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Google Job Role Hints at Chromebook Pixel 3

And it's going to be a 'game-changer'

Pixel

If you thought the Chromebook Pixel line was dead time to think again.

After the critical and commercial flop of the Android-based Pixel C, Google appears to be going back to Chrome OS for its custom hardware.

A job listing on Google Careers suggests that the Pixel line is far from dead, as some tech pundits have speculated.

Looking for a “Quality Engineer, Chromebook Pixel”, Google is searching for: “…a Quality Engineer [who] will be part of shaping Google’s next game-changer.

The job responsibilities for the role also suggest something other than simple seat-warming duties, with references to design, manufacturing, production, team management and more.

The job is listed under “Manufacturing & Supply Chain”.

Chromebook Pixel 3?

The use of ‘next game-changer’ in the job description suggests more to the role than overseeing the existing three Pixel devices.

Furthermore, the job title specifically references ‘Chromebook Pixel’ and not just ‘Pixel’. This hints that the search giant’s next piece of custom-designed hardware will, once again, use Chrome OS.

It’s important to not get carried away. While this role is being advertised as being for the Chromebook Pixel publicly there’s nothing to say that’s what the role will entail privately. Google may, as some reports have suggested, be working on a Nexus-style line of devices using the Pixel brand. 

Whatever this device happens to be, it is bound to get us all talking. 

  • Matt

    Who the heck does your research? The Pixel C was not a critical flop. It is widely regarded as the best Android tablet available. It certainly isn’t the best seller but it most definitely isn’t a critical failure.

    • Jasper Edwards

      Pixel C with Chrome OS and the Play Store would be awesome.

      • m ross

        Chromebook flip

    • Mali Boo

      Yeah, it seems than the Pixel C was even more popular than the Chromebook Pixel (which I own).

    • z0phi3l

      The same people that claim that ALL Nexus devices were flops and that Google is killing the Nexus line, so essentially iTards

      • Mali Boo

        The same kind of people who claim that the Chromebook Pixel – an expensive web browser – is a flop.

    • ChrisGX

      I suspect an Android based Pixel will continue to exist in the Pixel lineup, for a while at least. The classical PC (i.e. under desk box and separate screen and input devices), is dying (gaming PCs are an exception) and there is a lot at stake commercially in who will gain and who will lose from the abandonment of PCs by users. Microsoft in an attempt to avoid the loss of current users has essentially reimplemented the PC in a tablet form with the Surface devices and, so far, this does seem to have stemmed the flow of users from Windows based devices. Apple and Google, on the other hand, want to do as much as they can to encourage the abandonment of PCs. Their strategy involves persuading users that they would be better served if their main personal computing device could be radically simplified and made even more intuitive and automatic – as exemplified by clean and simple (i.e. iOS or Android based) tablets. Google won’t give up on that strategy without putting in the effort first.

      Mechanically, the Pixel C is the best convertible/detachable tablet out there – the design of the components and firm magnetic bonding make other designs look pedestrian. A bigger device, though, more akin to the iPad Pro, will probably be required to capture those ‘free’ ex-PC users who generally would be looking for an enhanced computing experience. I doubt 10.2 inch screens will cut it, for these people. What must be done for an Android tablet to conceivably attract the attention of ex-PC users is pretty obvious – the proposition must look good from the point of view of price, availability of premium software and improved UI functionality (customised for the tablet). Google will have to make progress in all of those areas for its strategy to be a success.

      • Waethorn

        It’s too expensive. I’d rather get a Chromebook at that price – or cheaper.

        • ChrisGX

          Well, personally, I see things that way too, but I am an IT professional (retired) and see tablets as limiting in general. Google, however, seems to think that much of mankind, when not at school or work, should be able to get by without inconvenience while using tablets alone. And, where tablets (including detachables) are concerned Google shows no sign of moving away from Android in favour of Chrome OS.

          • Waethorn

            I disagree. Google is clearly looking at what is selling in the computing industry by bringing Android apps to Chromebooks. They see 2-in-1’s sales are growing and slate tablets are declining. They already have this enormous app ecosystem, so it totally makes sense to bring that to Chrome OS. It also makes sense why they haven’t brought out a Nexus tablet for over 2 years, and why the Pixel C was a one-off.

            And they’re doing this while attracting people to non-Windows devices because users tend to buy tablets for reason that they’re simpler to use than Windows PC’s. It’s a smart play on their part.

