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Google Chromebook Pixel 2 “coming out soon”

Google says it has a second experimental Chromebook ready for launch

Google has revealed that it will launch a second generation of the Chromebook Pixel. The original Pixel was – and still is – the most high-end Chromebook ever to have been released, boasting a high resolution 2,560 x 1,700 touchscreen display. That luxury came at a price, however, with the original Pixel costing in excess of £1,000, when most Chromebooks cost between £200 and £400. 

Now Google says it’s close to launching a second Pixel. Speaking at the Team Work 2015 event, Google’s director of the Android and Chrome business, Renee Niemi, said: “We do have a new Pixel coming out and it will be coming out soon,” according to a report on OMG!Chrome!. “We will be selling it but I just have to set your expectations: this is a development platform. This is really a proof of concept. We don’t make very many of these, we really don’t. And… our developers and our Googlers consume 85% of what we produce.”

Quite what concept Google was trying to prove with the original was unclear. Yes, it was by far the most high resolution Chromebook display on the market and the first to use a touchscreen, but there were other high-resolution laptops on the market at the time, and it was never really in any doubt how the Chrome browser would work with a touchscreen, as it had been done on dozens of earlier Windows devices. At best, it may have laid the path to optimise the Chrome browser for high-DPI displays, which Google only finally achieved last year. 

Niemid didn’t reveal which innovations Google has in store for the second-generation Pixel, although it seems likely the company will launch a hybrid device that either folds into a tablet configuration or has a detachable screen. Chromebook tablets would risk some blurring of the boundaries between Android and Chrome OS, but given that the Pixel 2 will almost certainly have an eye-watering price tag and limited distribution, the chances of creating confusion in the minds of consumers is minimal.

The original Chromebook Pixel remains on sale for the time being, although as our original review made clear, we don’t think there’s any justification to spend that much money on a device running the limited Chrome OS.


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