'Pixelbook 2' Commit Hints At MacBook-Level Charging Speeds

Google's as-yet-unreleased Pixelbook 2 may ship with the fastest charging of any Chromebook to date, based on a recently spotted Chromium Gerrit commit. The changes in the commits for a Chromebook under the codename 'Atlas', long suspected to be the search giant's upcoming second-generation Pixelbook, point to 60W charging via a USB PD charger and "zinger." Specifically, it verifies that Atlas can pull more than 45W and notes that hardware engineers have verified that 60W charging is possible.

Zinger itself remains undefined as of the latest commit but seems to be indicative of a charging protocol based on the language used in the commit. That could mean that the next top-tier Chrome OS laptop from Google will support faster charging than the previous Pixelbook or the Google Pixel Slate -- which both charge via the same 45W charger, bring. Summarily, Zinger may be the codename for an incoming fast charging protocol such as Qualcomm's Quick Charge.

What does this say about Pixelbook 2?

Aside from the probability of the long-speculated Atlas Chromebook supporting rapid charging, as noted above, the boost in the overall wattage of the associated PD charger is a change as well. Chromebooks generally charge using a 30W or 45W charger while some among the competition, including Apple's MacBook, charge via a 60W charger. That doesn't necessarily make that latter device charge faster than a current-generation Pixelbook though.

Zinger won't likely change the charging time by nearly as much as the metrics in use would imply either. Instead, as with all rapid charging techniques, the device would probably utilize rapid charging for a percentage of the process and then drop the rate much lower for the final push. That protects the battery from over-charging and other damaging effects and doesn't mean there wouldn't be any speed increase at all.

Regardless, there's no reason just yet to think the new charging protocol would be groundbreaking -- at least until its seen in action in real-world testing -- since 60W charging isn't new.

The change could indicate that Atlas will have a bigger power supply than its competitors since details haven't leaked yet regarding the device's expected capacity. That would make some sense since Google would want to keep some consistency in charging speed between the previous generation and its newest device when it finally launches.

Speculation has also arisen suggesting the new Chrome OS gadget could simply require a higher input based on its power draw, meaning that 60W charging might be needed to help the device charge while in use.

Where exactly is Pixelbook 2?

Whatever the new 'zinger' turns out to be, the next premium Chromebook from Google might still be a long way off. Although some rumors suggest the new device will get its own launch event early in the year, the company's Chrome OS tablet only launched at the end of last year and didn't begin shipping until very late in the year. Chromebooks also have a reasonable shelf life of around five years from their rollout, giving the current Pixelbook a couple of more years at least before it reaches its end-of-life period.

So it seems unlikely that Google will prepare an official launch for the previous generation's replacement before its usual announcements at the end of the year, despite the many changes to the Gerrit that point to the device nearly being finalized.

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About the Author

Daniel Golightly

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for AndroidHeadlines since 2016. As a Senior Staff Writer for the site, Daniel specializes in reviewing a diverse range of technology products and covering topics related to Chrome OS and Chromebooks. Daniel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering and has a background in Writing and Graphics Design that drives his passion for Android, Google products, the science behind the technology, and the direction it's heading. Contact him at [email protected]
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