Google is planning to release a new version of its own Pixel-branded Chromebook, according to a report from Android Police.
The device would be a successor to 2015’s Chromebook Pixel 2, whose sales were discontinued last year.
No new Chromebooks were announced at Google’s hardware event last Autumn, so this would be Google’s first laptop in two years.
Back in 2016, there were rumours that Google was working on a device codenamed “Bison,” which supposedly had the form factor of a slim laptop (under 10mm), but run on a heavily modified version of Android internally known as “Andromeda.”
It was positioned as a probable competitor to Apple’s MacBook and iPad Pro, as well as Microsoft’s Surface Pro: It would start at about $US799 (£620), have a 12.3-inch high-resolution display, a stylus, either 32GB or 128GB of storage, and 8GB or 16GB of RAM, as well as a dedicated “tablet mode.”
Back then, Android Police reported that Bison would launch some time in Q3 2017. The timing is coincidental, but it’s possible the upcoming Chromebook Pixel might be a completely different device to the one originally rumoured.
One major difference is that the new Chromebook Pixel will apparently run on Chrome OS. Google has never announced a modified version of Android called Andromeda.
And while the rumoured launch windows for the Bison and the new Chromebook Pixel match up, Google is actually following its own release schedule. The first Chromebook Pixel was released in 2013, and then the follow-up was released in 2015. Google is due to update its laptop line this year anyway.
The company launched the first Pixel-branded phones, which proved rather successful, and most importantly it brought Android apps to Chrome OS, bridging the gap between the two platform and fulfilling what apparently was Andromeda’s original goal.
All of that leaves the status of Bison uncertain.
There is no information about the new device’s specs, but if the previous models are anything to go by, it will be a high-end machine, launched at a hardware event some time this autumn.
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