Google may have two new Pixelbook laptops in the works with a planned October debut for them both. Although not announced by the search giant, recent commits in the Chromium repository point to two new designs that may well be iterations on the same model — one that makes use of a specialized mainboard that appears to be built around Intel’s eighth-generation Kaby Lake architecture.
The original Pixelbook received a mixed response when it debuted in October 2017. Although easily the most powerful Chromebook ever released, it came with a price tag of $1,000, which is a hard sell when that puts it in the same price bracket at laptops running desktop operating systems like our favorite, the Dell XPS 13. Perhaps that’s why we may be looking at two second-generation Pixelbooks, so that there is more of a variation in price.
If the commits dug up by ChromeUnboxed are to be believed, both the code-named “Atlas” and “Nocturne” devices could be based on the same motherboard, currently code-named “Krabbylake.” That would suggest that Intel will be using Kaby Lake hardware for its new design. The first generation of that architecture made up the base of Intel’s seventh-generation CPUs, but Kaby Lake has also been used in the eighth-generation, especially with the Kaby Lake R and Kaby Lake G ranges, which offer medium to high-performance chips.
Another suggestion that Nocturne is a Pixelbook iteration is a commit about an attachable keyboard, code-named “Whiskers.” That keyboard is said to have an “Assistant” key and a “Control Panel” key. Both of those are currently only found on one Chromebook keyboard: The Pixelbook.
This news backs up previous rumors we’ve heard that Google was working on a newer, more powerful Pixelbook to release in 2018. We’ve been told that it would sport smaller bezels surrounding the display and would enhance its internal hardware to Intel’s eighth generation.
Considering the original Pixelbook was recently discounted by $250, it could be that Google is looking to clear stock of its older model before the new-generation device arrives. ChromeUnboxed thinks we’ll see it (and perhaps two variations of the design) at the #madebyGoogle event which takes place on October 4.
That may come just days after an announcement of brand-new Intel CPUs, so October is shaping up to be an exciting time for new hardware.