Google’s next Pixelbook is basically a Macbook that runs Chrome OS

Ribbed for your pleasure —

Google’s followup to the Pixel Slate is in a much more traditional form factor.

  • The Pixelbook Go. Does this look like any other laptop you can think of?

  • Get a load of the bottom, which has this crazy ribbed pad on it.

  • This is just a prototype, so there are placeholder logos.

  • The main deck and its very Macbooky layout.

Google’sOctober 15 hardware eventis fast approaching, and in addition to the launch ofthe Pixel 4,Google Home Mini 2,Google WI-Fi 2, anda new pairof Pixel Buds, the show should see a new Pixelbook arrive. We’ve known the new Pixelbook would be called the “Pixelbook Go,” but other than a few details from Chrome OS commits the device has mostly been a mystery. Google takes its title as “least secretive device manufacturer” very seriously, though, and recently9to5Googlemanaged to just geta Pixelbook Go ahead of the event. They took a bunch of pictures and video.

Unlike the fairly unique design of theoriginal Pixelbookand thePixel Slate, the Pixelbook Go mostly just looks like a MacBook. 9to5Google got that vibe from the device in person, too, writing: “We can’t fathom that this laptop won’t immediately be labeled ‘Google’s MacBook.'” The one unique design aspect is the bottom, which is a brightly colored, ribbed pad that covers the entire bottom of the device. This device is a near-final prototype, with placeholder logos and product names.

The report doesn’t nail down the material used to build the laptop (aluminum?), but it does say the laptop has “what appears to be a painted on coating similar to that of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.” The Pixel 2 was a metal phone with a thick coating of paint on top, but this time the finish seems to be smoother and softer.

9to5Google reports the keyboard is “just as good or better than the first Pixelbook” and it “feels great to type on.” The trackpad is “a traditional “diving board” trackpad and seemed sufficiently responsive and “clicky.”

There are single USB-C ports on the left and right side of the laptop, along with LEDs indicating the device’s charging status. Like with past Pixelbooks, it seems like you can charge the device from either port. On the right side is also a headphone jack.

The report also has a full spec sheet:

  • Intel Core m3, i5, and i7 configurations
  • Either 8GB or 16GB of RAM
  • 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB of storage
  • 2 front-firing speakers
  • 2MP front-facing camera – 1080p at 60fps
  • Titan C chip
  • Normal Wifi and Bluetooth
  • 13.3-inch touch screen
  • 16:9 aspect ratio, both Full HD or 4K “Molecular Display” options
  • Two USB-C ports (each with an accompanying LED)
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Two colors: “Just Black” and a “Not Pink”

Not included in the spec sheet: a fingerprint reader.

Google’s tablet and hardware divisionreportedly receivedcutbacks in early 2019. After it was clear the company’s latest product Chrome OS product, the Microsoft Surface-like Pixel Slate, was a flop, Google Hardware SVP Rick Osterloh admitted the hardware group was cutting back on its portfolio. He said it would no longer make tablets or Surface-style devices.

The key thing not shown in these leaks is the price. Google Hardware products have typically been very expensive compared to the competition. We’ll know more next Tuesday.

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