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Will there be a Google Pixelbook 2? Here's what we know (Updated: Sept. 12)
Update, September 12, 2022 (03:45 PM ET): We’ve updated our Google Pixelbook 2 hub with a strong rumor that Google has canceled the product. Read on for all the latest.
Original article: Chromebooks are more popular than ever in the tough-as-nails laptop market. With the success of Chrome OS growing and growing, we had been hoping we would eventually see a Google Pixelbook 2 land.
When the original Google Pixelbook launched in 2017, it was met with critical praise — as well as consumer scorn. Although the new Google laptop was a terrific piece of machinery, its $1,000 price tag and reliance on the then-unproven Chrome OS caused many consumers to balk.
However, times have changed. The premium Chromebook market is becoming solidified, so a Pixelbook 2 might have actually fared better now than it would have in 2017. Unfortunately, all the hoping in the world can’t force Google’s hand.
Will there be a Pixelbook 2?
This is probably the most basic question you might have: will there even be a Pixelbook 2? We actually expected Google to launch a Pixelbook sequel in 2019, and it kind of did: the Google Pixelbook Go. Of course, this wasn’t a true sequel to the 2017 Pixelbook.
Google also previously launched the Google Pixel Slate, a Chrome OS tablet/hybrid akin to the Microsoft Surface. Obviously, that wasn’t a true follow-up to the Pixelbook either. However, the Pixel Slate didn’t fare well with audiences, and Google abandoned Chrome OS tablets altogether.
With the end of the Pixel Slate line and the continuation of the Pixelbook name with the Pixelbook Go in 2019, it seemed inevitable that there would be a Pixelbook 2 at some point. In fact, Google hardware lead Rick Osterloh did confirm that there would be more Google-branded Pixelbooks eventually. He wouldn’t commit to a timeline, however.
Unfortunately, a rumor stemming from The Verge strongly suggests that Google changed its mind after Osterloh’s statement. According to an anonymous source, Google has allegedly canceled the Pixelbook 2. Apparently, it may have even shifted the entire team working on the laptop to other divisions, which hints at the complete end of the Pixelbook line.
The Pixelbook Go, though, is still available to buy, so Google isn’t totally out of the game yet.
Google Pixelbook 2 release date
We originally hoped to see the Google Pixelbook 2 at Google’s fall hardware event on September 30, 2020. Although Google launched the Pixel 5, Pixel 4a 5G, Nest Audio smart speaker, and new Chromecast with Google TV, it didn’t launch a Pixelbook. Post that, our hopes were riding on a Pixelbook 2 launch during the Pixel Fall Launch event held in October 2021, where we saw the Pixel 6 lineup launch.
For reference, Google launched the original Pixelbook at this event in October 2017. It then launched the Pixel Slate at the 2018 iteration and then the Pixelbook Go at the 2019 event. Therefore, it made sense to assume that we’d see the upcoming Pixelbook at the same event in 2020, or at least 2021.
However, with the newest rumor suggesting there won’t be a continuation of the Pixelbook series, we need to assume that there is no release date planned at all.
Features, specs, and design
One of the most distinctive aspects of the original Pixelbook was its 3:2 touchscreen display. Most laptops have 16:9 or 16:10 displays, so this immediately set the Pixelbook out from the pack. Would the Pixelbook 2 also have had this aspect ratio?
Our guess would be no. The reason we say that is the Pixelbook Go — the most recent Pixel-branded laptop — has a 16:9 display. Also, the Pixel Slate’s tepid response from consumers might have been a sign that 3:2 isn’t what people want. Additionally, no other major laptop line adopted the 3:2 design, so Google may have planned to abandon the 3:2 novelty just for the sake of staying competitive.
The new Pixelbook would almost certainly have been a high-end machine, though, with premium build materials and a strong spec sheet. Stylus support would have also been a given, and it wouldn’t be surprising if some newer technologies would have come standard with the Pixelbook 2, such as Wi-Fi 6E support, Thunderbolt 3 support, etc.
There’s also the question of the processor. The Pixel 6 phones come with a Google-made CPU called Tensor. Could Google have been planning to pull an Apple and use this same chipset in a new Pixelbook? It seems totally plausible, and we even have evidence to suggest that was in the cards.
We also saw a leak from @AppleLe257 back in November 2021 which included “official” renders of the Pixelbook 2. The leak shows the Pixelbook 2 in color options of orange, green, yellow, blue, and pink. The leaker also said to expect a 13.3-inch display and Google Tensor for the Pixelbook 2. Of course, these may have just been plans Google had before allegedly terminating the project.
Google Pixelbook 2 price
As we stated at the beginning of this article, the original Pixelbook faced harsh criticism for its $1,000 price tag (as did the high pricing of the Pixel Slate). With that in mind, we think Google would have been trying to launch a new Pixelbook at a lower price.
This theory was backed up by the recent pricing of Pixel smartphones. The Google Pixel 5 came in at a much lower starting price than the Pixel 4 and Pixel 3. The Pixel 6 is also well-priced for what it offers. Therefore, it was possible that Google would have lowered the price of the hypothetical Pixelbook 2. It looks like we may never know, though, since it apparently isn’t coming.