Photo by James Bareham / The Verge
Today, Google announced the Pixelbook Go, its first new laptop in two years. It starts at a modest $649, which is cheaper than the $999 Pixelbook, but that smaller price comes with some tradeoffs. Though the Go has a touchscreen, you can’t flip the that screen all the way around into tablet mode, like you can with the Pixelbook. Another tradeoff: the Go doesn’t support the $99 Pixelbook Pen, Google tells Android Police.
The omission is a bit of a disappointment, as it would be nice to see the Go support Google’s own stylus — right now, the Pen only works with the Pixelbook and Google’s Pixel Slate tablet. There are definitely traditional laptops with stylus support, like Microsoft’s recently-announced Surface Laptop 3, which supports the Surface Pen. Even some cheaper Chromebooks, like the $499 Samsung Chromebook Plus V2, have stylus support.
A traditional laptop might be clunky for a stylus
But, speaking for myself, I feel like the screen angles of a traditional clamshell laptop might make using a stylus kind of clunky. Perhaps that’s why Google opted not to have the Go support the Pen.
It seems unlikely that you’ll accidentally buy both the Go and the incompatible Pen, at least when getting the Go through Google’s online store. I went through the flow of “buying” the Go to see if the Pen would be recommended to me as an add-on, and it wasn’t. It’s also not like Pixelbook Go buyers are likely to already have a Pen lying around, because if they already own a Pixelbook, the Go isn’t powerful enough to be a likely upgrade route.
If you’re looking for a Google-made device to easily sketch on, the Go probably isn’t it — you’ll have to pick between the old Pixelbook or Pixel Slate instead.