The Google Pixelbook Go (2019) is a 13 inch Chromebook that's lightweight and easy to carry around. It has great up-firing speakers that get very loud, a good 1080p webcam for video calls, as well as a decent keyboard and excellent trackpad. Like all Chrome OS devices, you can't run x86 desktop applications, meaning you're mostly limited to using the Chrome browser, Linux apps, and Android apps from the Google Play Store. It's available with Intel 8th Gen Y-series processors, which are powerful enough to handle light productivity tasks but aren't ideal for heavy workloads. The battery lasts through a typical 8-hour workday on a full charge, and while it does get a bit hot under load, it remains completely silent thanks to its fanless design.
Our Pixelbook Go has an Intel Core m3 model with 8GB of RAM. It can handle most light productivity tasks, but we recommend heavy multitaskers opt for the Core i5 variant with 16GB. The Core i7 model comes with a 4k display and is the only option with 256GB storage, but the higher resolution likely won't be noticeable to most people at this screen size and will negatively impact battery life. Also, even the top-end i7 model might still struggle in very demanding tasks like video editing. Every component is soldered onto the motherboard and is non-upgradeable, so you need to make sure to get the configuration you want when making your purchase.
The Google Pixelbook Go is great for student use. It's easy to carry around because it's thin and light, and its battery lasts an entire day unless you're gaming. The keyboard is decent and quiet, and the touchpad is responsive. The Intel CPUs are powerful enough to handle light tasks, like word processing and web surfing, but they struggle with demanding workloads like complex 3D design or physics simulations. Also, you're limited to web-based and Android apps because Chrome OS doesn't support x86 desktop apps.
The Google Pixelbook Go is bad for gaming. The Intel Y-series processors and integrated graphics can handle some light Android games from the Google Play Store but not demanding AAA titles. Also, you can't run DirectX games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider or Civilization VI due to Chrome OS' limitations.
The Google Pixelbook Go is great for media consumption. Its 1080p screen delivers a sharp image, and you can also purchase it with a 4k display on the Core i7 model if you wish. Our model has near-full sRGB coverage, decent color accuracy out of the box, and gets bright enough to fight glare in most environments. Its up-firing speakers sound clear and loud, but like most laptops, there's a noticeable lack of bass. The battery lasts an entire day of video playback.
The Google Pixelbook Go is bad for use as a workstation. Its low-power Intel Y-series processor can't handle heavy workloads, and it only has integrated graphics, making tasks like 3D rendering extremely time-consuming. Everything is soldered onto the motherboard, which means you can't upgrade any of the components after purchase. You'll likely need a dock or dongles because it only has USB-C ports.
The Google Pixelbook Go is decent for business use. Both the laptop and the charger are compact and easy to carry around, which is great for people who travel for work. Plus, its battery lasts through an entire 8-hour workday. Unfortunately, it only handles light productivity tasks, and you can't run any x86 desktop apps on Chrome OS without a workaround through a third-party solution. It only has USB-C ports, which means you'll likely need a dongle if you want to connect to an external display or projector.
We tested the Google PixelBook Go with an Intel Core m3-8100Y CPU, 8GB of RAM, 64GB of eMMC storage, and a 1080p display. There are four possible configurations, and they're available in two colors: Just Black and Not Pink. You can see the four models in the table below.
Our display and performance results are only valid for the configuration that we tested. If you come across a different configuration option not listed above, or you have a similar Google Pixelbook Go that doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update it. Some tests, like black uniformity and color accuracy, may vary between individual units.
