While Intel is busy creating more confusion around which processor they’re actually ready to release, another Comet Lake-powered Chromebook has popped up in the Chromium repository. Built on the expanding ‘Hatch’ platform, ‘Akemi’ began development just yesterday with ODM Bitland at the helm.
The initial build of the device ‘Akemi’ is taken directly from the ‘Hatch’ unibuild which features Intel’s unannounced Comet Lake processor reported to be yet another refresh of the 14nm Skylake architecture. Rumor has it, these chips won’t be officially available until 2020 which is awesome news for the world of Chrome OS. This means that the ‘Hatch’ family of devices could very well launch with the latest generation of Intel chips if you don’t include the 10nm Ice Lake processors that have been axed from the repositories.
There isn’t much to glean from the new device but there are a couple of interesting clues found in the small handful of commits already uploaded for ‘Akemi’. First, despite being cloned from ‘Hatch’, the following commit hints that ‘Akemi’ could be unique among its brethren.
akemi: add initial content for the build
This initial content of akemi is taken after hatch. It will need to be revised later.
This could mean that the OEM is looking to make some significant changes to the device that will require more fine-tuning and set it apart from the other ‘Hatch’ devices.
The next clue points to a possible OEM. Bitland is the company in charge of manufacturing this new device and they are an ODM. This means that they are getting their design cues from another company that will be putting their name on the Chromebook when it’s release. Now, Bitland handles devices for a number of companies including CTL, Poin2 and HiSense. However, ‘Akemi’ will surely be a flagship-caliber device considering the CPU that’s inside.
Now, that doesn’t mean one of these companies isn’t prepping a new premium model but my money is on another OEM and that company is Lenovo. Lenovo has worked with Bitland on other devices and they, more than ever, have been pumping out Chromebooks left and right. That’s just a hunch at this point but there’s a good chance they are the company behind the curtain on this one. We shall just have to wait and see.