A lot of people have written a lot of words about how dissappointed they are with the Pixelbook Go. Myself included. But almost all of those words saying how it's overpriced or doesn't compare to the original or how other cheaper Chromebooks are better come from people who have never touched it. Which included me until last week.
I'll admit, when I saw what Google showed us, my gut reaction is that this is a piss-poor replacement for the original Pixelbook — a Chromebook I've used almost every single day since it was released. I made words about just that because it would be a piss-poor replacement for the original. But that's not what it is at all.
That's the first question I asked Google senior product manager Ben Janofsky when I had a briefing with him, and found out that the original Pixelbook will continue to be sold until another product fills its space; another over-the-top and expensive model for the few people who really want an over-the-top expensive model. The Pixelbook Go is an all new product line. I like to think of it as Google's MacBook Air.
You can buy a cheaper Chromebook and when you use it, you'll know why it was cheaper.
That really does fit. It's not as feature-packed as its more expensive counterpart but it still offers the very best experience you can have with a Chromebook. If you want that excess or want a development machine, you spend the extra money and get the Pro. If you want something more portable, with better battery life and a lower price tag, you buy the Go.
Yes, you can find Chromebooks that are a lot cheaper than the Pixelbook Go. I've used plenty of them and can say that many offer a really nice experience, but there is always some sort of comprimise. Usually it's the keyboard and the trackpad, which are the things you'll be using a lot more than legacy USB ports or 180-degree hinges. Models from other vendors can be "good enough" to use every day, but the Pixelbook Go is a much better experience.
Is it a $200 better experience? To me it is, but for others it won't be. That's why thousands and thousands of really bad Windows 10 laptops are sold every year when the Surface is available and just a click away. Everyone has different wants and some people want to save money.
The Pixelbook Go isn't a Pixelbook replacement. It's Google's MacBook Air.
But I don't think too many people would compare a $300 Winbook against a Microsoft Surface and be serious when they are doing it. Unless those people have never touched a Surface and only have a spec sheet and press photos to go by. That's too easy to do, even for tech writers.
I'm using the Pixelbook Go (and loving it so far) with a critical eye. I have what I think is the best Chromebook ever made — the Pixelbook — on the table behind me and it'd be super easy to grab it if something I'm doing on the Go model wasn't up to snuff. And there will be a thing or two, and I'll wrap all these thoughts into words after another week or so.
But for now, I know that I was wrong about the Pixelbook Go and so are a lot of other people. Some things are worth spending a little more money on, at least to me.
The one you've been waiting for
The Pixelbook Go isn't meant to replace over-the-top models like the original Pixelbook. It's a sleek, lean Chroming machine that costs a little more than other Chromebooks that try to do it this well.
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