We haven't given up on a Pixelbook 2. Yes, after last year saw Google reveal the Pixelbook Go instead, some may have thought the company was moving away from its higher-priced laptops.
Recently uploaded benchmarks from Google hardware, however, suggest otherwise. But how will this potential successor try and become one of our best Chromebooks?
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For months, rumors have sprouted of Chromebook codenames such as Hatch, Kukui and Cheza. But when things quieted down on those fronts — the detachable Cheza seems increasingly unlikely in the aftermath of the Pixel Slate — a possible new Google Pixelbook 2 model has sprung up on the radar.
Google Pixelbook 2 release date
Let's look at the major ChromeOS hardware releases from Google. The Pixelbook wowed eyes and tried to redefine what a Chromebook could be on October 30, 2017. Next, the Pixel Slate (which isn't getting a sequel) arrived on October 9, 2018.
Most recently, the Google Pixelbook Go was announced on October 15, 2019. Much like the Pixelbook and the Pixel Slate, Google announced the Go at a media event.
See a pattern? Yep, the only real release window we can point at would be October 2020. That being said, nothing seems for certain anymore. While larger gatherings may be possible by then, Google doesn't need to be limited to mass events for product announcements.
Google Pixelbook 2 specs
One interesting bit of Google Pixelbook 2 rumormongering we've seen points to Google going with recent trends in computing.
Multiple Geekbench 4 benchmarks posted to that app's own site show signs of a device named "Google zork" that ran on AMD Ryzen processors. The scores were published on April 1 and June 3 (both in 2020), with the former date's machine using an AMD Ryzen 7 3700C with Radeon Vega Mobile graphics, while the June upload was done on a "Google zork" with an AMD Ryzen 3 3250C 15W with Radeon Graphics. Zork, as weird a name as it is, has been rumored as a potential Chromebook codename since an About Chromebooks post in 2019.
The highest multi-core score from those tests is 8,298 (on a Ryzen 7 unit), which only slightly beats the 7,927 that the original Pixelbook (with a 7th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU and 8GB of RAM) scored on that same test.
Could the Pixelbook go AMD-only? As more and more laptops offer both AMD and Intel versions, it's not impossible.
Don't worry, by the way, about Geekbench labelling these scores as coming from a device running Android. ChromeOS doesn't have its own version of Geekbench, so it has to run via Android app emulation.
Google Pixelbook 2 price
Google still believes in high-priced Chromebooks. How do we know? The original Pixelbook is still starting at $999 on Google.com, despite coming out 2.75 years ago.
This is why I'm betting that the Pixelbook 2 will also start at/around a grand. How they'll convince us to drop that kind of change, we are waiting to see.
Google Pixelbook 2 outlook
As it stands now, we hope for more reasons for the Google Pixelbook 2 than a small performance boost. The original Pixelbook had a bit of a battery life issue, lasting only 7 hours and 43 minutes on a single charge — falling below more affordably priced competitors.
So, as we continue to look for Pixelbook 2 news and rumors, we're hoping to learn about a redesign or claims of longer battery life. There's a lot of time before October, plenty of room for rumors to flesh out what the Pixelbook 2 will look like.