Google’s next Pixelbook is basically a Macbook that runs Chrome OS
Google's followup to the Pixel Slate is in a much more traditional form factor.
Google's October 15 hardware event is fast approaching, and in addition to the launch of the Pixel 4, Google Home Mini 2, Google WI-Fi 2, and a new pair of Pixel Buds, the show should usher in a new Pixelbook. We've known the new Pixelbook would be called the "Pixelbook Go," but other than a few details from Chrome OS commits, the device has mostly been a mystery. Google takes its title as "least secretive device manufacturer" very seriously, though, and recently 9to5Google managed to just get a Pixelbook Go ahead of the event. They took a bunch of pictures and video.
Unlike the fairly unique design of the original Pixelbook and the Pixel Slate, the Pixelbook Go mostly just looks like a MacBook. 9to5Google got that vibe from the device in person, too, writing: "We can’t fathom that this laptop won’t immediately be labeled 'Google’s MacBook.'" The one unique design aspect is the bottom, which is a brightly colored, ribbed pad that covers the entire bottom of the device. This device is a near-final prototype, with placeholder logos and product names.
The report doesn't nail down the material used to build the laptop (aluminum?), but it does say the laptop has "what appears to be a painted on coating similar to that of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL." The Pixel 2 was a metal phone with a thick coating of paint on top, but this time the finish seems to be smoother and softer.
9to5Google reports that the keyboard is "just as good or better than the first Pixelbook" and it "feels great to type on." The trackpad is "a traditional “diving board” trackpad and seemed sufficiently responsive and "clicky."
There are single USB-C ports on the left and right side of the laptop, along with LEDs indicating the device's charging status. Like with past Pixelbooks, it seems like you can charge the device from either port. On the right side is also a headphone jack.
Not included in the spec sheet: a fingerprint reader.
Google's tablet and hardware division reportedly received cutbacks in early 2019. After it was clear that the company's latest product Chrome OS product, the Microsoft Surface-like Pixel Slate, was a flop, Google Hardware SVP Rick Osterloh admitted the hardware group was cutting back on its portfolio. He said it would no longer make tablets or Surface-style devices.
The key thing not shown in these leaks is the price. Google Hardware products have typically been very expensive compared to the competition. We'll know more next Tuesday.