There’s no doubt we’re all very excited about the imminent arrival of the first MediaTek Kompanio 1200 (MT8195)-powered Chromebook and it looks like – along with ‘Spherion’ (an upcoming MT8192-powered Chromebook) – Acer will be the company bringing this processor to the market first.
It makes sense, too. Acer and MediaTek Chromebooks go way back, beginning with the Acer Chromebook R13. That device was honestly way ahead of its time and was the first Chromebook to arrive with a MediaTek chip inside. It is hard to imagine a Chrome OS ecosystem without MediaTek heavily involved, but that was the case back in 2016. Since then, we’ve seen quite a few MediaTek-powered Chromebooks and that is only set to expand in the coming months with the introduction of MT8192 and MT8195.
The number of MT8195-based Chromebook development boards is pretty limited at the moment, but one of these boards – ‘Tomato’ – looks like it will be coming to us via Acer as the manufacturer. There’s a lot to learn yet about this device, but there is really good reason to believe it is being made by Acer and perhaps a little hope that we’ll see it in early stages at Acer’s upcoming Global Press event in October.
There are two primary reasons I believe ‘Tomato’ is an Acer device: a particular developer on many of the commits and the battery being used inside the device. Let’s start with the developer. Sue Chen has been involved in many Chromebook development boards, and almost all of them are for Acer. With devices like the Acer Spin 513, Acer Chromebook 511, Acer Chromebook 514, Acer Chromebook 311, Spin 511 and more all under her belt, it’s a safe bet that if Sue is involved, Acer is behind it.
Now, about that battery. As you can see above, a specific battery has been added for ‘Tomato’ and – no surprise here – that battery is used in many Acer devices. It’s even being added by Sue Chen. It doesn’t take much of a leap to assume Acer is behind ‘Tomato’ at this point, and that is pretty exciting to me.
With their long history with MediaTek, I’m hopeful that the first Kompanio 1200 device will be a solidly-built machine. Acer’s become pretty good at producing nice convertibles, and that looks like what we’ll be seeing with ‘Tomato’. I’m hopeful that the further development of the ‘Cherry’ baseboard will yield some tablets along the way, but that’s just not in the cards yet. But a thin, light, clean convertible with the powerful MT8195 inside? I’d be very happy with that. Let’s cross our fingers and hope that Acer at least shows it off in their upcoming event in a few weeks and that maybe – just maybe – we’ll have our hands on one in the upcoming weeks.