9to5Google is at it again with yet another exclusive leak leading up to Google’s fall hardware event to be held on October 15th. The leak comes via a few inside sources close to the project and the details are nothing short of comprehensive. With everything from the new name to internals, ports and speaker details, this leak is more than a bit of info: it’s a small avalanche.
First up, we all have to stop calling it the Pixelbook 2. Don’t fear, Google hasn’t fumbled, here. We were a bit scared that the device we’ve been tracking for what seems like forever (‘Atlas’) would end up dropping the Pixelbook moniker, but Google has kept that much intact. The new device by Google will be dubbed the Pixelbook Go and though it doesn’t look to share a whole lot of aesthetic qualities with its older brother, we’re excited Google kept the Pixelbook name around.
Before we get into all the leaked info, you need to know (or be reminded of) some of the lead-up details behind this device. First, Google got out of the tablet game and in the same season, made a pretty public declaration at Cloud Next that a new laptop by Google was on the way that would:
Help the employees that are constantly on the go that have a working paradigm where 60% of them — and this is all of our [Google] employees — are working outside of their desk. And 43% of them are working remotely at least part of the time.
The tools they have aren’t really conducive to the lifestyle and work style that makes them maximally productive and excited about going to work every day. And we think there’s some unique things we can do differently than the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate that are going to really help give them what they’re looking for when they’re working in this new modern cloud-first era.
This stuff is important to consider as we unfold all that the Pixelbook Go is and is not. This isn’t really a Pixelbook successor. This isn’t a Pixel Slate successor. It doesn’t look to be trying to be either of those device or trying to be better than them at their own game. Instead, the Pixelbook Go looks to be a different, more subdued and classic Chromebook experience from Google that takes us all back to the days of the 2013 and 2015 Chromebook Pixels. Portable, well-built Chromebooks that get the job done and are built with the best possible materials.
What We Know Right Now
Clearly, all these details will be confirmed in a few weeks, but what 9to5Google’s source has delivered is quite the treasure trove of information. First, more information on the form factor; this won’t be a 2-in-1, convertible, tablet, or a detachable. The Pixelbook Go will be a clamshell device from top to bottom. Gone are the Pixelbook Pen tricks, 360-degree hinges, pogo pins, and keyboard accessories. This is a traditional laptop through and through.
There will be a reported focus on portability with a 13.3-inch 4K (or FHD) 16×9 screen, light magnesium alloy body, and tactile feel for better grip on the go. For reference, many Microsoft Surface devices are built using Magnesium alloy, so the Pixelbook Go will be in good company there. That 4K display on the upper models will be the same Molecular Display branding as the Pixel Slate, so expect good brightness, clarity and color accuracy.
Speaking of the upper models, the Pixelbook Go looks like it will come in a variety of configurations, too. From Core m3 up to Core i7 processors will be on offer alongside 8GB/16GB of RAM and 64GB/128GB/256GB of internal storage. No word on that storage being NVMe or eMMC, but according to action in the Chromium Repositories, we’re inclined to think NVMe may be off the table. Internals will also include the same Titan C chip for enhanced security just like the Pixel Slate has. No firm word on what generation Intel chips we’re working with, either, but everything we’ve tracked on this device points to 8th-gen hardware. These chips are more than capable and if that turns out to be the direction Google goes, it should help starting prices come down quite a bit.
The sources also say that the Pixelbook Go’s speakers are much more powerful than the Pixelbook, that they are full stereo and front-firing. While that’s not saying much comparing to the rather puny Pixelbook speakers, if these can match or beat the Pixel Slate speakers, I’ll be very happy. Additionally, there will be a front facing 1080p camera with 60FPS capture capability. Ports look like they will be on par with the current Pixelbook, which is to say dual USB Type C and a headphone/mic jack.
Finally, in the aesthetic department, it seems that the leaks of the Pixelbook Go (known as ‘Atlas’ before now) are accurate. The Pixelbook Go will come in at least two colors: Just Black and a Not Pink-like shade. No word on pricing at this point, but we can speculate a bit. If the body of the device is super-thin and all the magnesium alloy and the screen, speakers, keyboard, and trackpad are all of high quality, there’s little reason to think this device will start any lower than $699. I hope I’m wrong there and Google gets aggressive with the starting prices, but we won’t really know until October 15th. Fortunately, that’s not far off now.