Google Pixelbook Go Review: A Premium Chromebook Experience

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The Pixelbook Go: Benchmarks and Performance

Testing a Chromebook differs from our typical laptop testing, of course. The machine is fundamentally different than the typical Windows or Mac system, so we're only unable to run some of the benchmarks we normally employ here at Hot Hardware. However, there are plenty of browser-based tests out there, and we used several of them to see how the Pixelbook Go stacked up against a selection of machines, including a few heavy-hitters such as the Core i5 MacBook Air, and a Core i7-powered  Dell XPS 13.

MotionMark

MotionMark is a well-known graphics benchmark that tests the GPU while attempting to minimize the hit on the performance of JavaScript itself. Here the Pixelbook Go acquitted itself quite well, with a score of 283.26, besting the MacBook Air, the Dell XPS 13, and the HP Spectre x360

motionmark pixelbook go

Speedometer

Speedometer runs a series of demo applications, attempting to mimic keyboard and mouse actions while synchronously executing a large number of workload iterations. The Pixelbook Go performed poorly here, but it did handily outperform the MacBook Air, turning in a score of 85.80 (the MacBook scored 76.8). While the other systems beat the Pixelbook Go's scores, the Pixelbook Go was really not that far off the mark, coming close to the scores of the HP Spectre x360 (87.2) and Asus ZenBook 3 UX390U (89.2).

speedometer pixelbook go

JetStream 2

The JetStream 2 benchmark combines a number of JavaScript and Web Assembly benchmarks in an attempt to see how well a system handles heavier workloads. In this benchmark, the Pixelbook Go came in dead last, scoring 83.39; the next closest score was the MacBook Air's 94.07. After that, though, the disparity widened, and the Dell XPS 13 edged-out every system in the list.

jetstream pixelbook go

Basemark

Basemark is one of the granddaddies of web-based benchmarks. It uses system and graphics tests to measure browser performance, and includes multiple JavaScript frameworks in its testing. The Pixelbook Go came in last here, but it wasn't far off the mark, scoring 542.80 compared to the 552.89 scored by the HP Spctre x360 and the 597.76 attained by the Asus ZenBook 3 UX390U. 

basemark pixelbook go

WebXPRT 3.0

WebXPRT tests your browser's HTML-5 and JavaScript performance, including measuring how well it handles such tasks as photo manipulation and face detection. Again, the Pixelbook Go came in last here, posting a score of 140. Still, that was not that far off the mark, with scores of 154 from the Asus ZenBook 3 UX390U, 156 from the HP Spectre x360, and 163 from the MacBook Air.

webxprt pixelbook go

Overall, the Pixelbook Go posted mediocre scores in most of the benchmarks, but that was to be expected when pitting a Chromebook against full-featured Windows and Mac systems, many of them featuring more advanced multi-core CPU platforms. The surprise here, really, was that the Pixelbook Go scored as well as it did. It held its own in several of the tests against machines boasting more powerful CPUs and graphics, many of which cost a good deal more than the Pixelbook Go. Although not a top contender in these specialized tests, the new Chromebook showed up and held its own.

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