For all whopping success with smartphones, Google never managed to get huge in the laptop realm. The long-standing Chromebook program can attest that this is not due to lack of trying, but for one reason or the other (and many have been cited over the years), the web-centric approach to mobile productivity is yet caught on.
Today, some interesting insider info was brought forward that offers a sneak peek at how the search titan is planning to attack the sector yet again.
Apparently, Google is working on a new device within an internal project codenamed "Bison". The tech in question is allegedly a laptop, or perhaps a 2 in 1 convertible that Google is planning to out some time in Q3 next year. A "Pixel 3" moniker has also been suggested, which even in itself hints that we are talking about a successor, or perhaps more correctly, a replacement for the Chromebook family. One in line with the ongoing "Pixel" rebranding.
But it is not just the name that gives the intentions away. Apparently, the device will also be the ambassador to a brand new Google OS - Andromeda. Again, the title is a major giveaway here. Remember how Chrome OS promised support for Android apps, but never quite made good on that promise? Well, Andromeda appears to have taken the opposite approach - burn in proper Chrome support into Android. The source is also confident that this is a totally separate effort from Chrome OS and the ARC project as a whole. "Bison" and "Andromeda" are said to be much larger and higher-level undertakings.
It is definitely too early to speculate on any feature set for the new OS, but it does sound exciting. Furthermore, given the current state of Android with its flourishing app ecosystem, it really makes more sense to put that experience first on a new mobile productivity platform and then add Chrome to the mix. Plus, since Android 7 Nougat already has a Free Form windowed mode baked in, Andromeda less work to do with the desktop GUI department.
We got a few specs for the Pixel 3, too. However, these are entirely preliminary and if "Bison" even survives to a final release, are likely to change. Still, it is said to feature a 12.3-inch display, backlit keyboard, glass trackpad with haptic feedback and force detection and a battery good for up to 10 hours of use, all inside a razor-thin 10mm body.
An Intel Core m3 or Core i5 will to power the laptop or perhaps both variants will exist. Storage should range from 32GB to 128GB with 8GB or 16GB of RAM. Other mentioned features include a USB Type-C port, 3.5mm jack, a fingerprint reader, stereo speakers, quad microphone setup, as well as a Wacom pen accessory. The latter will be offered separately.
Finally, we have early price estimate. It puts the Pixel 3 at $799 in the lower end. Again, this is likely to change at some point. It is also quite likely for us to see a teaser or perhaps even a sneak preview of the Pixel 3 and/or Andromeda at Google's October 4 event. However, as already mentioned, a release is still some time away.