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Despite rumors that Google will downgrade its focus on hardware, the company has all but confirmed it intends to release further laptops and tablets with a possible mystery Pixel device in the works.
The speculation that Google may be looking to improve and perhaps extend the Pixel line-up comes on the back of the Pixel Slate release last year and is based on comments made during their recent Cloud Next 2019. So, what exactly was said?
In a Cloud Next session entitled ‘Hardware for Business’ Google’s Lead Product Manager Steve Jacobs took to the stage to recap both the current Google Pixel line-up and hint at what’s coming next for the tech giant.
As 9to5google notes, Jacobs spent time explaining the type of users they were trying to target with the Pixel range.
The 2017 Pixelbook was created for leaders, busy executives, and information workers, including business teams and technology workers with the device suited to engagement and training, he said.
Meanwhile, the Pixel Slate was designed for customer-facing teams including sales teams in the field, travelling executives, front of house workers, creative teams, and medical practitioners, and was suited to uses like check-in or reception.
But according to Jacobs, Google’s commitment to hardware would not stop there, with a potential new device that would better assist the workforce become “more productive on-the-go”.
Jacob’s comments have led many to believe there could be a mystery device in the works for Google.
He noted the company was now looking to better assist workers who work away from their desk and remotely.
“The tools they have aren’t really conducive to the lifestyle and work style that makes them maximally productive and excited about going to work every day.
“We think there are some unique things we can do differently than the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate that are going to really help give them what they’re looking for when they’re working in this new modern cloud-first era.”
There’s no word, however, on the timeline for any release or what exactly it will feature. In recent years Google has launched its products in October, including the Pixel Slate that was introduced last year.
Launched in November 2018, the Pixel Slate was Google’s most recent attempt at challenging Microsoft and Apple in the lucrative tablet market for professionals.
A 12.3-inch tablet that is designed to blur the lines between a tablet and a computer, the Slate runs Google Chrome software with Google Drive built-in and has two USB-C ports which are capable of fast-charging and 4k video output.
It comes complete with a selection of configurations, with the US$599 base model featuring 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and an Intel Celeron processor. From there the spec’s and price tag increase, with the top of the line US$1599 version featuring 16GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor.
In between there are 8th generation Intel Core M3 processor or Core i5 versions available.
There’s no word whether a second-generation Slate is set for release, but based on Jacob’s comments which indicate Google will continue its hardware focus, it looks increasingly likely.