Pixelbook 2, likely the Atlas detachable 4K Chromebook, tipped to launch in 2018

I’ve known Evan Blass for a dozen years, when we worked together at Engadget, and if there’s one thing I know about him, he has impeccable industry sources. His latest tip, tweeted early this morning, suggests that a new Pixelbook, with smaller bezels, will be available by year end. Knowning Evan, I’d bet a paycheck that he’s right about the Pixelbook 2.

This makes sense to me, even though Google has typically launched a high-end Chromebook every other year since the Chromebook Pixel in 2013 and the current Pixelbook arrived in late 2017. With a number of detachable Chromebooks in the works, plus the HP Chromebook X2 already on the market (shown above and marked down to $519.99 right now), a flagship detachable is logical to showcase Chrome OS tablets with removable keyboards.

But is it Atlas, Cheza or some other device entirely? Any device that would arrive by the end of the year already has to be in the works, so I don’t think this is a mystery device that we haven’t yet seen in the Chromium code commits. For the Pixelbook 2 (or Pixelbook 2018, if you prefer) my money is on Atlas, therefore, for two key reasons.

First, Google’s own Chromebooks have always been high-end, flagship products. The point of them is to show hardware partners what a premium Chrome OS experience can be like. And although we don’t know much about Atlas, we do know one thing that will make this device stand out: Atlas is expected to have a 4K display panel, which no other Chromebook has.

Second, and this is key to me, Atlas will not likely have an SD card slot based on the “False” value shown for the Atlas board:

Note that the Pixelbook doesn’t have an SD card slot either, likely because the base model comes with 128 GB of local storage and you can buy a model with even more capacity.

Clearly, I’m speculating here but doing so with the information we currently know about Atlas. Cheza would likely be a step down in terms of performance, given that it will run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Cheza will be a fine performer but it won’t likely beat out an updated Pixelbook, especially if Google uses Intel’s eighth-generation processors in the Pixelbook 2, which is the other big upgrade I expect.

15 thoughts on “Pixelbook 2, likely the Atlas detachable 4K Chromebook, tipped to launch in 2018

  • July 22, 2018 at 4:23 pm
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    I didn’t know you worked at Engadget in the past.

    I eagerly await the new Pixelbook. I’ve yet to pull the trigger on the current model, as my 2015 model is still working. I wonder how low the current gen will go once the newest model comes out.

    Reply
    • July 22, 2018 at 9:59 pm
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      Yup, got my start with a new blog covering HDTV tech called HD Beat (which was one of the many sites at Weblogs, along with Engadget). It later became Engadget HD and then got rolled in to Engadget. 🙂

      Reply
  • July 22, 2018 at 4:50 pm
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    Detachable is a bad laptop. Current Pixelbook is an ok tablet. I prefer a great laptop with tablet mode. You can fold it 3/4 of the way back in tablet mode to get a nice viewing angle on the screen which you can’t do with a pure tablet. Much more versatile, only real penalty is more weight.

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  • July 22, 2018 at 9:07 pm
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    Being that I just sold my Pixelbook i5 and purchased the i7 Pixelbook and is working great for my working needs. Much faster and smoother than the i5 version for editing pictures and videos and office apps. The only thing I do wish to see is a 4G LTE Pixelbook. I would purchase it right away! I know you can tether to the phone but I just like to be able to pick up the Pixelbook and have it connected to its own built in LTE. Hopefully they can keep the form factor pretty close to the current PIxelbook, I do like the idea of the smaller bezels. Well in the meantime, I will continue to use my Pixelbook i7, which I am using on our vacation trip to Mammoth Lakes and have been editing pictures and videos for the past week and still will do for the remaining week. Now back to downhill biking and hiking…

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    • July 22, 2018 at 10:02 pm
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      Be careful on those trails, HG! 😉 Going to CES this January? I’m not sure I’ll be there but if I am, we need to meet up again.

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      • July 23, 2018 at 5:04 am
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        So far I plan on attending CES this coming January. Hopefully, if you make it out we can meet up again. Its been a while since we last meet up. Yes actually taking easy on the trails out here in Mammoth Lakes, recovering from a bruised ribs from a downhill jump fall I had at Big Bear after a downhill race. Got third place. 🙂

        Reply
    • July 22, 2018 at 11:40 pm
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      How is video editing on the pixelbook? What program do you use?

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      • July 23, 2018 at 5:10 am
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        So far the video editing on the Pixelbook is great! At least for the not so in-depth editing its working really good especially on the i7. I am using Lightroom for picture editing in RAW from my Sony A9 and the videos from the Sony A9 and editing them using PowerDirector Bundle app and also the GoPro app. Everything is very smooth when working on it. I plan to do a video soon to show the workflow of photo editing and doing a video editing.

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        • July 23, 2018 at 7:05 am
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          HG, is there a way to add a watermark/logo to a video in the PowerDirector mobile app? Curious…

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          • July 23, 2018 at 2:29 pm
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            Actually, I haven’t tried. Let me check and let you know. You can always add a title text I believe you have the option on the transparency of the text.

          • July 23, 2018 at 3:07 pm
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            I just checked and there is no specific for watermark/logo though you can create your own. One you can use the preset text and edit the wording you want and adjust the font, color, etc… and adjust the opacity for it. You can also create a jpg file and adjust the opacity for it as well and have it go through the complete timeline. So for on the road or even for quick edits, this is working awesome! The Chrome OS and Android apps on the #Pixelbook are working great!

          • July 23, 2018 at 3:10 pm
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            Perfect. I need to add a .jpg throughout the entire video for use as a logo/watermark. Thanks!

  • August 28, 2018 at 1:37 pm
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    There are some country codes mentioned in the code. Does this suggest that the Atlas will come with keyboards in these languages?

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    • August 28, 2018 at 1:38 pm
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      Possibly but difficult to say. Additionally, the code was recently updated to show EN only. May not mean anything but thought to mention.

      Reply

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