If Google is the father of Chromebooks, then its Pixelbooks are Chrome OS children. While this may sound a bit dramatic, it shows that you will get a quality product directly from a source like Apple and Surface from Mac.
What this means for you is that the Pixelbook serves as the champion of all Chromebooks, the primary example of experience you should expect from a Chrome OS device. But like any other creator, Google did not brainstorm on just one work of art. Now Pixelbook Go is a cheaper alternative, which offers the same first-class experience in a slightly different way.
In this Pixelbook Go vs Pixelbook comparison, we will explain what makes these two Chromebooks both the same and different so that you can decide which model is right for you.
The major difference between the original Pixelbook and Pixelbook Go is the overall design.
The pixelbook is a Convertible 2-in-1, meaning you can flip the screen beyond the traditional clamshell design in most laptops. Google followed Pixel Slate which is a Separable 2-in-1, another term for tablet with an optional keyboard that combines to create a laptop. Pixelbook Go, then, is just a traditional Clamshell Laptop. In this sense, Google covers all three laptop styles under the Pixel umbrella.
That said, the original Pixelbook and its Go Sibling target two different markets. Pixelbook Go is a large device of 12.3 inch wide, 0.5 inch thick and 13.3 inch screen. Meanwhile, the Pixelbook is 11.43 inches wide, 0.41 inches thick and sports a 12.3 inch screen.
While staying with the screen, both devices have some chunky bezels, though the Pixelbook Go has sidelined at least a few. The Pixelbook is locked at 2400 x 1600 resolution, while Go offers two options depending on the configuration: 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) or 3840 x 2160 (4K) via its molecular display.
The aspect you are most likely to notice is the screen’s aspect ratio: 16: 9 on the go and 3: 2 pixels on the screen. We like the Pixelbook’s boxier shape, allowing for a longer view of your content.
Another obvious difference between the two laptops is in the content. The original Pixelbook is made from an elegant blend of glass and aluminum. It is very rigid in the hand and has a unique two-tone silver / white design on the lid and keyboard deck.
Pixelbook Go has a very simple design but at the same time has some interesting climaxes. The bottom of the laptop has a bumpy texture that Google says makes it easy to hold and operate. It is made of magnesium, a lighter but less luxurious material. It is offered in only two colors which we find to be either very formal (black) or very loud (not pink).
One of the best new features of Pixelbook Go is the new speaker placement. They are located on the keyboard deck, which is better positioned to provide clear audio directly to your ears. Speakers on the Pixelbook are hinged on the edge of the keyboard, creating a “tinny” sound that resonates through the keyboard.
Finally, both devices have similar options for ports: two USB-C – both on one side – and a 3.5mm audio jack.
One generation distinguishes the processors used in Google’s two pixel-branded laptops.
The Pixelbook has older chips: Intel’s seventh generation i5-7Y57 or i7-7Y75, depending on configuration. The Pixelbook Go is a new device, so it has new Intel processors, with a third option: the eighth generation m3-8100Ym, i5-8200Y and i7-8500Y.
This “Y” refers to extremely low power usage on mobile devices. This changes to the fanless design because the chips are not generating too much heat, but this does not mean that they are slow or low-strength. For Chromebooks, Pixelbooks represent high-end in terms of performance due to the light and efficient design of Chrome OS.
When comparing the two generations, you shouldn’t expect a huge difference in performance, but the Pixelbook Go can be a bit faster if the configuration matches. Nevertheless, we prefer numbers, as they can show basic performance, so here are their Geekbench single and multi-core test results:
|i5-8200Y||Is 746||1279||Pixelbook Go|
Keep in mind that these benchmarks were run through an Android app, which is not native, meaning the number could be slightly higher if Geekbench offered a Chrome OS version. Nevertheless, you can increase performance marginally in 8th-gen chips compared to the previous generation. Even the M3 chip outperforms the 7-gen Core i5 CPU.
However, Google has not originally designed Chrome OS as your specific PC platform. It targeted web apps that did not require actual downloads. This means that the OS itself is lighter, leading to storage capacity that is much smaller. Ever since Google has added support for Android apps and Linux-based software, both have changed over time, both run via the built-in emulator.
However, in both cases, we find that Intel Core processors feel zippier, perhaps even overkill, for basic Chrome OS functions. When you dive into the Android and Linux aspects, you can feel the pinch of these “Y” chips. Does not have AutoCAD or Chromebook to run Destiny 2, But you should see good performance using web applications and non-graphics-heavy Android applications.
The Pixelbook and Pixelbook Go almost match in terms of size and portability. As we mentioned earlier, Pixelbook is 0.412 inch thick while Pixelbook Go is 0.5 inch thick. In terms of weight, the Pixelbook is stable at 2.45 pounds while the Go screen ranges from 2.3 to 2.4 pounds. There is really no difference between the two outside the number: both are thin and light.
The battery is where you will see a big difference. The Pixelbook has a 41WHr battery that promises to last up to 10 hours. The Pixelbook Go has a 47WHr (FHD) or 56WHr (4K) battery, both promising to last up to 12 hours. Just in Google claims, Go has a two-hour lead.
In real-world numbers, the Go has one of the best battery life we’ve ever tested on a Chromebook. It lasted over 13 hours in both our web browsing and video loop tests. We also saw good performance in Pixelbook batteries, but Go was our clear winner in this scenario.
Pixelbook Go is not a Pixelbook 2
The biggest feature of Pixelbook Go is its price. The biggest hang-up with the original Pixelbook has always been its $ 999 starting price. It was always beyond what the average person expected to pay for a Chromebook.
Google knows that, which is why Pixelbook Go starts at just $ 649. This is a great buy for students and those who need cheap laptops just for basic needs. That base configuration gives you M3 chip, 8 GB RAM, 64 GB storage and full HD display.
When you get into the higher configuration of Go, the choice is tricky. For example, the 4K model comes in only one configuration: Core i7, 16GB RAM, and 256GB storage for $ 2563. The 16GB RAM, Core i5 configuration with 128GB storage and a full HD screen match the Pixelbook’s $ 999 starting price.
Now you need to keep in mind that Google no longer sells Pixelbooks directly. This is an old laptop, so now you will only be able to pre-configure it through third party merchants like Amazon. In fact, Google no longer sells Pixel Slate as well, leaving Pixelbook Go as your only current choice through Google. It does not have the cool 2-in-1 aspect seen in the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate, but it does reduce overall performance and price.
If you want to match dollar for dollar, the Go’s $ 999 configuration features a new Core i5 CPU, a larger screen, twice the RAM, but is limited to the CP design and Full HD resolution. Meanwhile, the Pixelbook has the older Core i5, half the RAM, a smaller screen, but a higher quad HD resolution. Both have 128GB storage.
Overall, with its different design and cheaper build quality, the Pixelbook will remain a high-powered Chromebook, at least for now until the Pixelbook 2 arrives, while the Pixelbook Go gets better value in its cheaper configuration.