Most people are happy with inexpensive Chromebooks. Some people, and I'm one of them, want top-of-the-line hardware and were willing to pay $1,449 for the Chromebook Pixel back in 2013. Now, Google will soon be releasing a Chromebook Pixel 2.
Despite requests, Google has not confirmed this. Still, at Teamwork 2015, a conference for Google for Work system administrators and partners, Renée Niemi, Google's Director of the Android and Chrome Global Business Unit within Enterprise, said, "We do have a new Pixel coming out and it will be coming out soon. We will be selling it but I just have to set your expectations: this is a development platform. This is really a proof of concept. We don't make very many of these -- we really don't. And [...] our developers and our Googlers consume 85% of what we produce. But yes, we do have a new Pixel coming out."
OMG Chrome's Joey-Elijah Sneddon, which broke the story, wrote, "As before, the Chromebook Pixel 2 will be a development machine primarily aimed at developers. It won't be pitched at, much less priced for, regular consumers."
That's fine. No one who ever paid the Pixel's premium price could be described as a regular consumer. In my experience, Pixel owners are serious programmers or writers. Linux's creator Linus Torvalds, for example, is a big Chromebook Pixel fan as is Greg Kroah-Hartman, who's the Linux stable kernel maintainer.
In addition, you can run Linux on a Chromebook alongside ChromeOS. Lately, it's become easy to run Linux and ChromeOS on the same display on a Chromebook. For Linux developers, the Pixel, high price-tag and all, is a great machine.
We can make some assumptions about the new Pixel. First, since it appears to have the same size format, it will come with at least its current 2560 x 1700 resolution touchscreen 12.85" display. It's possible that it will be upgraded to 4K's 3,840-by-2,160 resolution.
That's in part because it's a safe bet that the Pixel will be upgrading from its current i5 to a fifth-generation Intel Broadwell chip. This chipset can come with the Intel's Iris Graphics 6100, which supports 4K graphics.
I expect the new Pixel will come with a 2.4GHz Core i7 chip. Even though the chip will be faster, Intel claims that it will get at least an hour more life than its Haswell ancestor.
I think it's certain that it will add 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4 to its Wi-Fi suite. I strongly suspect the 4G version will continue to support Verizon.
As for storage and memory, I don't foresee any changes. 64GBs of local SSD storage and 4GBs of RAM is plenty for Chrome OS.
Finally, I think the prices -- $1,299 for the Wi-Fi-only version and $1,449 for the LTE model -- will be changing. Google aren't selling Pixels to make money from them. They're producing them so top developers, both inside and outside of Google, can have the best possible Chromebook experience.
I wish it were cheaper. Still, that won't stop me from ordering one the minute the Pixel 2 is available. Almost two years after I got my original Pixel, it's still my go-to laptop, and I expect the Pixel 2 to be a worthy upgrade to it.