While we’re still yet to see a large handful of 12th-gen Intel-powered Chromebooks in development actually hit the market, there’s another sector of next-gen ChromeOS devices on the way that haven’t broken cover yet: the new wave of Chromeboxes (and maybe a Chromebase or two). While less flashy and far more practical than something like a gaming or convertible Chromebook, the humble Chromebox is a solid computing option for a lot of people out there looking for speedy internals at a lower price for the desktop.
The last Chromebox arrivals came via the 10th-gen ‘Puff’ baseboard and like we see most times with these devices, they skipped a generation and there was never an 11th-gen Chromebox released. Prior to those releases, we had 8th-gen Chromeboxes and each time we get a new batch, it is always interesting to see what manufacturers do with their specs and pricing. Without the need of a keyboard, trackpad, speakers or a screen, the cost in making a Chromebox versus a Chromebook is far less, allowing for very high-spec boxes to cost quite a bit less than their Chromebook equivalents.
Our two new additions to the upcoming Chromebox family are ‘Gladios’ and ‘Lisbon’, both presumably made by the same company: HP. We don’t have firm details on this, but the email address all over both of these boards belongs to Tommy Chung, and he’s heavily involved in quite a few other HP devices over the past few years. While this isn’t a 100% certainty, it is highly likely.
Apart from this, there’s not much else to glean from these early commits. Obviously, with both boards based on ‘Brask’, we’re looking at some form of 12th-gen Intel chip inside, so that should mean options for both lower and higher-tier devices if they choose to go that route.
A few points of interest for ‘Lisbon’ and ‘Gladios’
As both of these new Chromeboxes look to be made by HP and share quite a bit in common, it does make us wonder what they might be up to with dual models. With easily-swappable internals, there’s no real reason to make two devices just to have a high-end and a mid-range model. Instead, they could just make multiple SKUs of the same board with different internals.
Perhaps – and this is a total guess – HP is making both a Chromebox and a new Chromebase this time around. They’ve not released an HP-branded Chromebox in quite some time and their rotating Chromebase was an absolute hit when it arrived last year. Maybe they are continuing to stretch out in the desktop category by offering customers both options.
For now, we don’t have any clear indication that either of these boards are all-in-one devices, however, and there’s no mentions of screens or rotating displays that we’ve found at this point. It’s early for both devices, so I’m not ready to rule it out at this point. After all, early commits for ‘Dooly’ made it look like just another Chromebox, but it turned out to be HP’s excellent Chromebase 22. There’s still time for that to occur with ‘Gladios’ or ‘Lisbon at this point.
Finally, both of these Chromeboxes share a similar trait to one other Chromebox we’re tracking in ‘Gaelin’: all three have support being added for Qi wireless charging. I’ve talked about it before, but this could be for a few things. I think the most likely situation would see these new Chromeboxes having a simple Qi charger on the top of the device, allowing the Chromebox to be both your computing device and a wireless charging pad, too.
The other option would be for a wireless charging USI pen that could be very handy for a device like the current HP Chromebase 22. With three of these new Chromebox development boards now having this same Qi charging ability, I’m far less likely to think that is the end goal, here. I don’t foresee either of these new devices making it to store shelves before 2023, so there’s definitely time for things to develop in that direction. I’m not counting out a Chromebase yet. We’ll be continuing to keep an eye on them all, for sure, and maybe we’ll get a quick peek of a few of these new boxes at CES 2023 coming up in January.