Google is reportedly working on a new Pixel laptop that will run on the long-gestating new operating system that merges Android and Chrome OS. According to Android Police and 9to5Google, the device is known internally by the codename “Bison” or Pixel 3, and will run on what’s currently being called “Andromeda” when it sees release in Q3 2017. In addition, 9to5Google also reports that Huawei is working on a new Nexus tablet that will also run the new OS.
To be released in Q3 2017
Both outlets report that the new laptop won’t be marketed as a Chromebook. Rather, the device is far more ambitious, serving as a fully realized notebook running software that’s meant to rival Windows and macOS when it comes to productivity. The notebook will be 10mm thick, have 12.3-inch displays, and will convert into a tablet mode with stylus support. As far as features are concerned, there’ll be an Intel processor, two USB-C ports, a backlit keyboard, and a glass trackpad with force detection a la the new MacBooks.
As for the new Nexus tablet, details are slimmer, but it will reportedly have a 7-inch display and 4GB of RAM and also run on Andromeda. Evan Blass tweeted earlier this month that the new tablet was on track for the end of the year.
Google’s Huawei-built 7-inch tablet, with 4GB RAM, on track for release before the end of the year.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) September 5, 2016
Crucially, the new Andromeda OS powering the devices looks like the Android-Chrome OS hybrid Google has been working on for some time. The Wall Street Journal and The Verge confirmed last year that the search giant was attempting to fold Chrome OS into its more-dominant mobile cousin, with plans to release hardware running on the OS by 2017. That this new Pixel will potentially see release by this time next year does seem to line up with that original timeline. What’s more, 9to5Google also reports that Google is testing the new OS on the recently discontinued Nexus 9.
Don’t expect to see the “Bison” at next week’s Pixel event
Does any of this mean observers should expect news about “Bison,” the new Nexus, or Andromeda at Google’s Pixel event next week? It’s complicated. All signs so far show that the event will be devoted to new phones and Android Nougat’s next phase, so it’s possible the Huawei Nexus will make an appearance. However, Q3 2017 is a long way off. Anything can happen in a year’s time, so it’s entirely possible Google will push back this clearly ambitious effort. Still, there’s every reason to be excited about what Google has planned for computing in years ahead.