Don’t misunderstand me: I like nice Chromebooks. I love just about everything about my Pixelbook Go. I love the premium feel of the chassis, the wonderful keyboard, the insane speakers, and the overall experience of using the device. For those perks and this aesthetic, I’m still quite happy with the $649 I shelled out for it and I’d recommend it for anyone looking for the same premium experience that is important to me.
On the other side of the coin, however, I like a good deal as much as anyone. I love getting a device in my hands that feels, performs, and delights much better than the price tag would lead on. Though I feel the Pixelbook Go delivers what I expect in a $649 Chromebook, I can’t deny how much more I’d love it if the price were lower.
While I don’t see us getting many killer deals on the Pixelbook Go anytime soon, there are other Chromebooks out there that can deliver a lot of the good stuff that the Pixelbook Go does at a much lower price. In fact, a recently launched Chromebook from ASUS does just that, and it comes in at about half the price of the Pixelbook Go. That Chromebook is the ASUS C425 and it does much of what the Pixelbook Go does well, save one big difference: touch input.
The C425 ditches touch and opts instead for an anti-glare screen. It is a tad larger at 14-inches vs. the Pixelbook Go’s 13.3-inch diagonal measure, but the tiny bezels of the C425 negate the overall size difference between the two. You are also losing the aluminum in the chassis and the screen isn’t quite as bright as the Pixelbook Go’s. Those things aside, these two devices do a ton of the same things.
On the outside, both have stellar backlit keyboards, FHD displays, great speakers, and sleek designs. Internally, they are quite literally the exact same. Same 8th-gen Core m3 processor, same 8GB of RAM, and same 64GB of internal eMMC storage. With the fact that they are pushing the same 1920×1080 display resolutions, you’ll see absolutely no difference in the performance of these two devices.
That being said, I don’t want to pretend that the ASUS C425 is just as nice as the Pixelbook Go. The Go is built better, has a better trackpad, a better screen, and better speakers (though the ASUS C425 is definitely in the top 3 for speakers), but from a performance perspective, there is absolutely no drop off. At the end of the day, I don’t touch the screen on my Pixelbook very often and I have to remind myself to enjoy the great speakers sometimes. When push comes to shove, performance, screen, and keyboard/trackpad are the most important parts of how a Chromebook will actually feel to use on a daily basis.
With speedy internals, a decent display, a fantastic keyboard, and a good trackpad, it is tough to argue why most users would buy the Pixelbook Go at $649 over the ASUS Chromebook C425 at the current $329 asking price. When they are closer in price, it’s easier to argue for the Pixelbook Go. At this point, however, saving $320 feels like too much of a win to skip out on.