Google has been up to a lot of great things this week and we’ll be covering them all in the coming days. Along with the onslaught of new devices hitting the market, the release of Chrome 56 for desktop and more hints of tablets and detachables in the near future, the world of Chrome OS is expanding exponentially.
One such advancement came in the form of a small blurb in Google’s Education Blog announcing two new Chromebooks. The new Chrome devices are exciting indeed. But, buried a little further down in the post is a clear sign of Google’s commitment to make USB-C the new standard for products wielding its beloved Chrome OS.
USB-C charging: We heard from educators that multiple chargers and slow charging wastes precious time for students. Going forward, all Chromebooks will have standard super-fast USB-C charging, so one Chromebook cart can charge any device quickly.
Google Blog: The Keyword
This move isn’t really a surprise. However, the timing was a little unexpected, in my opinion. USB-C is quickly becoming the new standard for charging and data transfer and rightfully so. When paired with a USB 3.1 port, USB-C is capable of twice the transfer rate of its predecessor and up to 100 watts of power making it capable of powering most any portable device. Not to mention the fact that USB-C plugs are symmetrical. No fiddling to plug them in. No top, no bottom.
Does that mean it’s time to throw out all your old USB cables? Not quite yet. True, USB-C will eventually become the standard. But, were are probably 18-24 months out from seeing that impact the consumer market in a grand percentage. More so this is Google’s way of continuing a uniform platform for its operating system. By mandating USB-C charging, Google has in no way put the nail in the proverbial coffin for its predecessors. Instead they have created a standard that will benefit users in the educational market as well as future-proof Chrome devices as the new standard finds its home in technology across the board.
Some new devices, like the Samsung Chromebook Plus/Pro and the ASUS Flip C302, have forgone USB-A ports completely and we will likely see that become the norm for higher-end devices. For now, I would surmise these forthcoming devices geared towards the educational market will include both ports to help ease the adaptation of legacy hardware and the new USB-C standard while providing a unified charging platform for all devices.