Earlier this year, we had heard that Google confirmed plans for new Chrome tablets and laptops. Now, Google has made an about-face, and scrapped plans for tablets in lieu of Chrome laptops exclusively, ComputerWorld (opens in new tab) reports.
The in-house hardware team at Google was working on both tablets and laptops, but now the focus is shifting fully towards laptops. That means all hopes for a Pixel Slate 2 are pretty much lost, unless Google makes another flip-flop.
Support for the existing Pixel Slate will continue, but shoppers looking to get new hardware from Google with screens bigger than the Pixel phones will likely have to turn to the Pixelbook line.
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The shift in focus toward laptops does mean there's at least more certainty we'll be seeing a Pixelbook 2 at some point. The original Pixelbook was already an incredible machine with a brilliant keyboard, an excellent design and the best of both Chrome OS and Android. The Pixelbook 2 should make substantial improvements on the design, especially with extra focus from Google's hardware team.
Not an end to Chrome OS
This isn't the most tragic tale, though. The Pixel Slate had some things going for it, but it's not nearly the masterpiece that the Pixelbook is, and the separate pricing of the keyboard cover and stylus don't help it along. Increased focus on Pixelbook models will likely be a positive result of this decision.
It's also worth considering what a Chrome OS device has to offer if it doesn't include a keyboard. All of the best Chromebooks have keyboards built on, whether they're 2-in-1 devices that have a tablet mode or more traditional laptops. For a Chromebook to come as a standalone tablet by default just raises the question: why not go with an Android tablet?
There is no shortage of Android tablets at a wide variety of price points that would be just as capable, if not more capable, as a Chrome OS tablet.
Now, we just wait and see what Google can deliver with the Pixelbook 2.
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