rolls out a newer model. In the past, Google has offered only one Chrome OS laptop for sale at a time. Because the Pixelbook Go shipped in the fall of 2019, it’s safe to expect that it will lose its spot in Google’s lineup before too long.

How Much Does the Dell XPS 13 9310 Cost?

The Pixelbook has an unusually wide price range from $649 to $1,399. The entry-level price only gets you 64 gigabytes of solid-state drive storage, plus an Intel Core m3 processor and 8 GB of memory. Spending another $200 doubles the storage and upgrades the processor to an Intel Core i5, while a $999 configuration doubles the memory to 16 GB but doesn’t get you a faster processor or more storage. The only way to get more storage is to opt for a $1,399 model that includes a UHD 4K display (note that you may not appreciate the extra resolution with Chrome apps) as well as a 256 GB SSD and an Intel Core i7 processor. Google offers two colors, “Just Black” and the off-white “Not Pink,” but not every configuration may allow both options.

How to Buy a Pixelbook Go

You can buy a Pixelbook from Google’s online store in your choice of four different configurations. Alternatively, you can buy one from such third-party retailers as Amazon and Best Buy, where you may get a discount. To buy a Pixelbook Go:

1. Estimate your computing needs. Chromebooks don’t typically need as much storage as traditional laptops because their apps mostly reside in the cloud. However, more solid-state drive capacity will still help if you want to enjoy music offline or plan to install a large assortment of Android apps.

2. Compare prices between Google and third-party vendors. Buying from Google will let you add on its “Preferred Care” support and throw in matching accessories for the laptop, while third-party retailers may offer cheaper prices or beat its shipping times. Don’t forget to factor in any gift cards you might have handy for those retailers.

3. Buy the laptop.

Pixelbook Go FAQ

What Is the Pixelbook Go Warranty?

Google offers a one-year warranty on the Pixelbook, which you can augment for $149 with two years of “Preferred Care” that includes limited coverage for accidental damage either when you buy the laptop or afterward. This extended warranty covers two incidents, with a $99 deductible each time.

How Do I Contact Google’s Customer Service?

Google offers support for the Pixelbook via a 24/7, toll-free phone line, online chat at Google’s site, via Facebook Messenger, and in Google’s online forums. Preferred Care subscribers can also get walk-in service at uBreakiFix locations, which Google also recommends for out-of-warranty service.

Can a Pixelbook Go be upgraded?

Like most laptops, the Pixelbook is not designed for maintenance or upgrades by its users. A guide posted by an user notes that the Go’s bottom cover is not just attached by screws but is also glued in place. The battery is also glued into place, which would complicate replacing it.

Pixelbook Go vs. the Competition

Which Is Better: The Pixelbook Go or the Lenovo Chromebook Duet?

Although both are Chromebooks, the Duet is much cheaper and smaller than the Go. The Go makes much more sense as a primary computer because of its larger screen, more comfortable keyboard, and extra USB port; the Duet not only offers just a single USB port and doesn’t even include a headphone jack. That said, having just 64 GB of storage does seem less bothersome in a computer that starts at $290 than one that starts at $649.

Which Is Better: the Dell XPS 13 or the Apple MacBook Air?

The XPS 13 is often mentioned as Dell’s attempt to counter Apple’s thin-and-light laptop. The two are similar in some ways, such as the fact that they offer just two USB-C ports. If you want to max out storage and memory, Dell offers a much better bargain next to the pricing on Apple’s upgrades. But in terms of battery life and performance, Apple’s new M1 processor soundly beats the Intel chips in the XPS 13. Apple also offers better in-person service options if you’re close enough to one of its retail stores. For many shoppers, however, specs and features won’t matter as much as the operating system: If you want to run macOS, you need the MacBook Air.

Which Is Better: The Pixelbook Go or the Asus Chromebook Flip?

The Flip beats the Google Pixelbook on price, costing $529 vs. $649 for the base configuration. It's also more flexible, as its two-in-one design lets you turn it into a somewhat hefty tablet by folding the screen all the way around. The Flip also offers a third USB port in the USB-A format, ensuring you can connect older gadgets without requiring an adapter. The Pixelbook Go does look more polished, and reviewers seem to like it overall considerably better. Note that both laptops have been around for a while and are likely to be replaced soon.

Which Is Better: The Pixelbook Go or the MacBook Air M1 (2020)?

Google is aiming for an Apple-like design with the Pixelbook Go, which also resembles Apple’s cheapest laptop in that both offer only two USB-C ports and charge relatively high prices for extra storage. But the MacBook M1 offers much more storage even in its entry-level configuration and much better battery life, and it includes biometric authentication. MacBook Air owners can also get help in person at Apple Stores, a luxury unavailable to Pixelbook owners.


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