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Exclusive: Google’s next laptop is ‘Pixelbook Go’ w/ 13.3-inch 4K display

Google plans to launch a new Pixelbook at next month’s “Made by Google” hardware showcase, according to multiple sources familiar with the plan. Don’t call it a “Pixelbook 2,” though; the Pixelbook Go, our sources say, will be something of a followup to the original Pixelbook while also leaning towards a more traditional take on Chromebooks…

Our sources have characterized this laptop as being a return to the more tried-and-true Chromebook, passing on things like the first Pixelbook’s foldable 2-in-1 form factor, Pixelbook Pen compatibility, and the Pixel Slate’s confusing keyboard attachment. Instead, the Pixelbook Go is a portable and ergonomic clamshell laptop form.

During a Google Hardware-focused session at Google Cloud Next 2019 earlier this year, after a brief look back at the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate, a presentation slide hinted at what was to come. “Now, our goal is to empower your agile, modern workforce to be productive on-the-go,” the slide read, suggesting a future Google laptop.

The Pixelbook Go is that laptop, although it’s clearly built for more than just the “modern workforce” — that was just Google speaking to the enterprise in a session as Cloud Next. To us, it seems like a Chromebook for anyone that can live within the bounds of Chrome OS.

Our sources indicate that the laptop is intentionally built for portability. Most notably, we’re told the Pixelbook Go will be more subdued compared to the Pixelbook and other laptops on the market, and one source said the bottom of the laptop has a “tactile feel” to make it easier to hold. It’s also as light or lighter than the original Pixelbook, thanks to its “magnesium alloy,” we’re told. (Many of Microsoft’s Surface devices also have magnesium alloy bodies.)

We can confirm that the prototype “atlas” laptop that appeared in videos in March, another photo in July, and even more photos just last week, is indeed the Pixelbook Go launching next month.

As for its specifications, we can now independently confirm many of the specs that we’ve (and others) already uncovered via relentless digging in the Chromium source code.

First up is the display. All models of the Pixelbook Go will have a 16:9 aspect ratio 13.3-inch touch screen (the one you can see in the video above), and it will either be Full HD or 4K depending on the model you choose. Only higher-end models will feature the 4K display, which our sources indicated would be getting the same “Molecular Display” branding as the Pixel Slate.

This will make it only the second Chromebook to feature a 4K display option, following the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630.

Similar to the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate that came before it, the Pixelbook Go will be available in a variety of tiers, across a wide spread of prices, separated by processing power, RAM, and in this case, display type. We’re told the Pixelbook Go will come in Intel Core m3, i5, and i7 configurations with either 8GB or 16GB of RAM and 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB of storage.

One source told us that the Pixelbook Go has “much more powerful speakers than the Pixelbook” — there are two, both front-firing. There’s also two mics on the front (like the Pixel Slate), and a 2MP front-facing camera that can capture 1080p at 60fps. There’s also many of the same other internals the Pixel Slate had: a Titan C chip inside and the same WiFi and Bluetooth.

Pixelbook Go

For those curious about the I/O, the Go offers basically the same ports and jacks as the original Pixelbook. The Pixelbook Go has two USB-C ports (one on each side, each with an accompanying LED), and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Our sources say they’ve seen two colors: a “Just Black” like the one you see above, and a “Not Pink”-like model.

We have no word on pricing, but we’d expect it to fall in line comparable to similarly-specced Pixelbook and Pixel Slate models, which would mean roughly $799 and up.

Pixelbook Go is not the only device Google will announce at its 10/15 event in New York City next month. We’re also expecting the company to show off the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, a 2nd generation of its Nest Mini smart speaker, a new Nest Wifi, and more. Be sure to check out our full roundup for all the details as they unfold.

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Avatar for Stephen Hall Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.