Google Pixelbook – The High-Performance Chromebook Review in 2021

Google Pixelbook

Google introduced the Pixelbook Go about two years ago. At the time, it was a spark in the Chrome OS world and one of the best available Chromebooks.

Most Google devices do this, but in many aspects, the Google Pixelbook Go is different. It has not just the standard Google design esthetic but also a number of settings that appeal to many users.

Like other Google Chromebooks, the Pixelbook Go has also been released at a high price. However, the overall impression around the event was that Google had a hit with the Pixelbook Go, given the specs and experience.

Fast forward to the present, the Pixelbook Go is still Google’s newest Chromebook. Certainly, there are a lot of newer Chromebooks from different OEMs out there. However, if you want a Google Chrome OS experience, you’re looking at the Pixelbook Go.

That raises the issue – does the 2021 Pixelbook still value it? Over the past few years, I’ve been using the Pixelbook Go daily. In this long-term review of the Google Pixelbook Go, I will evaluate how all features of this Chromebook hold today.

On this review: Google gave me the Pixelbook Go Storage Model Core i5/8GB RAM/128GB as part of their team of influencers. For the last five months, I’ve been utilizing the gadget. Google had no influence in this review.

Editor’s Choice
Google Pixelbook Go -...
  • Good to Go: Pixelbook Go lets you stay unplugged for up to 12 hours [2] so you don't need to carry a charger. And when you do need a charge get up to...
  • Made to move Pixelbook Go is lightweight - Barely 2 pounds It's 13 millimeter thin with a grippable design making it easier to carry [1]
  • Get it done Fast: Pixelbook Go starts up in seconds and makes working a breeze. The 8th Gen Intel Core Processor is quick and responsive powering...
  • Go without worry: Pixelbook Go is designed to prevent things from getting off track. The Titan C security chip and built-in anti-virus software help...

Google Pixelbook: Construction, Design, and durability

The clean and subtle design of the Pixelbook Go is ageless, so it looks excellent today. In reality, I don’t think there are many Chromebook OEMs who match Google’s design esthetics.

My ‘Just Black’ Pixelbook Go variant still looks great after two years of use. I’m rather careful with my electronics, but I probably gave this Chromebook a few knocks and at least one brief drop on my workplace carpet.

A beautifully rounded chassis with clean lines and a simple ‘G’ logo make this a really attractive laptop. The textured base also gives a greater grip if you wish to carry without a cover or sleeve around the Pixelbook. This is also one of the lightest 13′′ Chromebooks, making it highly handy for travel.

The magnesium alloy framework is very stiff, and even after two years of continuous usage, it has very little flexibility.

I can collect the Pixelbook Go wherever and don’t worry about crashing from the chassis. In terms of durability, the Pixelbook Go has kept the time test wonderfully.

Thinking about my experience with this Chromebook, I have only one main criticism regarding design. I wish Google had a fingerprint scanner integrated.

In fact, any kind of biometric safety would be all right for me. High-end Chromebooks have increasingly been offered at this high price bracket with biometric security features in recent years.

Although not a deal-breaker, I hope Google will incorporate biometric security options into their future Chromebook release.


Google Pixelbook: Display, audio, and webcam

On the Pixelbook Go, there are two distinct display choices. My personal unit has a 166 PPI FHD panel. There is also a 4K display on the Pixelbook Go variant Core i7.

I can’t speak on the model 4K. However, my panel 1080p still works quite well today. However, I have a few gripes with it, especially with regard to brightness and the 16:9 aspect ratio.

While the Pixelbook Go display provides precise and bright colors, it’s somewhat darker than the 2021 high-end Chromebooks.

The Pixelbook Go Display is quite difficult to see in the direct sunshine when compared to my ASUS Chromebook CX9 and Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2. Indoors, the scenario is okay, but Google can absolutely enhance it.

The 16:9 aspect ratio is not an issue for anyone, but it makes productivity a little more complicated. I usually like an aspect ratio of 16:10 or even 3:2 to write, mainly to have extra vertical document space.

Some people will obviously choose 16:9 if they primarily use the Pixelbook Go for media purposes. It would be wonderful to see Google provide a Chromebook flagship of 16:9 and 3:2. Still, it looks unlikely to do that in the foreseeable future.

I don’t usually single the webcam out in a review, but the Pixelbook Go merits this. Everybody has begun utilizing their camera a lot more during the past 18 months.

Most Chromebooks have rather basic cameras of 720p, with minimal regard from the OEM. This is not the case here since Pixelbook Go has a 1080p webcam to shoot a 60fps video.

The fact that Google incorporated this even before the epidemic began makes Pixelbook Go a Chromebook much more convincing despite its elderly age.

