Detachable Chromebook ‘Nocturne’ may launch in time for Google’s hardware event
A high-end detachable Chromebook codenamed “Nocturne” may arrive just in time for the holiday rush, according to a recent commit in the Chromium Gerrit. This is the same Chromebook which we suspect could be the Google Pixelbook successor. The commit is for building the factory image of Nocturne. The factory image is used for running a series of tests to verify the device is in working order before being shipped off with its real deal, signed Chrome OS.
When Chrome OS devices reach the factory branch stage it means the timetable becomes a little clearer and we can make a fuzzy guess at the release date. If QC goes through without issue (which isn’t as small a risk as you’d hope), we could see the device hitting shelves in November at the earliest—by our reading of the tea leaves.
A November launch puts Nocturne in perfect line with Google’s hardware event anticipated for early October. At the Google hardware event last year, the Pixelbook was announced and started shipping at the end of the month, setting a loose precedent for a similar timeline this year.
Nocturne is a clear candidate for the Pixelbook successor, and not just because the timeline roughly fits. The detachable Chromebook pushes the envelope in performance and features:
- Kaby Lake-Y chip
- Fingerprint reader
- Backlit keyboard
- 8GB RAM
- Sony IMX 355 and IMX 319 camera sensors, and we can expect Portrait Mode too.
- NVMe storage support
- A high-res display. A source file references 2400×1600 like the Pixelbook, but other settings point to a high-DPI similar to the HP Chromebook 13 G1 (a QHD 3200 x 1800 Chromebook). It could have a smaller screen, or perhaps the source file isn’t accurate (it’s been wrong before).
- Linux app support out of the box
All signs point to Nocturne having high-end features fitting Google’s hardware traits. With so many specifications revealed, the last piece of the puzzle is whether it really is the Google Pixelbook 2 and how much it will cost. With the feature list topping the original Pixelbook, it definitely won’t come cheap.