You can see our unit's label here.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2020) and the Google Pixelbook Go (2019) are both Chrome OS laptops that are well suited for productivity and multimedia viewing and are available in a variety of high-performing Intel CPUs, but the Acer is a convertible 2-in-1 laptop, whereas the Pixelbook is a traditional clamshell. The Acer's display looks sharper and gets brighter, and it has much more ports. Also, its keyboard keys have longer travel, and although it isn't silent like the Pixelbook, its keyboard deck doesn't get nearly as hot under load. On the other hand, the Pixelbook's magnesium alloy body feels significantly better built, and it's more portable. Also, its touchpad is smaller but tracks significantly better, and its speakers sound louder and much nicer.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022) is marginally better than the Google Pixelbook Go (2019). The Spin 714 is a newer device, so it's available with faster Intel 12th Gen. CPUs, whereas the Pixelbook Go uses much older Intel 8th Gen. processors. There's also a difference in the form factor; the Spin 714 is a 2-in-1 convertible, meaning you can use it as a tablet, whereas the Pixelbook Go is a clamshell laptop that doesn't support touch input. The Spin 714 has a wider port selection, as it includes a USB-A and HDMI port, and its USB-Cs support Thunderbolt 4. On the other hand, the Pixelbook Go has a much larger and more responsive touchpad, and it's more portable because it's smaller and lighter.
The Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2019) and the Google Pixelbook Go (2019) are very different laptops. The MacBook Pro is available with high-power Intel H-series CPUs and discrete AMD Radeon Pro GPUs, so it can handle significantly more demanding tasks than the Pixelbook Go, which is only available with low-power Intel Y-series processors and integrated graphics. The MacBook Pro runs macOS and supports x86 applications like DaVinci Resolve, whereas the Pixelbook Go runs Chrome OS and supports web apps, Android apps, and Linux apps. If you only perform simple tasks like web browsing and video playback, the Pixelbook Go is a better choice because it's more portable and has much longer battery life.
The Google Pixelbook Go (2019) and the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 (2020) are both Chrome OS devices. However, the Lenovo is a convertible with a 360-degree hinge, while the Pixelbook has a traditional clamshell design with a touchscreen. The Pixelbook is the better laptop overall, with a brighter, much more color-accurate display, a far better-tracking glass touchpad, and a significantly better webcam, microphone, and speakers. Also, the Pixelbook's battery lasts far longer, and you can get it with faster CPUs, larger SSD storage, and much more RAM. On the other hand, the Lenovo's keyboard has more travel, and its keyboard deck doesn't get as hot under load. Also, it has an extra USB-A port, although it can't output to an external display.
The Google Pixelbook Go (2019) is better than the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 (2021). The Pixelbook Go sports a larger, sharper, brighter, and more colorful screen, and you can even upgrade to a 4k display on the Intel Core i7 model. The Pixelbook Go feels sturdier, and despite its larger screen size, it's thinner and takes up less space in a bag. The Pixelbook Go has a backlit keyboard, which the Spin 311 lacks, and it also has a bigger touchpad and a much better webcam. As for the CPU and GPU performance, even the base model of the Pixelbook Go feels snappier and can handle much heavier workloads, although don't expect to perform extremely demanding tasks like 3D modeling or video editing. Battery life is slightly longer on the Acer for light productivity, but it's about the same for both devices with video playback.
The Google Pixelbook Go (2019) and the HP Chromebook x360 12 (2021) are both Chrome OS devices, but the HP is a 2-in-1 touchscreen convertible, whereas the Pixelbook is a traditional clamshell laptop. The Pixelbook is a better laptop for productivity and multimedia use, as it has a sharper, brighter, and more colorful display. Its keyboard doesn't feel as fatiguing despite its shorter travel distance, its glass touchpad has excellent tracking and gesture recognition, and its 1080p webcam and microphone are far superior. Also, the Pixelbook's battery lasts far longer, and it feels significantly better built and is somewhat more portable. In addition, it's available with much more powerful CPUs, more RAM, and much faster, larger storage. On the other hand, the HP has a much more flexible port selection, and it doesn't get as hot under load.
The Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020) and the Google Pixelbook Go (2019) are Chrome OS laptops. However, the C340 is a 2-in-1 convertible that you can use as a tablet, whereas the Pixelbook Go is a traditional clamshell laptop. The Pixelbook Go has a smaller display, but it's sharper, brighter, and more colorful, and it's also more color-accurate. Performance is about the same between the C340's Intel Core i3-8130U and the Pixelbook Go's Intel Core m3-8100Y, although you can get the Pixelbook Go with a more powerful Core i5 or i7 processor. Also, the Pixelbook Go starts with 8GB of RAM, whereas the C340 is limited to 4GB. The Pixelbook Go's webcam, speakers, and touchpad are significantly better than the C340's, and it also has longer battery life, especially for video playback.
