After weeks of a rumored date for new #MadeByGoogle hardware, the event is October 9 in New York City. Invites went out today, with little information as you’d expect. Of course, there have been plenty of Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL leaks but we’re still trying to piece together what the successor to the Pixelbook will be.
Aside from new phones, clues have to pointed to at least one, if not two, Chromebooks. I’m going to call it/them the Pixelbook 2 for now. We’ll see what official names are announced at the event. With the evidence we have to date — and it can change quickly, of course — it’s highly probable that Google announces a Pixelbook detachable device.
What’s unknown is if that will be the Atlas or Nocturne code-names seen in the Chromium code commit logs for the past few months. Atlas, if you recall, is expected to have a 4K detachable display, a Sony IMX 208 front camera sensor with support for 1080p video, and like the current Pixelbook, won’t have an SD card slot. Nocturne is also a contender but is expected to have a 2400×1600 resolution detachable display and a fingerprint sensor.
The keyboard base for both should have a dedicated Google Assistant key and of course, being newer devices, they’ll run both Android apps as well as Linux apps, via Project Crostini, right out of the box. I’d expect they launch with Chrome OS 70, meaning that availability will be some weeks after the October 9 event.
There is a third option here with the Cheza Chromebook powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip. It too is a detachable and we know it should have excellent battery life due to power packs in both the display and the keyboard base. But based on the progression of Chromium code for Atlas and Nocture — at least one of which is more likely to be ready for imminent launch — I think Cheza is a CES 2019 event in January. It may even be shown off at Qualcomm’s CES booth as a reference design with hardware partners announcing the use of it for their own Chromebooks.
Regardless, we have a few more weeks to speculate and dig around the Chromium code before I head to NYC and see what’s what. Let the guessing continue!