The Pixelbook Go is still the Chromebook I would buy today

Pixelbook Go
Pixelbook Go (Image credit: Android Central)

It is a great time to buy a Chromebook. There are models to fit every budget and whether you buy a very inexpensive one or one of the best Chromebooks, you'll have a good experience doing what Chromebooks do best — acting as a portal to the internet.

Some of what we've seen so far for 2021 looks to be pretty great, especially if you're in the market to spend a little more and buy a higher-end model. Acer, ASUS, Samsung and other companies have seen that there are people willing to spend more than $300 on a Chromebook so they have taken things up a notch or two to offer better specs and a better level of build quality that comes with spending more money on a computer.

I wanted to start by saying that, and that I think that many of the new crop of Chromebooks do things better than the Pixelbook Go does. I wish my Pixelbook Go had a higher resolution screen without buying into the most expensive model, had a 3:2 aspect ratio like the Acer Spin 713, and was more user-friendly when it comes to adding storage space. I also wish the speakers were better and it had at least one legacy USB port because some of the things I want to use aren't using USB-C yet.

But even with all those gripes, if I were buying a brand new mid-range or high-end Chromebook today it would be a Pixelbook Go. Why? Because of the keyboard and trackpad.

Google Pixelbook Go

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

For some reason, these two things seem to be the hardest parts for any laptop maker to get right. Getting the keys the right size, giving enough travel when your pressing on them while typing, and making sure you get feedback to let you know they have hit the bottom instead of a simple mushy bit of resistance isn't something you'll find in very many laptops of any sort. Even Apple has goofed here when it switched the keyboard on the MacBook.

The keyboard and trackpad seem to be really difficult for a laptop maker to get right.

A trackpad needs to be sensitive but reject accidental things like letting a second finger tough or letting your palm rest along the edge. The hardware has to be fast so the cursor moves in real-time without any lag. And it needs to be covered with something that's slick, but not too slick, at least if you tap on one versus "clicking" with one.

The Pixelbook Go does everything about the keyboard and trackpad really, really well. The combo is the best of any laptop I've ever used, and that includes a MacBook Pro) and the bigger original Pixelbook. And to me, that's what gives it enough of an edge that I'd buy it over anything else.

Acer Chromebook Spin 514

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

I don't like this idea, not one little bit. I want to be able to say a newer model with a newer processor or a hinge that folds or even support for a digital pen is what I would buy. There's also the fact that a newer Chromebook will be supported longer. And I am dead jealous of the display on some of Samsung's offerings.

Because I type all day every day, I have to choose a Pixelbook Go.

And if you don't spend all day typing and just want to use your Chromebook as a really cool and really well-built casual machine to play a few games or watch a movie or a show you probably should think twice before you buy a Pixelbook Go. We all have different needs and wants.

Right now my needs and wants are best served by the little Pixelbook Go. All except one — I really want a Chromebook with all the rest in place to finally have a great keyboard and trackpad.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.