The Google Pixelbook Go (2019) and the HP Chromebook 14 (2021) are both Chromebooks designed for light productivity tasks and media consumption. The Pixelbook Go is better for the most part. It has a sharper and brighter display, a larger and more responsive touchpad, and a significantly better webcam. Also, it's available with more powerful CPUs and can handle heavier workloads. The Chromebook 14's battery lasts longer for light productivity, but the Pixelbook Go lasts longer for video playback.
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 (2019) and the Google Pixelbook Go (2019) are thin and light ultraportable laptops. However, they're quite different because the Surface Laptop 3 runs Windows, while the Pixelbook Go runs Chrome OS. This means that the Surface Laptop 3 can run full x86 applications like Adobe Premiere, whereas the Pixelbook Go is limited to web apps, Android apps, and Linux apps. The Surface Laptop 3 has a larger display and a better keyboard, but its battery life is significantly shorter than the Pixelbook Go's.
The Google Pixelbook Go (2019) and the Apple MacBook Air 13 (M1, 2020) are both thin and light ultraportable laptops, but they run on different operating systems. The Pixelbook Go runs Chrome OS, a lightweight Linux-based operating system that supports web apps, Android apps, and Linux apps. On the other hand, the MacBook Air runs macOS, which supports programs optimized for the MacBook Air's M1 SoC, iOS and iPadOS apps, and x86 applications through Rosetta 2. While both laptops are powerful enough for simple tasks like web browsing, the MacBook Air can handle significantly heavier workloads. Battery life is about the same on both laptops for light productivity, but the Pixelbook Go can last much longer for video playback.
The Google Pixelbook Go has a simple and somewhat casual design. It comes in two colors, Just Black and Not Pink. The top bezel is a bit thick by current standards, but that also translates to more room on the keyboard deck to rest your wrists, as it's a compact laptop. The bottom has a unique ribbed texture that makes it easier to hold, and the whole laptop has a soft coating on top of its magnesium alloy body.
The hinge is outstanding. It feels strong and doesn't wobble, but it's still easy to open the laptop with one finger. Although it has a touchscreen, it isn't a 2-in-1, so it can't flip around for use as a tablet. If you prefer a 2-in-1 Chromebook, check out the Lenovo Chromebook Duet (2020).
The Google Pixelbook Go's serviceability is bad. Accessing the components is relatively easy: you only have to remove the feet, some screws, and the battery cable before completely removing the back panel. Unfortunately, everything is soldered onto the motherboard, making it impossible to upgrade and hard to fix. Opening the laptop or making any hardware changes may void the manufacturer's warranty.
The Core m3 and Core i5 models of the Google Pixelbook Go come with a 1080p IPS panel. The i7 model comes with what Google calls a 'Molecular display' with a 4k resolution, which is essentially an LTPS LCD commonly found on mobile devices. LTPS displays have a faster response time and produce more vibrant colors than a typical IPS panel, but they tend to degrade faster. The 1080p screen has a pixel density similar to a 27 inch 4k display, which is sharp enough for most uses. The 4k panel on the i7 model technically delivers a sharper and more detailed image due to its higher pixel density (331 PPI), but you likely won't notice much of a difference on such a small screen.
Both the 1080p and 4k displays are 60Hz. As you can tell from the amount of ghosting in the motion blur photo, the response time is slow, so it isn't ideal for viewing fast-moving content or gaming. Unfortunately, we can't predict how the 4k LTPS display on the i7 model performs.
The 1080p display on the Core m3 and Core i5 models of the Google Pixelbook Go has a great contrast ratio, much better than the typical 700-1000:1 contrast of most IPS panels. However, blacks still look grayish in the dark. LTPS displays typically have roughly the same contrast ratio as high-end IPS displays, so we expect the 4k screen on the Core i7 model to perform similarly. Chromebooks have a built-in Content Aware Brightness Control feature, which is a type of adaptive brightness, but it doesn't seem to affect the checkerboard pattern that we use for testing. The contrast ratio can vary between individual units.
