Google unveiled its first 2-in-1, the Pixelbook, back in 2017. The device was the company’s first Chrome OS convertible and was launched along with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones. A successor to the laptop, codenamed ‘Atlas’, sporting a 4K display and a dedicated Google Assistant button was rumored to make its debut in 2018 alongside the Pixel 3 smartphones, which never happened. However, a recent FCC filing might point towards the possibility of the next generation.
The application, granted to a certain ‘Quanta Computer Inc’ bears the FCC ID: HFSG021A. For reference, the G021A numbering is like what is used for Pixel devices, such as the Pixel 3’s G013A ID and the Pixel 3a’s G020A ID. Whereas, the original Pixelbook’s FCC ID read HFSC0A. However, hints that point to the possibility that this filing couldn’t be for a Pixel phone come from the applicant itself – Quanta Computer Inc – a Taiwan-based hardware manufacturer that specializes in the manufacturing of notebook computers, one that currently manufactures the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate. The Pixel phones, however, are built by Foxconn Technology Group.
It is possible that the company is tweaking the request for IDs in a way to standardize the process. Since not much information is available owing to the confidentiality request by the applicant until the 20th of January, 2020, we may never know what this device is unless officially revealed by the company. If rumors from last year are to be believed, the next-generation Pixelbook, codenamed Atlas, is expected to sport a 4K display, equipped with at least 8GB of RAM. There could also be a dedicated Google Assistant button on offer.
With no flagship Chrome OS tablets in the works at the moment, the new Pixelbook will have to serve to be the flagbearer of Chrome OS laptops. Google typically announces new products in October every year, so it will be interesting to see if the 2019 lineup includes the next generation 2-in-1, Pixel phones, and any other devices.
As with all companies, plans could change internally, and the device might never see the light of the day.