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The Pixelbook Go Made Me Believe in Chromebooks

NEW YORK - It's a known fact that me and Chromebooks don't mix. As a so-called Xennial, I live and die by Windows and macOS and don't have room in my heart for ChromeOS. But the Pixelbook Go might have just made me a believer with interesting design, solid specs and up to 12 hours of battery life. 

Pixelbook Go Specs
Price$649
CPUIntel Core m3/Core i5/Core i7
GPUIntel Integrated Graphics
RAM8GB/16GB
Storage64GB/128GB/256GB
Battery Life12 hours

Design

If for nothing else, you'll want to touch the Pixelbook Go. The exterior is a deliberate departure from the sleek glass and metal design of the original Pixelbook. Instead, the system sports a nice soft-touch finish with gently rounded corners. The notebook is available in two colors Just Black and Not Pink. The later is the more interesting of the two with the top of the lid colored the lightest color of pink imaginable making sure it lives up to its moniker. Flip the Chromebook over and you get this brilliant shock of coral pink that I wish Google had incorporated along the whole of the chassis.

Along with that beautiful color, the Go's undercarriage features pronounced ridges that allow for an easy grip. It also doesn't hurt that the laptop is only 0.5-inches thick and less than 2 pounds. It's on a par with the HP Dragonfly Elite (2.2 pounds, 11.9 x 7.8 x 0.6 inches), an upcoming premium business laptop. Due to its waifish dimensions, you only get three ports: a single USB Type-C port on the right with another on the left joined by the headphone jack.

Display

Google's offering two configurations for its 13.3-inch touchscreen display: 1920 x 1080 and 3840 x 2160 (4K). Because of the typically better picture quality, I prefer a 4K display, but since that resolution tends to sap battery life, I'd recommend full HD for anyone looking for prolonged battery life. In my rather short demo, the 1080p panel looked pretty bright and served up some rich color. Jackie Aina's warm brown skin had a beautiful glow even before she started her applying makeup. 

Keyboard

Some people like a quiet keyboard. I do not, but I can deal provided the keyboard offers good feedback. Google touted the Go's ultra-hush keyboard, claiming its even quieter than the original Pixelbook. I can't validify the company's claim, but I can say that the keys were pretty darned quiet. And while I reached my usual 70 words per minute on the 10fastfingers typing test, my fingers were bottoming out at every keystroke. It's something I could get used to, but I wish the keys had a little more pop.

Specs

The Pixelbook Go will have a decent number of configs to choose from. The $649 base model has an 8th Gen Intel Core m3 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 64GB SSD and Intel integrated graphics. Want that 4K display, you'll have to shell out $1,399. However, that also bumps you up to an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. In practice, switching between open screens was pretty zippy and I didn't experience any lag when I was pinch-zooming or scrolling through pages. I definitely want to see how this bad boy is going to hold up against other Chromebooks.

Battery Life

Google has rated the Pixelbook Go with a battery life of 12 hours. However, when you throw 4K and more powerful specs into the mix, battery life has a way of taking a hit. I'm eager to see how it stands up to the Laptop Mag battery test. Whatever the battery life, you can get 2 hours of battery life from 20 minutes of charge. 

Bottom Line

Back when the Pixelbook debuted, the tech world balked at the $1,000 price and rightfully so. While $649 isn't ideal for a Chromebook, it's a lot more palatable than $1,000. And while the design isn't "premium" per se, it's still has a wide-audience appeal –– I just wish Google would have been a little bolder with the color. But depending on the configuration, the Pixelbook Go can provide the power, speed and endurance consumers are looking for and put Google back on the top of the heap in the Chromebook category. The proof, it seems, will be in the testing. 



Sherri L. Smith has been cranking out product reviews for Laptopmag.com since 2011. In that time, she's reviewed more than her share of laptops, tablets, smartphones and everything in between. The resident gamer and audio junkie, Sherri was previously a managing editor for Black Web 2.0 and contributed to BET.Com and Popgadget.