Pixel-Related FCC Listing Stirs Up Confusion About Incoming Hardware

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A new filing passed through the FCC this week is causing some confusion across the wider internet because of an apparently out-of-place FCC ID and applicant that don't quite seem to match up with previous Google devices. The device is listed with FCC ID HFSG021A and the listed applicant is Quanta Computer Inc.

Details about the device itself outside of those facts and an FCC label that matches nicely with some previously made Google-made Pixel devices are being kept under a confidentiality agreement until at least January 20 of next year. That means there is very little to go on, at least for now.

The present speculation about the device, and the intrigue, center around the possibility that the new FCC listing could point to the long-awaited arrival of a new entry in Google's Pixelbook line of devices. The applicant, on the other hand, lines up more neatly with the search giant's Pixel-branded smartphones than Pixel-branded computer — with the phones ordinarily pieced together by Foxconn.

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This could really be either or neither

Given the applicant, the FCC ID numbers that are given and how vague the still-confidential filing is, it's anybody's guess whether the new device will be a Pixel phone, Pixelbook laptop, or something else entirely. The chances that it will turn out to be a smartphone seem somewhat slim since the listing doesn't actually showcase any mobile frequency bands among its tested frequencies. Support for Bluetooth and Wireless are there but nothing for mobile operators.

It would not be out of the question for Google to choose a different builder for its Pixel Chrome OS devices or smartphones and FCC IDs are not set in stone.

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Google typically launches new hardware in October at its own in-house hardware event. Generally speaking, its gadgetry hasn't been spotted passing through the FCC this far in advance of events either and, at least with regard to last year's announcements, that's sometimes happened after the event already took place. That puts this new listing well outside of the range where it might ordinarily be expected.

If this is a new Pixelbook

If FCC ID HFSG021A does point to a Pixelbook 2, there may be more to the listing than meets the eye. While mobile bands may or may not be kept under wraps by the above-mentioned confidentiality agreement, rumors about the device up to this point have suggested an LTE model might be in the mix — despite relatively few rumors about the device for now. Those have generally shown up in the repository under the codename "Atlas."

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There's also been speculation about whether or not the new Pixelbook will feature an Intel or AMD chipset, with the latter manufacturer's most powerful processors models spotted being added in the Chromium Gerrit as recently as April.

If speculation has been accurate, the device might also ship with the fastest charging used so far in a Chromebook. That rate could be set as high as 60W, matching some of Apple's best offerings and 15W up from the original Pixelbook or the now-defunct Pixel Slate Chrome OS tablet.