The Google Pixelbook Go gets bright enough to combat glare in most settings, but you'll still have problems in very sunny environments. It has an adaptive brightness feature that adjusts the screen's brightness according to the content and the amount of ambient light, but it doesn't seem to do much with our checkerboard test pattern as we've only seen a difference of about 10 cd/m². It gets very dim at the lowest brightness setting for a more comfortable viewing experience in dark rooms. The i7 model with the 4k display seems to have roughly the same peak brightness, according to most online user feedback.
The Google Pixelbook Go's reflection handling is only mediocre. Even with an image displayed at max brightness, you can still clearly see reflections. If you commonly work in brightly lit rooms and need a Chromebook with better reflection handling, considerr the Lenovo 100e Chromebook 2nd Gen (2019).
The Google Pixelbook Go has okay horizontal viewing angles. The image looks washed out when viewed from the side, which isn't ideal for sharing the screen with someone else.
The vertical viewing angles are passable. The image is dimmer, and colors look faded when viewing from above or below, meaning you need to look at the screen almost straight on for the best image accuracy.
The Google Pixelbook Go's out-of-the-box color accuracy is excellent. Most color and white balance inaccuracies are hard to spot with the naked eye, and the color temperature is very close to our 6500K target. Gamma doesn't quite follow the sRGB curve; most scenes appear brighter than they should, while very dark and very bright scenes are over-darkened. Color accuracy may vary between individual units.
The Google Pixelbook Go's 1080p display has near-full sRGB coverage, which is great for most productivity tasks, media consumption, and even some content creators working in sRGB. It has very good coverage of the Adobe RGB and DCI P3 color spaces, but it's likely not wide enough for most professionals. It has very limited coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 color space. We can't comment on how the 4k display performs as we've only tested the 1080p display.
The Google Pixelbook Go's keyboard is decent. The deck feels solid, and spacing is good, although some might find it a bit cramped. The keys are very stable and provide tactile feedback; however, the key travel is very short and may cause some typos because it's sometimes hard to tell whether a keypress was registered. It's very quiet, which is great for students in classrooms. The backlight has six levels of brightness and gets very bright.
The Google Pixelbook Go's touchpad is excellent. It feels smooth, responds well to gestures, and it's easy to click and drag things around. Palm rejection is pretty good; it picks up random movements once in a while, but it doesn't happen often, and we don't expect it to be an issue for most people.
The Google Pixelbook Go's speakers are great. They're up-firing, and they get pretty loud without much compression at max volume. They don't have much bass, though, which is typical for most laptops.
The Google Pixelbook Go's 1080p webcam is very good. It captures a decent amount of detail, and the colors look natural. Voices come across loud and clear through the microphone, but there's a noticeable static hiss in the background that might distract some people.
The Google Pixelbook Go has very few ports. There are only two USB-C ports, one on each side, and they both support DisplayPort (up to a 4k resolution), charging, and USB 3.2 Gen 1 (up to 5Gbps transfer speed). You'll likely need to carry dongles for your peripherals. If you need a similarly sized Chromebook with an HDMI port, check out the Samsung Chromebook 4 (2019).
We don't know which wireless adapter the Google Pixelbook Go uses. It seems like the label is on the underside of the motherboard and hidden underneath a plastic material.
The Google Pixelbook Go is available in three CPU configurations, all from Intel's 8th generation, known as Amber Lake Y. The Intel Core m3-8100Y in our unit is the base model, and you can also get it with an Intel Core i5-8200Y or the top-end i7-8500Y if you need more processing power. All three processors have two cores and four threads; they only differ in base and boost clock speeds.
All four configurations of the Google Pixelbook Go have the same integrated GPU. It's powerful enough for general productivity and most games from the Google Play Store, but it isn't ideal for heavy workloads like video editing or AAA gaming.
The Intel Core m3 model of the Google Pixelbook Go is only available with 8GB of RAM. The Core i5 is available with 8GB or 16GB, and the Core i7 model only has a 16GB option. 8GB is enough for most uses, but if you tend to keep many Chrome tabs open or want to future-proof the device, you might want to opt for the i5 or i7 models with 16GB of RAM.