          • ChrisGX

            Bringing Android apps to Chromebooks was a necessary step if they were to grow beyond the areas in which they had achieved notable successes (in the United States). Chrome OS, like any OS, was an application platform, but, as it happens, one without too many applications and that is a very limiting situation. That Chrome OS has gained Android applications does not mean Google is trying to shrink the distance between (Chrome OS based) Chromebook notebooks and (Android based) tablets. That there are pricing overlaps between these different lines also says nothing much of importance.

            Regarding your reference to 2-in-1s, I do not subscribe to the notion that there is a practically or commercially meaningful category of device called “2-in-1”, “convertible” or “detachable”. The contrast between notebooks and tablets is self-evident and both kinds of computers can, if certain design features are incorporated, be delivered in the form of a 2-in-1. Of course Google is not trying to force tablets on all of mankind – you can acquire what you please and, in any case, the computing experience will be unified in terms of a UI language and the ability to run Android apps. And, while it is fair to say Google is, “looking at what is selling in the computing industry,” they are doing much more than that – they are trying to reshape the computing world. Google Home is just one example of how a computing device for Google does not correspond to the existing model of computing.

    • m ross

      Yeah the critics were like, can’t be productive cause it doesn’t run Instagram in landscape. The split screen is a total fallacy as well, how productive can you be with split screen on a 10 inch device lol. Plus Android is all about sharing between apps.

      The Pixel C is a great little mixed use traveller, good for an easy day, the train, the couch or going on a trip. If you’re someone who works on a desktop it can also fill a niche. Expecting a 10inch device to replace a laptop is disingenuous as best. It’s like saying the Surface 3 is in the same class as the Pro4

      • I agree. I’ve been very surprised how much I use my Pixel C daily. It’s been great for meetings at work to take notes or shoot quick emails, or at home to do some reading, personal blogging & writing, etc. While the keyboard is a little cramped, particularly for the special character keys along the right, I’ve grown quite accustomed to it. The focused nature of a 10″ screen has also been a benefit to me if I want to just write something. One app on the screen at a time (until N comes out). And it has great battery life to boot.

        • m ross

          Yeah man. I use the N9 with keyboard, that’s even more cramped but you make it work. Like you said you can get a bunch of stuff done on the go. I doubt I will ever use split screen on it.

        • m ross

          Which keyboard do you have?

      • Degru

        Productive on a 10-inch device running a desktop OS? Probably not. Running two mobile apps side-by-side? That’s a different story. With apps designed for smaller screens, split-screen on a 10-inch device becomes a whole lot more usable.

    • JohnCalla

      There were a few reviews out there that indicated that the initial release version was fundamentally broken: touch didn’t work, performance was awful, etc.

      I think they had a few software patches released since then to make it better.

  • Mali Boo

    Please, a Chromebook Pixel with a detachable keyboard – like the Surface Book.

    And the full Play Store experience, of course.

    • Celso Rodrigues

      +1

  • David Bradford

    GPS, removable or clamshell keyboard and multi-touch screen will be required to truly be a game changer.

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      Why would you want GPS on a laptop?

  • Jay

    It should have an OLED screen. It should have 3D-Xpoint memory technology too which should go on sale at the end of the year. If it doesn’t, it will be obsolete when Intel/Micron get 3D-Xpoint rolling.

    • m ross

      OLED isn’t great for laptops until they sort out the Burn in

    • Degru

      OLED isn’t that great. It’s OK on a phone where you’re only turning it on for shorter periods of time, or on a TV where it will be displaying a constantly changing fullscreen image. On a laptop? You’re going to be using it for hours, and there are some persistent elements that are ALWAYS on the screen (taskbar, Chrome top bar) that will get burned in within a week of use. I’d rather stick with existing laptop panel tech. Sure, you don’t get the most vivid colors or the deepest blacks, but it’s good enough, and won’t get burned in.

      • Mi Pen

        Sounds like OLED is having the same issues early LCD TVs were having. A pity. Hopefully it will get fixed as the technology matures.

  • I still struggle to see why people would invest such a large amount of money in a laptop which – at least from looking at the specs – is nowhere near capable as some of the other machines in the price range. This seems to make Macs look more justifiable at their price ranges.

    I don’t want to be demonising it under “It’s unaffordable therefore it’s crap” since I don’t fully understand the purpose of most Chromebooks that aren’t on the lower end of affordability, but if anyone could explain or point to a reason why it’s worth the money I would love to know.

    • Mi Pen

      Its for developers.

      • Mike

        I am a developer but I’m having a hard time justifying buying one of these to work on.

        What kind of development is a Chromebook suited for?

        • Mi Pen

          Probably chrome apps.

