As promised, we’re looking into ‘Halvor’ on a daily basis as we feel quite certain at this point that this Chromebook is none other than the Pixelbook 2 in development. With some additional clues in the form of the Pixelbook-specific keyboard top row layout, things just keep adding up to make the case for ‘Halvor’ as a new Pixelbook. Today’s additions to the ‘Halvor’ narrative aren’t clues that point toward Google, though. Instead, as we’re still trying to nail down more proof on the idea that this is a Google-made Chromebook, we wanted to share details we find about this upcoming device as we find them.
USB 4.0 is on the way for Chromebooks
We’ve talked about USB 4.0 and the potential for it hitting a next-gen Chromebook already, but I’ll quickly recap why its a big deal. For one, USB 4.0 will unify USB under one connector: USB Type C. If it utilizing USB 4.0, it will have the Type C connector. No more confusion there. Additionally, we’re looking at 40GB/s transfer speeds, Thunderbolt 3, PD (power deliver for fast charging standards) and backwards compatibility with older USB 3.2 and USB 2.0 protocols. This is a next-gen connectivity standard we will all come to expect as we move into 2021, so I’m glad to see ‘Halvor’ will come equipped with it.
Thunderbolt is finally coming to Chromebooks, too
We’ve talked about Thunderbolt support for Chromebooks on multiple occasions and, honestly, we thought we’d eventually see it hit a ‘Hatch’-based Chromebook like the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook or Acer Spin 713, but there’s been no real movement on that front with the current generation of Chromebooks. Tiger Lake Chromebooks based on the ‘Volteer’ baseboard, on the other hand, look set to deliver the benefits of Thunderbolt to Chrome OS and ‘Halvor’ definitely looks to be getting in on the action.
The benefits? Thunderbolt greatly increases data transfer speeds for things like external GPUs and SSDs, but is also plays a very important role in giving Chromebooks a far greater ability to leverage multiple external displays at once. While not a tool every user is after right now, the additional headroom is definitely welcome on higher-end Chromebooks from a productivity standpoint and, with the addition of both USB 4.0 and Thunderbolt, it appears Google’s next Chromebook won’t be at a loss for external data transfer prowess.