Audio is another area in which the Pixelbook Go is blowing away. Most smaller Chromebooks include speakers at the bottom that don’t become very loud and have difficulty filling a room.

In the meanwhile, the Pixelbook Go features two front speakers that get a fair bit of bass in your face. Two years later, the Pixelbook Go has the most fabulous absolute pair of Chromebook speakers.


Google Pixelbook: Keyboard and touchpad

Take any first review of the Pixelbook Go. You will probably find the author excited about the quality of his keyboard and touchpad. I am glad to say that these two aspects have also endured the test of time.

The Pixelbook keyboard is really one of the nicest keys on a laptop. It gives a fantastic blend of silent keys, good feedback, and important journeys.

Considering this is a 13′′ Chromebook, the keyboard is also very spacious for optimal typing convenience. When I switch between the Pixelbook Go and my Pro Macbook, I always want to go back to the Pixelbook.

Over time, the keys have been worn, leading to a little less travel. This is not a big problem, but I still believe that the Pixelbook Go has one of Chromebook’s most fabulous keyboards.

The only thing that is bothersome about the keyboard is the absence of a unique lighting toggle. It isn’t particularly easy to use keyboard shortcuts to change backlighting, something Google should also consider updating with its next Chromebook.

It’s as lovely as new as the touchpad. There’s a visible wear on my wrist near the trackpad, but it happens on almost every laptop and is not that troublesome. The huge target area and the excellent touchpad click are unbelievably pleasant.

It isn’t easy to find nowadays on a Chromebook a better overall keyboard/touchpad combo. This superb mix makes the Pixelbook Go a great student Chromebook.


Google Pixelbook: Battery life and performance

When a laptop is a few years old, you would expect to notice the largest dents with performance and battery life.

With the lightweight nature of Chrome OS, Pixelbook Go performance doesn’t get any impact. My Core i5 model still chugs along and manages most of what I’m currently throwing at it.

I can still play high-end Android games like Asphalt 9 easily and even without any glitches.

Naturally, looking to the future is another thing. The 8th-generation Intel CPU in the Pixelbook Go is not ready to handle the Chrome OS revolution with Borealis.

If you’re enthusiastic about Steam Gaming coming into Chrome OS later this year, the Pixelbook Go wouldn’t be the ideal Chromebook to buy in. Instead, check out the newly reviewed ASUS Chromebook CX9.

Another performance problem I have observed is a quite audible whining from the center of the laptop. Coil Whine is an inductor or transformer high-pitched noise generated by electromagnetic spindles.

Throughout my use, my Pixelbook Go unit suffered from the problem, but I don’t mind that much because I listen to music regularly when I work. On the bright side, the Pixelbook Go CPU is fanless, so that you won’t be dealing with fan noise.

Of course, battery life has decreased with time, as you would anticipate. When I unboxed it in January 2021,

I was able to get about 8 hours of pleasant work done with the Pixelbook Go. I can pull out around 6.5 hours these days before I need to refill.

This is not an appalling loss in capacity and not something I hold against the Pixelbook Go because that destiny affects all batteries.


Google Pixelbook: Additional Benefits

This tablet also provides Pixelbook Pen with some extra expenses, which is another wonderful experience to work with.

It works like a style, and this pen allows you to choose options or menus. You may also do some digital art with your hands by Pixelbook Pen

Google Assistant is another advantage with this Chromebook which allows you to search anything as you keep your lips to the microphone and question anything that concerns you.

It’s the first Chromebook to have this functionality. You can also use the pen to highlight any object you need on the screen and search with ease using Google Assistant.

PROS
  • 1080p webcam
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Large touchpad
  • Outstanding keyboard
  • Speakers at the front
CONS

Conclusion: Google Pixel

Should you get a 2021 Pixelbook Go? Well, it depends on your intended use case.

Those seeking a well-constructed Chromebook with a beautiful keyboard, touchpad, and speakers should consider the Go Pixelbook. Sales for the Pixelbook Go may still be found through Best Buy or infrequently at Google themselves.

On the other hand, you’ll probably want a newer device if you’re impatiently waiting for the launch of Borealis and Steam Gaming on Chrome OS.

The Pixelbook Go is quite outdated and has no enhanced graphics like ASUS Chromebook Flip C433 in it.

Ultimately, I’m delighted with how the Go Pixelbook compared today to newer Chromebooks. I can’t wait to see the next Chromebook initiative of Google – hurry up Stunning Views!


Avatar for William Larson

William Larson

William Larson is a computer engineering graduate and a techy writer and a Laptop enthusiast based in New York who is the man behind BestLaptopsVenture.com, where he reviews and writes professionally about laptops & cutting-edge technology with more than 7 years of experience in the industry. He has written and managed content for tech websites like Laptops, Computers, T-Sprint, and TracFone Wireless, etc.

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