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Pixelbook Go: A lower priced Pixel Slate in laptop form factor

About the only thing we didn’t know about the Pixelbook Go was the pricing, and now we have it. Launched today in New York City, Pixelbook Go starts at $649 with pre-orders open in the U.S. and Canada, with UK ordering in January.

So the good news is the pricing. Typically the entry point for a Pixelbook is around the $1,000 range. But the typical Pixelbook is the highest of the high-end Chrome OS experience. Pixelbook Go isn’t that, signaling a change in strategy for Google.

At $649 you get an Intel Core m3 with 8 GB of memory and 64 GB of eMMC storage. for $200 more you’re getting a faster Core i5 and doubling your storage. This year there is a Core i5 option with 16 GB of memory, but that will set you back $999. And that 4K option with a Core i7, 16 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage? $1,399. Full specs are here, although they’ll likely look familiar.

The company says this lightweight Chromebook with up to 12 hours of battery life is for “people on the go.” I’d say that’s everyone. And I’d add it’s for “people on the go that don’t mind older processors. Indeed, the Pixelbook go uses the same 8th-generation Intel Core Y-Series chips as last year’s Pixel Slate.

I’d go so far to say that Pixelbook Go is essentially a Pixel Slate in clamshell form. The thin chassis has the same rounded corders as the Slate, for example. The Pixel Slate Keyboard had “hush keys” for quiet typing, which the new Pixelbook go has too, although, they’re not circular.

The stereo speakers on the Pixel Slate are among the best I’ve heard and yup, the Pixelbook Go seems to have them as well.

So you’re paying less for the Go than for a Slate and getting a keyboard with it. But you’re also giving up a 2-in-1 form factor as well as pen support, if those are important to you.

I’m sure some folks are disappointed that the Pixelbook Go doesn’t have higher performing U-Series chips. As someone who bought a U-Series Chromebook with 16 GB of memory, I get it. But the Go isn’t for these folks. It’s a Pixelbook for the masses at this price. There are plenty of higher performing Chromebooks on the market for the developer and power user crowd.

This is exactly why I said a few months back, it may not make sense to wait for this year’s Pixelbook if you’re in the “high performance” crowd. There are a ton of people not in that crowd, however. The base model Pixelbook Go could meet their needs nicely, assuming Chrome OS works for them. Then again, there are plenty of mid-range Chromebooks out there for $500 or less. No, they may not be as thin and light, but Pixelbook Go might be a tough sell.

I’ll have more to share after some hands on time and/or getting a review unit in the future.

author avatar
Kevin C. Tofel

5 thoughts on “Pixelbook Go: A lower priced Pixel Slate in laptop form factor

  1. But it’s not a Slate. A Slate has a fingerprint sensor like oh-so many other modern computers. Here, Google has insanely not provided similar.
    I might actually go for a Slate if those great sales come back around. However I think it just as likely that I decamp to an iPad Pro at this point. My current Chromeback has just fallen out of updates. I’ve used it very happily for years. I was really hoping to find something Chrome OS to replace it. However the current hardware from Google and other builders is just extremely lacking in my book. You have to spend a lot and even then have very, very few choices with competent features.
    And yes, an iPad pro is by no means cheap. However the hardware is first class and offers all the features. Meanwhile iPad OS is coming along and I think might be just enough to overcome my previous usage objections.
    At this point, for my needs, Apple is skating to where the puck will be much, much faster than Google is. Google seems to have stumbled and fallen on the ice at this point.
    Whoever gave the go-ahead that this latest Pixelbook Go should be made with no biometric unlock capability has made an unfathomable choice to me. And they have probably lost my business for it.

  2. Unless you want to turn on Linux and do development work then you probably don’t need a U-series chip in a Chromebook. It seems to me that Google is really trying to get Chrome OS more widely adopted hence the lower cost lineup vs. their traditionally premium offerings of the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate offerings.

    I’m going to give the Core i5 Pixelbook Go a try as my primary computing platform (and alongside that the Pixel 4 XL thanks to T-Mobile JoD) as I continue my quest to simplify my home technology (as an IT pro when I get home I just want simple tech — ironic perhaps).

    Google did an excellent job pitching its devices as an ecosystem that works seamlessly together just like Apple does with its macOS and iOS platforms. It is certainly going to keep me anchored in the Google-verse for another generation of devices.

  3. I mean, you pay less than the Slate’s MSRP, but with the deals that have been going around lately, the Slate’s actually been cheaper: I paid $750 for the i5 Slate with keyboard case.

    Also, importantly, the Slate has a great display, and the Pixelbook Go has a junky 1080p 16:9 display. You have to go up to the $1400 level(!!) to get a good display on this thing.

    This is just wildly overpriced, and a huge disappointment after the excellent Pixelbook and decent Slate.

  4. The Y series is a must for a great autonomy and lightweight. I understand it can dissatisfy some but a U would have been a no buy for me. I wait to see if the 4K model has the same autonomy (but I doubt it since the GPU use four times more power for the display).

  5. I was very disappointed by the Pixelbook Go. I understand the target market for this device, but I would have liked Google to have also released a Pixelbook 2, demonstrating their ongoing commitment to ChromeOS. I was even looking forward to buying a Pixelbook 2 this year! So that won’t be happening, and no, I will not be buying a Pixelbook Go, as there are already many good affordable clamshell Chromebooks in the market.

    Like Google, Microsoft produced its Surface products to challenge Manufacturers to produce better Windows laptops / PCs and push the design envelope, but unlike Google, Microsoft didn’t give up but continued to evolve its Surface products.

    It almost appears Google quickly gets bored with any products it produces, especially if it receives adverse press, viz. Pixel Slate. Does this mean it will eventually lose interest with ChromeOS? I thought ChromeOS was starting to go places, and finally, I could have one device that would work as a laptop, or could be a tablet, run mobile apps, consume media, or run Linux apps for more demanding requirements, including software development. Instead of currently needing an iPad, MacBook Pro, and Windows 10 / Linux PC to meet my current IT needs.

    The lack of a Pixelbook 2 this year has seriously made question what are Google’s long term commitments regarding ChromeOS. Coming from the UK I have always been amused by the American phrase, “Eating your own dog food”. In my mind, Google needs to do some more “dogfooding” to demonstrate it takes ChromeOS and its ChromeOS products seriously.

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