We just recently uncovered the existence of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Chromebook tablet in the works by the name of ‘Coachz’ that will have a unique feature in its ability to both wirelessly charge up itself and reverse wireless charge accessories. In our digging for more details on ‘Coachz’, we’ve come across a new commit that makes a pretty good case for this tablet possibly having the ability to charge a USI pen in a very similar way to what we see with the Apple Pencil.
coachz: Enable stylus charging
This patch enables stylus charging.via the Chromium Respoitories
On its own, this commit doesn’t offer up anything clearly different than what we’ve reported on from other upcoming Chromebooks with stowable, rechargeable USI pens. What struck me as interesting, however, is the lack of any language in any ‘Coachz’ commit referring to a stowable stylus. All the other devices we’re tracking with recharging pens all do so when the pen is seated inside the device. This doesn’t seem to be the case with ‘Coachz’.
Instead, we see from the included board.h file in this commit some references to language that – if you’ve been keeping up with this new tablet – should ring a bell. Specifically, starting on line 53 we see the following:
If you notice, this is a configuration for the CTN730 with reference to WLC. This CTN730 device is an NFC wireless charging component that we spoke of before with being used on ‘Coachz’, but it is being referenced in this instance with regard to charging the stylus specifically. Add to this the recent announcement by both USI and NFC that wireless recharging is coming to USI pens and we start to see an image taking shape.
While this could mean you can generically drop a pen on the tablet and charge it (assuming it conforms to wireless charging standards), it really doesn’t need to be defined in this way via this specific commit if that is the case. For instance, if a phone or tablet has reverse wireless charging, it doesn’t have to be explicitly decided what devices it can charge, right? A Samsung phone will charge Galaxy Buds and AirPods Pro alike.
So, with this being a specific addition for the stylus on ‘Coachz’, it only stands to reason that whoever is making this tablet has a wireless charging solution in mind for the pen and that solution involves NFC WLC to get the job done, not some sort of internal solution that can be used while the pen is stowed inside. Sound familiar? If not, let me introduce you to Apple’s stylus charging solution on the iPad Pro lineup.
With this simple mechanism, the Apple Pencil has a place to securely stay put all while charging itself up at the same time. Wirelessly. While ‘Coachz’ may not have the exact same setup, my gut tells me something quite similar is in the works. We have rechargeable USI pens already in the works and ‘Coachz’ is clearly getting outfitted with reverse wireless charging – specifically in regard to the stylus. While it may not look exactly like the iPad Pro, I’d say we’re in for something quite similar when it arrives. As always, we’ll keep digging to find out more about ‘Coachz’ and, if this device keeps delivering interesting Chrome OS firsts, it could be one of the big releases of 2021 to be on the lookout for.