A few recent rumors intimated that Google was working on a new Chromebook Pixel. Now, a video has reportedly surfaced where Google executives confirmed the Pixel 2's existence--but then made the video private.
Bloggers at OMG! Chrome! have been chasing the reports of the new Pixel for some time, when they unearthed what could be pictures of the device earlier this month. The kicker, however, was a video in which the site reported that Renee Niemi, who runs Android and Chrome for Work and Education at Google, reportedly confirmed the existence of the Pixel 2 at Google's TeamWork 2015 conference, a partner event being held this week in San Diego.
According to the site, Niemi said:
"We do have a new Pixel coming out and it will be coming out soon. 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 percent of what we produce. But yes, we do have a new Pixel coming out."
Why this matters: The Pixel may be a "development platform," but it's also the flagship for the Chromebook category. Most Chromebooks are modest in features and price, while the Pixel is a premium product: beautiful, powerful--and expensive, especially for a laptop that still works best with an Internet connection. Still, the category is finding its way, selling well into the education and business markets, and branching out a bit from basic models (though the cheaper Chromebooks remain the best sellers). Google needs to keep growing the Chromebook brand, and a new Pixel would help.
"The best possible Chromebook experience"
If the new Pixel is in fact a development platform, that would be in line with the original Pixel, which shipped with a "for what's next" tagline and was described by Sundar Pichai, then the vice president of Chrome at Google, as the "best possible Chromebook experience." In our Chromebook Pixel review, we described it as emblematic of the Google vision, not as a mass-market Chromebook. (And at an entry price of $1,300, that simply wasn't possible.)
Digitimes has speculated that the new Pixel 2 might be a two-in-one, running the Chrome OS while docked and switching over to an Android tablet experience when undocked. It supposedly maintains the same insane 2,560-by-1,700 pixel touch display as the first, which was powered by a dual-core Intel Core i5. (If anything, we'd want a Broadwell-class chip inside of it.) Regardless of whether that's true, it seems fairly clear that the Pixel 2 will be kept under wraps for now--or, possibly, handed out at the Google I/O conference at the end of May.
Google representatives did not respond to requests for comment.
How excited would you be for a new Pixel 2? Tell us in the comments below.