The 64GB eMMC storage drive is the only option available for the Core m3 model. It's likely enough if you mainly keep your data on the cloud, but it'll fill up quickly if you install many apps or games from the Google Play Store. If you need more local storage, you have to upgrade to either the i5 or i7 models, which have 128GB and 256GB of SSD storage, respectively.
The Core m3-8100Y scores poorly in the Geekbench 5 benchmarks, which is expected for a low-power Y-series processor in a fanless laptop. It struggles in demanding tasks like file compression, encryption, or video encoding, but it's more than enough to run web-based apps on Chrome OS. The Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs are faster, but they have the same number of cores and threads as the Core m3, which means you might not see a significant performance boost in multi-threaded workloads. We can't run the GPU compute test on our version of Geekbench 5 because it doesn't support the proper graphics API, though we don't expect it to perform well as this laptop only has integrated graphics.
Cinebench R23 doesn't work on Chrome OS.
Intel's Y-series processors are very low-powered CPUs that aren't designed for 3D rendering. This means you'll get extremely long render times, even on the Core i7 model.
We ran the CPU render test using the Linux version of Blender since there isn't a version for Chrome OS. We can't run the GPU render test because the Linux version of Blender doesn't support the proper API.
The Core m3 variant of the Google Pixelbook Go uses eMMC (embedded Multi-Media Card) storage with very slow read and write speeds. However, it still feels very responsive because Chrome OS is a relatively light operating system, and most tasks are web-based. When it comes to writing or reading data from the drive, the SSD storage on the i5 and i7 models will perform much faster.
The Google Pixelbook Go has outstanding battery life, although it may vary slightly because Chrome OS has an adaptive brightness feature that can't be disabled. You can get nearly thirteen hours of video playback and even longer if you're only doing light tasks like web browsing and text formatting. However, the battery depletes significantly faster if you play games. We expect the Core i5 and i7 variants to have slightly shorter battery life due to their higher CPU clock speeds. The 4k display on the i7 model technically requires more power due to the higher resolution. However, it's also using an LTPS panel, which is known to be more energy-efficient, so it's hard to say how it impacts battery life. Battery life can vary greatly depending on your usage.
Borderlands 3 doesn't run on Chrome OS, and it likely wouldn't be able to maintain playable frame rates with such a low-powered CPU and integrated GPU.
Civilization VI doesn't work on Chrome OS.
CS:GO doesn't work on Chrome OS.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider doesn't work on Chrome OS.
The Google Pixelbook Go's Y-series processor is fairly low-power, but it can still get pretty hot because there's no fan, causing a hot spot around the '8' on the keyboard. The i5 and i7 models may get even hotter due to their higher clock speeds, but we can't confirm this.
We can't test the performance over time because UNIGINE Heaven and Cinebench R23 aren't compatible with Chrome OS. That said, we don't expect many users would use a Chromebook for intensive, sustained workloads due to Chrome OS' limitations, even the i5 and i7 models.
The Google Pixelbook Go runs on Chrome OS, a lightweight Linux-based operating system designed to surf the web and run web apps through the Chrome browser. It can run Android apps from the Google Play Store, as well as Linux apps. However, it can't run any desktop x86 applications, like the full version of Adobe Premiere, without a third-party solution like Parallels, which lets enterprise Chromebooks run Windows in Chrome OS. Adobe Acrobat and Lightroom are pre-installed, and the Calm app for sleep tracking and meditation, but none of them offer a free trial, and they require an account or subscription to use. If you find Chrome OS too restrictive and prefer a laptop that can run x86 applications, check out the Apple MacBook Air 13 (M1, Late 2020).
Every Chromebook has an 'expiration date' at which it stops receiving software updates, and according to Google's official document, the Pixelbook Go's end-of-life is June 2026. Google may extend this date as they have in the past for other Chromebooks; it's best to check their official document for any changes.
The Google Pixelbook Go doesn't have any extra features like biometric login or pen input. The only other feature Google advertises is the inclusion of the Titan C chip for extra security against malware.