Start shopping for the best Chromebooks and you'll find there's only one Google-made contender: the Google Pixelbook Go, which launched all the way back in 2019. Before that we had the Google Pixelbook, which made its debut in 2017 – and we think it's high time that Google got around to making the Pixelbook 2.
We know that Google is more invested in hardware than ever, what with the Pixel 7a launching recently and the Pixel Fold on its way to dominate the folding phones market, so where is the love for the laptops? Google even has its own computer operating system in the form of ChromeOS, so it seems strange that the last Chromebook that Google pushed out into the world is four years old as we write this.
It's worth bearing in mind that the reports are that Google has dissolved the Pixelbook team – it therefore doesn't look as though a Pixelbook 2 is in the pipeline, but sometimes you have to allow yourself to dream a little. We think if Google did bring another Pixelbook out, it would be one of the best laptops around if it followed these suggestions.
1. Plenty of power
On the one hand, Chromebooks don't need a huge amount of power under the hood: after all they're only running the Chrome browser, really. On the other hand, some of the most modern web apps (Slack, Spotify, Gmail) can be pretty demanding on processors and memory, while ChromeOS can run Android apps now as well.
The original Pixelbook came with very decent internal specs for a Chromebook at that time, and we'd like to see the Pixelbook 2 follow suit. It should be a Chromebook for power users, and that means being able to manage dozens and dozens of browser tabs at once, alongside whatever Android apps and games need running.
We've seen plenty of advances in CPU speed since the Chromebook Go launched back in 2019, and the Pixelbook 2 could take advantage of that to run ChromeOS more smoothly and slicker than another laptop around – so please, Google, if you make a PIxelbook 2, don't skimp on the hardware components under the hood.
2. Battery life for days
Unless your laptop is going to stay chained to the desk all day every day then you want it to impress in terms of its battery life: from the best laptops for creatives to the best student laptops, being able to keep a charge for an extended period of time is important. Those laptops that don't have decent battery life are instantly less appealing.
Given the lightweight nature of ChromeOS, with a lot of files only existing in the cloud rather than on local storage, the drain on the battery should be less than it is with anything running Windows or macOS. That gives Google an opportunity to optimise battery life so you can go beyond the standard 'all day' timescale without recharging.
Of course, Chromebooks rely a lot on an internet connection, so it's likely you're going to be heading anywhere too remote or too far from a plug socket with your Pixelbook 2. However, as the latest MacBooks have shown, stellar battery life can make a huge difference to the appeal of a laptop and the experience of using it.
3. Lots of versatility
We liked the way the screen on the original Pixelbook could be folded right back, and we also liked its support for a stylus. These are two features that Google would do well to retain for the PIxelbook 2, meaning it wouldn't just appeal to those wanting a Chromebook, but also to those wanting one of the best tablets around.
Google has even had time to push out the Pixel Tablet while its Pixelbook laptop line gathers dust – a device that doubles-up as both a tablet and a smart home hub. The Pixelbook 2 could be equally versatile as well to broaden its appeal, and with the support for Android apps that ChromeOS offers would help here.
So will there be a Pixelbook 2?
It seems clear to us that there's an opening for a powerful, lightweight, long-lasting, versatile Chromebook called the Pixelbook 2 – but it also appears that Google has made its mind up when it comes to laptops.
We can only hope that the Pixel phones, tablets and smartwatches do so well that Google decides to take another look at Chromebooks. The Pixelbook 2 would be a dream option.