It appears the Google Pixelbook no longer exists, with reports that Google has not only canceled its next Chromebook, but has also dissolved the team working on it.
this news, as reported by The Verge (opens in new tab), is a real hit. The previous model, the Pixelbook Go, was not only one of the best Chromebooks ever made, it was also one of the best laptops.
It’s also a surprise, as there were hints that Google was working on a new Pixelbook as recently as this year’s Google I/O. A Google spokesperson also hinted last year that a new Pixelbook was coming.
Sadly, it appears that plans have now changed, likely in part by Google’s decision to cut costs by canceling or pausing certain projects. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, wrote in a memo (and seen by The Verge (opens in new tab)), that these measures “mean to pause development and reallocate resources to areas of higher priority”. It looks like the team working on future Pixelbooks has been redeployed elsewhere at Google.
Review: Goodbye, Pixelbook
The Pixelbook series only had two entries – the original, high-end Pixelbook alongside the more affordable Pixelbook Go – but it certainly left a mark.
The original Pixelbook was supposed to show the potential of Chromebooks. Rather than just being a cheap device for browsing the web and sending a few emails, the Pixelbook came with a stunning 2,400 x 1,600 screen, 256GB SSD, 8GB of RAM, and an Intel Core i5 processor – the kind of specs that wouldn’t look out of place on a high-end laptop.
Its aim was to challenge people’s preconceptions about what a Chromebook is, while also acting as an inspiration for other Chromebook makers (Google, of course, is also behind the Chrome OS operating system that all Chromebooks run, therefore interested in the success of all Chromebooks, not just yours). This was a difficult task – virtually impossible – and so it may come as no surprise to learn that it was not successful.
The main problem was the high price – starting at $999/£999 (about AU$1,500) and going all the way up to $1,649/£1,699 (about AU$2,400), the lack of sales meant the world wasn’t ready for an expensive Chromebook.
The follow-up Pixelbook Go was more affordable, but starting at $849/£829 (about AU$1,250), it was still much more expensive than most Chromebooks despite offering excellent performance and battery life, plus one of the best keyboards we’ve even used on a laptop.
Once again, the Pixelbook Go has remained a niche product despite positive reviews (ours included).
With Google seemingly ending development on the Pixelbook, it seems there is no appetite for premium Chromebooks with corresponding price tags. Understandable, but we can’t help but be saddened that this could mean that Chromebooks are doomed to always be seen as budget devices, when they could have been so much more.