If you can’t already tell, I’m pretty enamored by the idea of what ‘Coachz’ will likely become. Who doesn’t get excited by an 11-inch, 3:2, QHD detachable Chromebook with the Snapdragon 7c, a kickstand, and a wireless charging USI stylus that will likely connect via magnets on the outside? OK, so not everyone is as over the moon as I am about this upcoming Chromebook, but I can tell by our metrics that quite a few of you are, and if that is you, you’re going to be excited by today’s news.
In my regular perusing of the Chromium Repositories, I came across a new board that answers another question regarding ‘Coachz’ while also giving us hope that this unicorn of a Chromebook tablet won’t be the only one out there. ‘Homestar’ popped up just this week as a direct copy of ‘Coachz’, meaning development is now beginning on another detachable Chromebook with the Snapdragon 7c inside.
For now, things are absolutely a carbon copy of what ‘Coachz’ is currently. I even found references to the exact same display being tested. While some of the similarities could absolutely hold true, the development process for this variant will obviously change some of the parts of the Chromebook experience from what we’re seeing in ‘Coachz’ by the time it arrives. There’s no way for us to know at this point if ‘Homestar’ will carry the same kickstand, wireless USI pen charging or screen resolution once everything shakes out, but there’s also no ruling out the addition of new features in ‘Homestar’ that we don’t have in ‘Coachz’.
The bigger picture here is the momentum we’re finally seeing in the detachable Chromebook space. With the disappointing Pixel Slate experience and early Chrome OS tablets just not being very desirable, it feels like the Lenovo Chromebook Duet’s success kicked down a door and now others are following. With ASUS’ new Chromebook Detachable CM3 on the way and now two Snapdragon 7c tablets being prepped for release, it seems the Chrome OS tablet is very much back in play again.
Some ‘Coachz’ and ‘Strongbad’ clarification
As I said up top, this new board not only gives us hope for more of these detachable Snapdragon tablets, it also clarifies some muddy waters that have frankly confused me for a bit up to this point. I initially posited that ‘Strongbad’ was simply a platform name, but with ‘Coachz’ being the only detachable Snapdragon variant for so long, I questioned that ‘Strongbad’ might end up being an actual device, too. After all, there’s no need for a platform board if there’s only one variant under it.
It looks like my initial thoughts were correct and ‘Strongbad’ is the platform that both ‘Coachz’ and ‘Homestar’ are being built from (and hopefully a few more, too). As you can see in the file below, there’s a reference to all the boards in the Snapdragon family except ‘Strongbad’ and this happens on a very regular basis across multiple internal files. This is only one example, but the point remains: ‘Strongbad’ looks to be the basic platform that ‘Trogdor’ boards (general Snapdragon 7c boards) will fall under if they are detachables instead of clamshells or convertibles.
For now, that’s all we know. ‘Coachz’ isn’t alone, there are more Chrome OS tablets coming, and ‘Strongbad’ likely won’t be one of them. It’s very good news for those of us who are excited by the prospect of a solid, fast, all-day tablet that can be used for work and for fun. I’m sure there are many of you that are equally shrugging your shoulders and waiting on beasts like the ASUS Chromebook CX9, but there’s just something about a well-made tablet that can get work done. We’ve not hit that sweet spot with a Chrome OS device just yet, but I really feel like we’re on the precipice. Stay tuned.