Update, September 6, 2021 (12:00 AM ET): The Google Pixelbook 2 didn’t land at Google’s fall hardware event in 2020, but don’t lose hope! The original Pixelbook is now discontinued, making it a good time for a sequel.
Original article: Chromebooks are more popular than ever in the tough-as-nails laptop market. With the success of Chrome OS growing and growing, it seems that 2021 could be the best time ever for a Google Pixelbook 2 to finally 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 actually fare better now than it would have in 2017.
Below, you’ll find everything we know so far about the supposed Pixelbook 2. Be sure to bookmark this page so you’ll always know the latest Pixelbook news!
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 since abandoned tablets altogether.
With the end of the Pixel Slate line and the continuation of the Pixelbook name with the Pixelbook Go in 2019, it seems inevitable that there will be a Pixelbook 2 at some point in the future. The big question is whether or not it will happen in 2021. As of now, there isn’t much evidence to suggest this, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. There’s just no way to be sure.
If Google did launch one though, it would almost certainly happen in October. See the next section for more on this.
Regardless, Google recently discontinued sales of the original Pixelbook. It seems that now would be the perfect time for an updated model. Unfortunately, the company hasn’t confirmed this one way or the other.
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.
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.
However, as with everything else, it’s very possible the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench into those plans. Google might have been planning to launch a new entry in the Pixelbook line at that event, but it didn’t happen.
If Google is going to launch a Pixelbook 2 this year, it would almost certainly happen in October, which is when we expect it to launch the Google Pixel 6 series. If that October launch comes and goes without a new Pixelbook, it is almost assured we would need to wait until 2022.
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 displays, so this immediately sets the Pixelbook out from the pack. Will the Pixelbook 2 also have this aspect ratio?
The jury is still out on that, but 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, and 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 abandon the 3:2 novelty just for the sake of staying competitive.
The new Pixelbook will almost certainly be a high-end machine, though, with premium build materials and a strong spec sheet. Stylus support is also pretty much a given, and it wouldn’t be surprising if some newer technologies come standard with the Pixelbook 2, such as Wi-Fi 6 support, Thunderbolt 3 support, etc.
There’s also the question of the processor. The Pixel 6 phones will come with a new Google-made CPU called Tensor. Could Google pull an Apple and use this same chipset in a new Pixelbook? it seems totally plausible, and we even have evidence to suggest that’s in the cards.
Finally, Google is throwing a lot of its weight behind Google Stadia, its game-streaming service. It wouldn’t be surprising if the next Pixelbook is designed to work well with Stadia, which could influence various aspects of the design and specs. This would also back up our theory that the Pixelbook 2 might have a 16:9 (or maybe 16:10) display, as this would be key for gaming.
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, you’d think Google would try to make the entry price lower for the Pixelbook 2.
Unfortunately, Google usually doesn’t operate in that fashion. If it wants the Pixelbook series to be seen as the premium flagship for Chrome OS, then the Pixelbook 2 will almost certainly stick to the four-digit price range. This theory is backed up by the existence of the Pixelbook Go, which now can be pointed to as the “cheap” way to get a Pixelbook.
That being said, it appears Google has finally seen the light when it comes to the high pricing of Pixel smartphones. The Google Pixel 5 came in at a much lower starting price than the Pixel 4 and Pixel 3. Therefore, it is possible — however unlikely — that Google could lower the price of a future Pixelbook 2. We’re not betting on it, though.
Until we hear differently, we’re going to assume the Pixelbook 2 will cost $1,000 or more at launch.
That’s everything we know so far about the Pixelbook 2! Be sure to bookmark this page so you can stay posted on the latest updates.