It’s been a few days since we’ve heard any new rumors about the Chromebook Pixel, but now the Wall Street Journal is jumping into the game. According to those ever elusive and mysterious “people familiar with the matter,” Google is indeed working on a touchscreen Chromebook that will be released later this year.

This all but confirms the previous rumors we’ve been hearing, as the Wall Street Journal has a near-perfect record when it comes to reporting on various tech speculation and rumors. Still, we don’t know anything more about price, the date they’ll go on sale, or who the manufacturer will be – but if the entirety of these rumors is to be believed, Google will most likely be producing these without any manufacturer branding, ala the CR-48.

Still, Google doesn’t manufacture its own computer hardware – that we know of, at least. Granted, Motorola’s smartphone division is technically owned by Google, but it is supposedly being run completely independently. So someone will have to actually build these things: HP, Acer, Lenovo, and Samsung have all jumped on the Chrome OS bandwagon so far, but I actually still haven’t discounted Motorola quite yet. I may be totally going out on a limb here, but I suspect that maybe Google didn’t buy Motorola only for its patents and smartphone manufacturing capabilities, but maybe – just maybe – in order to build this new touchscreen Chromebook, too.

After all, code has been appearing in Chrome OS for about a year now, indicating that Google is making the OS more touch-friendly. So it’s not like these plans are anything new. In other words, Google was already planning the production of the Chromebook Pixel at the same time it was completing the Motorola Mobility acquisition.

Hmm … it kind of makes you stop and think, doesn’t it?

In regards to the release date, I think it’s quite obvious that Google is waiting for I/O in May. Most likely, this will be one of the freebies that developers in attendance will receive, and it will probably go on sale shortly after.

Price-wise, Google has started a branding campaign that emphasizes the low cost of Chromebooks, which now start as low as $199. The Chromebook Pixel will probably be considered the most premium Chrome OS device available, and come with lots of bells and whistles, including more megapixels in the web cam and a backlit keyboard. Processor speeds will most likely be bumped up, I’m expecting 4GB of RAM, and we might even see internal storage increased to 32GB or 64GB. Still, I don’t anticipate the Chromebook Pixel to be over $500, especially if Google wants to keep the Chrome OS brand in peoples’ minds as more economically reasonable.

In any case, these are my thoughts – and that’s exactly what they are: my own, personal speculation. But I’d love to hear what you think. Let me know in the comments below, and hopefully more details will be revealed very, very soon.

Update: As it turns out, my speculation was very short-lived. Google literally just announced the Chromebook Pixel, and you can read all the details here.