        • I use mine for development of all kinds of projects from web apps, to Chrome Packaged apps, to mobile apps, and even desktop apps. The system is only limited by the user wielding it. At the end of the day it is a Linux laptop.

          • Mike

            You use a cloud IDE? Chrome OS cannot run a VM, as far as I know. As soon as you install a Linux on it, sure, you can do anything. But as a Chrome OS device? Nope.

          • No, I personally can’t stand web IDEs. Chrome OS has multiple IDE clients available for it and it is a Linux operating system so if you have it in developer mode you can install Linux apps directly to the OS without the need for a running a virtual machine. If you don’t want to install Linux apps directly to the OS you can set up a chroot with crouton to keep your filesystem a little cleaner and use the crouton xiwi extension to install GUI apps to the chroot and run them in an app window inside Chrome OS.

            The only time I would think I would need a VM is to QA something in Windows and I have plenty of Windows devices at my disposal so I have never bothered with trying to install a VM in Chrome OS or crouton but I have read it is possible if that is your cup of tea.

          • Mike

            But that’s sort of my point. Why not buy a better/equally good laptop and simply run Linux on it? You’re not using the Chromebook as a Chromebook.

          • You’d have to use a Pixel to understand. I routinely jump between 10-15 different devices a day for work. More than a few of them are considered higher quality than the Pixel and at the end of the day I would still rather use my Pixel 2 LS over everything else.

            As someone that spends 12+ hours a day coding the keyboard quality is very important to me and the Pixel’s keyboard is just a joy to type on. The 3:2 display ratio of the monitor is great for writing code as well and the monitor quality is phenomenal. The device is lightning quick, updates are painless, and Chrome OS’s desktop environment is polished and stays out of my way unlike a lot of other Linux desktop environments. Even after a year of heavy use, I still get wonderful battery life as well. I routinely pull off 6-9 hours and that is with heavy development use and running things like nodejs, grunt watch tasks, etc. While just using it to browse and not doing development work I can usually pull off 8-11 hours.

            At the end of the day I spend most of my time in the terminal and no matter which machine I am using I run all of my dev code in a chroot, container, or VM anyways so those tools are involved in my process no matter what so it just comes down to build quality and user experience and Chrome OS on the Pixel excels over the competition.

          • Mike

            Yeah, perhaps I need to try one. But I think we just disagree on things. I code as much as you do but have never found any premium laptop’s keyboard to hold me back.

          • Other keyboards don’t hold me back, they are just as well designed, so after using a Pixel for a couple days you just notice the difference when using other keyboards. It’s one of those things where you have to experience it and then judge for yourself.

          • Muhammad Alhabash

            How would you install Linux apps directly to chrome OS?

    • m ross

      When he latest pixel dropped I thought it was a great price. High quality materials, great keyboard and trackpad, best in class screen, unique and productivity suited aspect ratio. Unfortunately hard to get one in Australia

      I use chromeOS as my daily OS. Folks who say you can’t do everything either have a super niche piece of software or are just full of it. It’s hands down the best OS I have ever used for productivity.

      The LS Pixel is overkill, for sure, but you can run Linux under Crouton which makes it totally worthwhile if you do.

      It’s cheaper than the Macbook equivalent and I prefer ChromeOS to OSX, which I find archaic, cumbersome and dull.

      The addition of Android Apps is the cherry on top. For someone like me, this next pixel is basically the machine that was promised. I’m someone who works on a computer anywhere from 5-10 hours a day, why wouldn’t I want the best laptop for the most agile and forwarding thinking OS out there.

    • Degru

      Just how fast and polished it is. It’s an ultrabook running ChromeOS. It’s INSANELY fast, fastest browsing experience you can get on any laptop. The battery life is equally insane. You can run a Linux desktop with Crouton, but if your work can be accomplished in a web browser, you don’t even need to do that.

      It’s certainly a niche machine, but I for one would love to have one.

      • I suppose that’s true – the Pixel looks incredible. I don’t feel it justifies the price, but comes close if excruciating detail has been put in to making the machine the best quality that can be achieved on the exterior. But still, it seems the specifications are lower than some premium machines.

        I’ve read it has a 12 hour battery life. If that’s true that is an incredible feat. Ideally it should be removable to keep the life on the laptop up, but that can be a great price bump.

        • Degru

          Ultimately it’s not meant to be a product that sells well. It’s meant to be the top-of-the-line Chromebook that other manufacturers should look up to and try to achieve at the lower price points. We’re already seeing some elements in cheaper Chromebooks (Toshiba CB 2’s screen, Flip aluminum build), which is great.

