As highlighted by Gabriel’s post yesterday, the Pixelbook 2 has been leaked all over the place at this point. From Google themselves, no less, we’ve seen the device in YouTube TV ads, in Google Adsense ads, and now on The Keyword: Google’s own blog.
We all know companies “leak” things out all the time, and this isn’t any different. It is a cheap, easy way to start a bit of hype around a product without having to do too much from an advertising standpoint. When you are as big as Google and have multiple streams to drop in tasty morsels here and there, why not do it?
In all the leaks we’ve seen up to this point, all but one have shown consistency and thus lend to their credibility. We feel pretty confident at this point that the Pixelbook 2 is not only real, but will look like what we’ve seen in all the leaks up to this point.
Which brings me to the point of today’s post.
We’ve all been pretty excited about the bezels (or lack thereof) on these leaks. Just that change alone is enough to make me want this Pixelbook more than my own. Sure, part of the reason I write about Chromebooks is my incessant need to have the newest thing, but my only real beef with the original Pixelbook was those massive bezels. Drop those and this is hands-down the most attractive laptop you can buy.
And it feels like a dream, too.
Anyway, the one thing we’ve not really talked about with all these shrinking bezels is screen size.
Based on the renders we’ve seen compared with official Google press renders used on the Google Store of the original Pixelbook, there are some pretty telling details we can glean if we take a bit of a closer look.
For this exercise, I resized the latest leak from The Keyword to match up exactly with the official Google Pixelbook render. It is clearly the same face-on shot, so it made lining them up fairly simple.
Once lined up and resized, the first conclusion we can draw is that they are using the same chassis. Just a cursory look at the keyboard deck and trackpad reveals the body of both of these devices is identical, and that makes perfect sense. Google did a fantastic job crafting a beautiful laptop with a stellar keyboard and trackpad. All around, this device looks, feels and performs great. There’s little reason to change that.
On top of this theory is the fact that the keyboard on the Pixelbook is standard, full-sized and fully-spaced. When displays for devices get bigger, keyboards don’t get larger than standard. They simply add space around the keyboard to compensate for the resized chassis. That is clearly not the case, here. The chassis of both these devices are the same.
Second, upon some inspection and measurements, the screen is going to be larger. But how much so?
I took both renders and overlayed some measurements. Knowing we’re dealing with a 12.3-inch display on the original Pixelbook, I was able to gauge the new display size by figuring that the original screen size is 95.3% of the size of the new device. Once I had that figure and did the simple algebra, I can say that – if the rendered leaks are accurate – we’ll be dealing with a 12.9-inch display on the new Pixelbook 2.
Even more interesting is the fact that the measurements also show this display to be very close to a 4:3 layout versus the 3:2 on the original Pixelbook.
12.9-inches and 4:3…sound familiar? If so, the reason is clear. The iPad Pro, in its largest variant, is 12.9-inches with a 4:3 layout. Coincidence? I doubt it. I’m not saying this will be the same panel in the iPad Pro, but if I had to guess what these new Pixelbooks will be targeting, my money is on both the iPad Pro and the Surface Book. It makes great sense for Google to replicate what’s already in the market.
Better For Most Things
Sure, 4:3 screens aren’t the best for movies and shows, but everything else you do on a tablet benefits from this aspect ratio. With thinner bezels and the same size (and likely weight) as the original Pixelbook, using this device in every way will be fantastic. As a tablet the screen size and ratio are the best possible combo. If you’ve ever used an iPad, you can attest to the right-ness of the 4:3 layout for tablets. It just fits!
Additionally, the more square a display, the more actual screen real estate you get for the same diagonal measure. We’ve talked about it before, but a 13-inch 16:9 screen has less square inches than the same 13-inch 4:3 screen. It is simple math and it really does make a difference in real-world use.
Again, assuming all these renders are pretty accurate, we’re looking at a 4:3, 12.9-inch Pixelbook 2 in less than 2 weeks. I’m secretly hoping that same panel and size will be used for the Pixelbook Tablet (‘Nocturne’) we’re expecting as well.
I don’t know about you, but these are going to be the LONGEST 13 days of my life!