Google’s Pixelbook laptop is due for an upgrade this year. The search engine giant refreshes its Chrome OS laptop every other year. The original Chromebook Pixel debuted in 2013, and the 2nd-gen Chromebook Pixel was launched in 2015. It was followed by the brilliant Pixelbook in 2017. The Google Pixelbook 2 could be just around the corner. The 2017 Pixelbook was praised for its beautiful design, keyboard, brilliant display, and portable design.
A new FCC filing (via 9to5Google) has emerged, which is highly likely to be the Pixelbook 2. It’s not Google that submitted the filing. Instead, the FCC ID HFSG021A was submitted by Quanta Computer Wireless, which makes the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate for Google. The Pixel smartphones are manufactured by Foxconn.
Quanta has requested to keep the filing confidential for six months, which means you won’t be able to see the images attached to the FCC filing until January 2020. But the Chrome OS laptop could be announced even earlier. If Google follows its usual release cycle, it could launch the Pixelbook 2 alongside Pixel 4 smartphones in October.
The FCC ID HFSG021A has caused some confusion among industry experts regarding whether it’s indeed Google Pixelbook 2. If you take out the first three characters of HFSG021A, the identifier is along the lines of Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a smartphones, which carried identifiers G013A and G020A, respectively. By comparison, The Pixelbook’s FCC ID was HFSCoA and the Pixel Slate carried the HFSC1A identifier.
The identifier led some to believe that it could be the Pixel 4 or Pixel 4a. But the device is most likely the Google Pixelbook 2 for a number of reasons. First, the filing was submitted by Quanta, not Foxconn. Google has little reason to ditch Foxconn as the manufacturer of Pixel smartphones.
Also, there is the possibility that Google might have changed or switched the FCC IDs. The search engine giant doesn’t follow a strict FCC ID naming scheme for its hardware, as we have seen with the IDs of its smart home devices. Android Police also points out that the filing makes no mention of 4G LTE. If it were a smartphone, there would have been an LTE aspect to the submission.
Google has given up on Chrome OS tablets following the failure of Pixel Slate, but the company remains committed to the Chrome OS laptops. Google won’t launch a successor to the Pixel Slate, though it will continue to support the Slate through software updates and security patches. The company has also discontinued the development of two other Chrome OS tablets, and moved employees working on those projects to other areas within the company.
Hey, it's true…Google's HARDWARE team will be solely focused on building laptops moving forward, but make no mistake, Android & Chrome OS teams are 100% committed for the long-run on working with our partners on tablets for all segments of the market (consumer, enterprise, edu)
— Rick Osterloh (@rosterloh) June 20, 2019
Not much is known about the Google Pixelbook 2 specs. The company is rumored to have been developing it under the codename “Atlas.” It would feature a 4K display. Earlier this month, 9to5Google spotted a new image of the device in the Chromium Bug Tracker. The image showed the Pixelbook 2 with a silver chassis, which is consistent with the existing Pixelbook’s color scheme.
The upcoming Pixelbook 2 would have slimmer bezels compared to its predecessor. Folks at 9to5Google have also discovered Geekbench benchmarks for Atlas, which shed light on its processing power. It features Intel’s 8th-gen Y-series Core i5-8200Y processor. Another variant of the device was spotted running the Core i7-8500Y chipset. The Y-series isn’t as powerful as the H- or U-series processors, but it helps extend the battery life.
Though its processor is the same as that of Pixel Slate, the benchmark scores are noticeably higher for the Pixelbook 2, suggesting the upcoming Chrome OS laptop would pack 16GB RAM as standard rather than an optional upgrade.
We expect the upcoming Pixelbook 2 to be priced at around $1,000, assuming Google keeps the same pricing structure as the existing Pixelbooks.