In the depths of Summer, leaks of all things #madebyGoogle always seem to crop up left and right. Two years ago we were met with late-summer leaks of the Pixelbook followed by last-year’s leaks and images of the Pixel Slate months before it ever showed up. In the middle of all that, we had the Pixel 3 leaks all over the internet and Google’s self-leaked Pixel 4 images on Twitter just weeks ago.
The time is ripe for leaks, and this latest is one that gets us incredibly excited for Google’s assumed October hardware event. ‘Atlas’ – which we have been freely assuming is the Pixelbook 2 since this time last year – has shown up yet again in the Chromium Bug Tracker (sorry, the bug has been made private) with an image in tow and this leak gives us some hints about this mysterious, upcoming Chromebook.
First up, let’s look at the aesthetics. The earlier leaks suggested a radically different design aesthetic across the board for ‘Atlas’, making us doubt our earlier notion that this was still a successor to the original Pixelbook. This latest leak, however, gives me more hope that not only is this a #madebyGoogle Chromebook but also part of the Pixelbook family. Look at the side of the screen in the leaked photo and then look at the photo I just took of the side of my Pixelbook. Pretty similar, no?
What’s more, the color along the edge of the screen looks very much like aluminum, so my hope is the build quality that the Pixelbook carries comes along for the ride in ‘Atlas’. Even nearly two years after release, the way the Pixelbook is built sets it apart from nearly every other laptop currently on the market, and I hope that remains true of ‘Atlas’.
The next hint about this device is easily seen in the size of the bezels. Clearly, the side bezels are much, much smaller than the current Pixelbook. The top bezel we see in the pic doesn’t seem to remedy the large forehead, though, and we’re looking at a more standard display setup like what we see on many laptops: slim side bezels and more standard top and bottom bezels.
With this bezel layout and the much more severe curvature at the top of the lid, it is easy to think ‘Atlas’ may end up being a true, pure clamshell device. However, I still think we may be looking at some sort of convertible based on one thing: the cable in the back of the image above. It clearly looks like there is a cable plugged into the keyboard section of this device if it is a convertible folded into display mode. Take another look at the pic above of my Pixelbook with a cable where a possible port would be. Again, pretty similar, right?
All of this is, of course, conjecture. Along with the earlier leaks of ‘Atlas’, this may not be final hardware at all. In fact, we could end up seeing something totally different. The similarity to the existing Pixelbook aesthetic does make me feel like we’re finally approaching some final hardware at this point, but we won’t know anything for sure until either more leaks surface or until Google’s hardware event later in the year. Either way, it’s about to get real fun.