    • Have you actually used a Pixel? As a developer that spends 12+ hours a day coding in front of a screen I can tell you hands down the Pixel is the nicest piece of hardware I have ever had the pleasure of using – and this is coming from a developer with close to 30 functioning laptops/desktops/workstations that I have to use for testing/QA/development all the time.

      • Can’t say I have. They’re not available in my local computer shops, and way too expensive to risk trying out.

        What is it you like the most of it? As in, what element would you say makes it worth the high cost? You have an interesting viewpoint, as you seem to defend it mostly based on the look and feel rather than the hardware and software.

      • Michael Iafrato

        Rocco… thinking of getting a pixel and I want to learn dev. Do you use cruton and Ubuntu as your way of coding?

    • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

      The specs aren’t the problem, is Google’s lackluster support. The 2013 isn’t getting Android apps, will be supported until 2018 only. It’s a training wreck, Google does the same with their Nexus devices, their whole bet is people don’t take this into account when buying their stuff and they don’t realize it until it’s too late.

  • Best Chromebook ever still was the Acer C720P (touchscreen). No clue why it was taken off the market. And as awesome as pixel is; I rather get a MacBook then; more bang for the buck.

    • ikeofkc

      spec-wise, chromebook pixel LS is a better bang for buck. using crouton + android apps make it better software bang for buck.

      • that depends ;-) My ‘El Cheapo’ refurbished HP 2560p Hackintosh with 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD beats both (also cause it still has DVD+/-RW which has it’s benefits every now and then). Throw Virtualization in the mix, and the only thing missing is … eh nothing really. Okay it doesn’t have 802.11ac and the pixel density is far from diserable, but both VGA and displayport/HDMI fix that issue. Of course using Chrome as a browser, but as a developer and multimedia geek MacOS has it perks when it comes to native Adobe support. But yes you do have a valid point. If ONLY the Pixel would be available in Europe (NL). The two prior models were outrageously priced and gone before I could blink my eyes. Looking forward to the Pixel v3 though; love gimmicks.

  • HarryWarden

    As the owner of a Pixel LS 2015, I’m glad that they don’t seem to be going away as rumored. The Pixel is a great computer with a better trackpad than even a top of the line Mac, a great screen, and superb build quality. I’ll buy the next ChromeOS-based Pixel which I’m guessing will land in 2017 or thereabouts.

  • Keith Reeder

    “If you thought the Chromebook Pixel line was dead time to think again.”

    Why would we think that?

  • Mi Pen

    Well with Android functionality coming to Chrome OS games will become an important feature of Chromebooks. So yes powerful Chromebooks make a LOT of sense.

  • ChrisGX

    The burden of the Pixel brand is to demonstrate the viability of Google platforms – Chrome OS or Android – in high end implementations. That other manufacturers have followed Google’s lead is proof of the success of Google’s strategy. If, Google achieves success beyond its wildest dreams with other manufacturers driving the evolution of high end products and taking sales away from the Pixel line is hardly a horrifying prospect for Google. But that won’t be happening any time soon and Google normally has ambitious plans for the introduction of new functionality to existing categories of hardware to keep it busy for a long time, yet.

  • Scott Gibbs

    I keep hesitating on buying the new HP Chromebook 13 because I wonder if a new Pixel might be coming. Does anyone know when something like this will probably be announced? Could it not happen until 2017?

    • Mike King

      I’m in the same boat, I want to pull the trigger and get a Pixel, but I don’t want a refreshed model to come out right after i buy it.

      • Scott Gibbs

        I actually pulled the trigger and ordered the HP 13; it will be here tomorrow. I just decided it was the perfect Chromebook…for me. I realized the least important feature for me on a laptop is a touchscreen. I tried using a touchscreen laptop and hated the experience. So I went for it. The HP 13 checked off every box for what I wanted.

        • calden74

          It almost does, it still needs a touch display for Android apps. I’m waiting for the new Pixel and Asus Flip 2

  • Smanny

    Google has to offer their devices in more markets. For instance in Canada none of the pixel Chromebooks were ever offered. That holds true for some Android devices as well.

    • calden74

      Why didn’t you ever just import it, their are shops available that will ship to just about anywhere. Thankfully I live in a country where receive just about everything, including Chinese exclusives. Though sometimes there are a few products, like the Axis Flip C100 in which I had to import into Switzerland. Took me all of a minute to find a place that shipped to my address. How far away are you to the boarder, can’t you just make a quick shopping expedition?

  • . .

    Chromebooks with a fast UFS card reader-writer would be very nice.

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