Google is reportedly working on Chromebook Pixel 2

The next Chromebook Pixel may have the latest Intel chips.

chromebook

A Chromebook can do almost everything that a regular laptop can do.

Credit: Swapnil Bhartiya

Google is reportedly working on a successor to its premium device the Chromebook Pixel. OMG Chrome spotted the mention of Chromebook Pixel 2 during a presentation by Renee Niemi, Director of Android & Chrome, Google for Work.

She was caught on YouTube announcing the new Pixel at "Google TeamWork 2015" event. Unfortunately, Google, the owner of YouTube, has since made the video private, thus depriving us from hearing it ourselves again and again.

Google, obviously, wants to keep the announcement under wraps to do it properly. Here is all we have at the moment from the video:

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 candidly, I think our developers and our Googlers consume 85 percent of what we produce. But yes, we do have a new Pixel coming out.

The previous Pixel was announced over two years ago on February 21, 2013. A major Google event, I/O, is slated for May, and we can safely assume that Google will announce the Chromebook Pixel 2 somewhere between now and that event. Attendees of I/O may actually get the Pixel 2, the way attendees of May 2013 were given the first Pixel.

Since the cat is out of the bag, I don’t think Google will take too much more time to announce the upgrade.

At the moment we don't know anything about the hardware. But we are certain that Google may use the latest Intel Chips to keep the power consumption low and match the 11 hours of battery life that Macbooks in the same price category offer.

Photoshop may arrive with Pixel 2

This is a wild guess; it’s so wild that I would not even call it a guess... I think Google may also announce the public availability of the much awaited Adobe Photoshop for Chromebooks with the announcement of Pixel 2.

Pixel is a powerful device capable of handling resource-intensive applications such as Photoshop and considering its high-end display, the best image editing software in the world would be a perfect accompaniment to the Pixel 2 announcement.

The two companies have been working together for a while and it’s about time public (and not just education) users get to use the product.

What are Chromebooks good at?

Chromebooks are capable of doing almost everything that you can do on your PC or Mac. Most of us live our lives in the Internet, and that's what Chromebooks are meant for - they are the real 'netbooks.'

What Chromebooks really need

As a regular Chromebook user there are some areas where I think Chrome OS needs more improvement. I run a file server locally - which I access via Samba and SSH. Unfortunately, there is no way to access ssh or samba in the File Manager of Chrome OS. There are some dirty hacks where people have managed to install Android file managers like ES File System on Chrome OS to be able to access the local network. So support for such things is much needed - considering the fact that Pixel is primarily targeted at developers.

Is the $1600 price tag worth it?

I have a MacBook Retina, which has over 8GB of RAM and a powerful dual core processor with 256GB of SSD. Chromebook, by comparison, comes only with 32GB (for WiFi) or 64GB (LTE) of SSD. Pixel fails to match the hardware specs.

One area where the devices really are neck-and-neck is display. The display of both Chromebooks seems to match the Macbook Pro Retina display (2560 x 1600 resolution at 227 pixels per inch) with its own 2560 x 1700, at 239 PPI.

While the MacBook has enough juice to run it for up to 9 hours, Chromebook will give me only 5 hours of battery life.

As a full-time Chromebook user, I would like to debunk a myth that these devices don't need powerful processors. The fact is they do. When you try to run resource-intensive applications such as image editors, you can feel the speed (or lack of it) on an average $199 Chromebook. I have a 2 year old Samsung Chromebook and I really can't do any serious image editing using applications like Pixlr.

That's where a $1400 + Chromebook can do justice to such applications with more RAM and more processing power.

Conclusion

As much as I love my Chromebook, I think that Google needs to up the ante in storage and battery life to make it even more appealing for developers.

Google Pixel is like Google Glass: it's not targeted at the average user. It's aimed at developers who are willing to shell out a lot of dollars for such a device.

The question is, if you could buy a $1400 MacBook Pro retina or a Chromebook, which would you buy? And why?

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