It’s still a few months away from the Made by Google 2019 case, and yet it feels like we already understand everything about the Pixel 4. That being the case, the time for taking stock of what we know about the Google Pixelbook 2, developed under the codename “Atlas,” is no better than now.
Last year, we carefully monitored three Chrome OS devices that all made the Made by Google Chromebook for 2018 — Meowth, Nocturne, and Atlas. Of these, we are now confident that Meowth was scrapped and redeveloped under the codename Nocturne owing to supply chain problems with Intel, ultimately becoming the Pixel Slate we know today.
Despite the evident indications that Atlas was also a Google Chromebook Made and a strong competitor to the Pixelbook at the moment, release was not seen in 2018. Since Google has never stopped developing Atlas, however, we now understand with even greater confidence that it is indeed the Pixelbook 2, which will probably be released later this year.
The pixel is not far from the tree
Atlas has been defined by Chromium designers as “closely related to” to the Pixelbook since it entered development last March. In reality, it did so “posing as” the Pixelbook (internally known as Eve) when Atlas was originally tested. Quanta, the same manufacturer as the Pixelbook, Pixel C, and Pixel Slate, even appears to be producing the Atlas hardware itself.
Given the close relationship between the two, you will discover that the Pixelbook is almost identical to many things about Atlas ‘ equipment. The two phones have the same ports, for instance: two USB-C ports (one on each side with an LED), a headphone jack, and no microSD slot.
Not a tablet, but is it convertible?
Google canceled two of its in-development tablets back in June, deciding to concentrate on laptop projects instead. Whether Google will continue to create convertible phones such as the initial Pixelbook is not evident about this. In fact, our first glimpse of the Atlas “Pixelbook 2” came in the form of a video showing a very different features from what the original Pixelbook has to offer.
From this preview it’s hard to say, but it seems plausible that the Pixelbook 2 may not have a 360 ° hinge as the initial did, but instead opt for a traditional clamshell design. Honestly, as a new laptop / tablet convertible would compete too directly with the still-new Pixel Slate, this makes excellent company sense.
You can see in the video that where the initial Pixelbook has a “hamburger” button on the control panel, there is a power button on the Google Pixelbook 2. This will probably substitute the side-mounted power button found on most Chromebooks, including the Pixelbook of the first generation.
Google Pixelbook 2 Specifications
Just a few weeks ago, we were treated to Atlas benchmarks that disclosed specs that are very close to the proof we have discovered for the Google Pixelbook 2 so far.
In particular, we understand that it will be accessible in the Pixel Slate with the precise same Intel i5-8200Y and i7-8500Y processors. This is because both phones are in the Chromebooks “Poppy” line, sharing their lineage with other systems such as the Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 and the Chromebook X2 HP.
The biggest difference between the presumed Pixelbook 2 and the Pixel Slate is that there is a massive 16 GB of RAM in all the models we’ve seen so far. This was previously a privilege provided by Google Chrome OS devices only on Made’s highest-end model, and it was always priced to match.
The Pixelbook 2 will also have a correct display of 4 K (3840x 2160) with an aspect ratio of 16:9. For contrast, Google Chromebooks previously made renowned for their 3:2 ratio— 3000x 2000 on Pixel Slate and 2400x 1600 on the initial Pixelbook. After the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630, this will create it just the second Chromebook to feature a 4 K choice.
The Google Pixelbook 2 is presently scheduled to give a Sony IMX208 front-facing camera that supports 1080p video compared to the initial 720p camera of the Pixelbook. This is, of course, small compared to the front and back cameras of the Pixel Slate.
At one point, with a high-end NVMe SSD storage option, the Pixelbook 2 was supposed to be available, as the original Pixelbook had, but Google has since changed its plans and removed all NVMe code.
Google pixel styling
While Pixel Slate arrived in a beautiful shade of Midnight Blue last year, with the Pixelbook 2 Google appears to be taking a more traditional route. We have seen two visual leaks so far, each showing a very distinct device color.
The original video leak showed what looked like a straightforward black chassis with gray or brown keys, although owing to its prominent display of the term “ProductName” we rapidly discounted this design. A more latest leak, seen above, shows a more in-line color scheme with the initial Pixelbook, with a silver chassis.