Pixelbook Go: 4 things we know and 1 big feature we’re still missing

9to5Google recently posted images of what appears to be the final prototype of Google’s upcoming Pixelbook Go.

The new Chromebook is expected to officially launch alongside the Pixel 4 during the “Made by Google” event on October 15 in New York City. The leaks have have given us a pretty comprehensive look at the new device, but there’s still one big feature missing.

Here’s what we know so far.

The grippy, texture and thick bezels

Pixelbook Go Not Pink Prototype
9to5Google

According to the report, the bottom portion of the Pixelbook Go’s chassis sports a “grippy, ribbed” texture that “feels somewhat similar to a washboard.” Complementing this texture is a coral-style color akin to the “Not Pink” design offered with the Pixel 3.

Meanwhile, the top features a smooth, matte finish with a lighter “Not Pink” hue. Based on the images and description, the lid’s color isn’t quite so pronounced, changing in tone based on lighting and camera angles. A “Just Black” version will also be available.

Unfortunately, according to the prototype, a pretty chunky bezel sits above the screen, which houses the 2-megapixel camera and two far-field microphones for Google Assistant.

Clamshell, not 2-in-1

pixelbook go what to expect clamshell

Unlike Google Pixelbook, the upcoming Pixelbook Go will not have a convertible design. Typically, convertibles have four modes – laptop, stand, tent, and tablet – for versatile computing. The Pixelbook Go will likely sport a traditional clamshell design, and the latest report doesn’t indicate otherwise.

This is a move away from the 2-in-1 devices and tablets Google produced in the past. The Pixel Slate was announced at a similar event last year, though just six months after it’s launch, all further work on the device was canceled.

With the lid up, the Pixelbook Go presents a familiar MacBook-style design. A front-facing speaker resides on each side of the keyboard. The Assistant key sits in the keyboard’s bottom-left corner while the Home key replaces the typical Caps Lock key. Chromebook keys line along the keyboard’s top row.

Up to a 4K screen

pixelbook go what to expect screen

The prototype described in the report features a 13.3-inch touch-enabled screen with a Full HD resolution. The Google Pixelbook has a smaller 12.3-inch screen but a higher resolution at 2,400 x 1,600. It’s also 16:9, unlike the 3:2 screens we’ve seen on other Google laptops and tablets.

However, a possible big selling point for the Pixelbook Go will be its reported 4K “Molecular Display.” It’s an upgrade compared to other “Made by Google” Chromebooks and will enable Stadia game streaming at 4K and 60 frames per second.

The performance

According to the leaks, the Pixelbook Go will feature a number of processor options, all of them in Intel’s 8th-gen Core line. At the base, it starts with the Core i3, and ranges up to a Core i7. The report doesn’t indicate if these are the quad-core U-series processors or the fanless Y-series options, but Google has gone with Y-series in its past Chrome OS laptops.

In terms of memory, you’ll get an option of either 8GB or 16GB of RAM, while storage options range from 64GB up to 256GB.

8th-gen processors will no doubt make the Pixelbook Go incredibly fast thanks to the efficiencies of Chrome OS. However, it’ll be a little strange to see Google skip the option for 10th-gen processors, when Intel offers a pretty wide range of options. Y-series Ice Lake processors would have been a great option, which would have provided some improved graphics and quad-core processors.

What’s missing? The price

Pricing for the Pixelbook Go is currently unknown. The “Go” designation seems to indicate that it could be a budget system, though the hardware and build of the device look quite premium. If it balances its value offering as well as the Pixel 3a, we’ll be happy campers.

The Pixelbook has been the standard-bearing Chrome OS device ever since it launched in 2017, but the $999 starting price was a stumbling block for many. Chromebooks have always been seen as a cheap alternative to Windows, and the high price of the Pixel Slate was one of its primary issues, especially compared to the affordable iPad.

We’ll likely find out the price at tomorrow’s event, along with availability.

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