Recent leaks pointing to a side-by-side launch for the next-generation Pixelbook and Pixel 3 smartphone have reignited speculation that Chromium Gerrit commits referencing 'Atlas' may actually be for that Google-made Chromebook. Initial code related to that hardware nearly mimicked that of the current Chrome OS laptop-like device so that's not an entirely unwarranted expectation. Moreover, code added later on suggested that the device would, at a minimum, ship with 8GB RAM. That's something that only the top-end Pixelbook can boast as of this writing, although there are more expensive variants that ship with more memory. Further rumors have also indicated an expectation that Atlas would feature a display set at a 4K resolution. That type of screen is also something that really only fits with a Google-built Chromebook at the moment, which appears to strengthen the narrative behind the speculation that Atlas is the Google Pixelbook 2.
Meanwhile, two other variations on the build also seem to be referenced in the commit. Those are referred to as ‘Nocturne’ and ‘Poppy’ and point toward a device with a fully detachable keyboard. As of this writing, only HP's Chromebook x2 ships with that particular setup but the commits have raised further speculation that the next Pixelbook may ship with multiple configurations. If true, Google's latest device could be available as a more standard convertible laptop with a 360-degree hinge or with a completely detachable keyboard for a more typical tablet experience. The company may even opt to sell the keyboard separately, mirroring Acer's strategy with its Chromebook Tab 10 - launched earlier this year. It certainly wouldn't be the first time the search giant has taken that approach. The current Pixelbook, for example, does not include the associated pen-sized stylus in the box. That must be purchased for an additional $99.
However, there's no guarantee that any of the current speculations are correct and the news should be taken with a grain of salt. The company generally keeps a tight lid on any and all forthcoming hardware and the information that does slip through doesn't necessarily provide a full picture. For starters, there's still no information available with regard to which processor or GPU the new Atlas Chromebook will ship with. There also hasn't been any leak regarding the storage space of the device, color configurations, or overall design. Google's hardware event is expected to take place on or around October 4.