Last month, reports surfaced that Google had made cutbacks in its Create division, suggesting that the health of Google’s Pixelbook laptops and Pixel Slate tablets wasn’t looking too rosy.
However, Google has now confirmed to The Verge that new tablets and laptops will be coming, though it wouldn’t be drawn on what or when.
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Although these two reports seem to contradict each other, they’re actually fairly consistent. The earlier report about “roadmap cutbacks” specifically mentioned that manufacturing numbers were unaffected, meaning that it was always expected that there would be at least one more batch of products that had finished their preliminary design – it was always the longer-term future that was in doubt.
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But Google has dropped a pretty huge hint that even this may not be so clear cut. Yesterday, 9to5Google reported from Google’s Cloud Next 2019 conference where something said by Pixelbook Group product management lead Steve Jacobs strongly suggests that there may be life in Google hardware yet.
“We think there’s 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,” Jacobs said in a talk entitled ‘Introducing Google Hardware for Business’.
That’s pretty hard to misinterpret: it’s in a talk about hardware, so it’s unlikely to be software tweaks and it specifically talks about products beyond Pixelbook and Pixel Slate, which points to life beyond the next single iteration.
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Indeed, as The Verge points out, Jacobs’ own LinkedIn page lists three different departments in Google’s Core Technology group: Pixelbook, Pixel Slate and the intriguingly named “Emerging.”
One way or another, it sounds like reports of Google’s computer hardware death have been greatly exaggerated.
What would you like to see in new Google hardware? Let us know on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.