First up, some caveats apply with this one. We’ll get into those as we flesh out what is going on here, but there’s a reason we put ‘possible’ in the title and that needs to heavily weigh in as we consider the ramifications of what we are seeing, here.
And, what is that, exactly? Well, Geekbench houses a massive database of user results when it’s benchmarking suite is run on any device. The name of the device and the hardware inside is auto-detected by the Geekbench app and then recorded in the search results. This means that we tend to see benchmark results on unreleased hardware from time to time as a developer or product tester runs the Geekbench benchmarking suite.
Apparently, someone holding a device simply called a “Google Pixelbook” has run this benchmark and instead of reporting a 7th-gen Y-series Core i5/i7 chipset, Geekbench is reporting a few variants of the 8th-gen U-series Core i5/i7 chips: namely:
- Intel Core i7-8705G – 16GB RAM – 4293/14653 single/multi-core score
- Intel Core i7-8550U – 16GB RAM – 5155/10955 singlemulti-core score
- Intel Core i5-8250U – 8 GB of RAM – 4158/10871 multi-core score
On the surface, this is a very, VERY exciting find by Kevin over at About Chromebooks. However, when we start looking a bit deeper, these new results only serve to raise even more questions around the validity of this proposed Pixelbook 2 device.
So now, some caveats
First off, board/device names can be misleading with Geekbench. I’m unsure how the discrepancies happen, but we’ve seen plenty of Geekbench results that don’t match any real-world devices. Even a simple search for Google Pixelbook brings up a handful of these discrepancies, showing results for Pixelbooks with the Celeron N3350 and Pentium 4415U. There is no such device in production. They could be test units, but Google never sold a Pixelbook with anything but the 7th-gen Core i5 and i7.
Second, the processors in the 8th-gen results are hard to imagine in a device that resembles the current Pixelbook. We don’t know that Google will even make the Pixelbook 2 at all and we certainly have no idea what it will look like. However, it isn’t a stretch to imagine they would keep much of the fantastic outer chassis in place as it is still state of the art and as current and modern as it was at launch. The three 8th-gen processors being benchmarked above, however, are the U-series and G-series processors that are found in Chromeboxes and devices like the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook, HP x360, Dell Inspiron Chromebook and Acer Chromebook Spin 13.
All those devices share one very important thing: a necessary fan. Y-series processors like those found in the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate are less powerful and can run without fan cooling. U-series processors cannot, and that would mean a full redesign would be required for a Pixelbook 2 with any of the above-mentioned processors, making it much thicker and heavier than the current model. Google can do what it wants, but I think moving away from the basic chassis on the Pixelbook would not only be a mistake; it is highly unlikely.
Finally, we have to talk about the board name that shows up for each Geekbench result. The motherboard showing for each entry is ‘Eve’ which, as we know, is the baseboard for the Pixelbook. Even with the near-identical hardware on the 2013 and 2015 versions of the original Chromebook Pixel, the baseboards (and chipsets) were changed and had different internal names. I don’t see a realistic scenario where Google develops a new Pixelbook on an old baseboard, but I’ve been wrong before.
I’ve begun searching through the Chromium Repositories for any hint that new hardware is being developed for ‘Eve’, but my searches have so far come up empty-handed. We’ll continue keeping an eye out for anything new on that front, however, since these Geekbench scores are making us question quite a bit.
As I said at the top, these new search entries in Geekbench need to be taken for what they are: a possible look at the next Pixelbook while also possibly being just a test/development device. One thing we know for sure: when we start seeing a device show up in Geekbench, it is usually not far from release. So, if these search results are indeed from the next-gen Pixelbook, we may see this Chromebook sooner than later.