Not long ago, Anker announced a small and likely forgettable little accessory that I’ve been pretty excited about. The Anker PowerPort Atom is a tiny charging block that delivers true Power Delivery over USB Type C at 30W and is about the size of a standard iPhone Charger. While not a full 45W laptop charger, this little guy has always held my attention because 30W PD (Power Delivery) is most definitely enough to charge most Chromebooks, and at that diminutive size, it would make a great travel companion in my backpack.
Well, remember I said it was a tad bit forgettable? I honestly forgot about it for a bit until I ran across it in the phone accessories aisle at the local Best Buy. As soon as I saw the package, I remembered the charger and why I was so excited by it in the first place. 30W USB-C charging in a tiny package makes for so many use cases that I really feel compelled to buy a few of them.
A very interesting thing happened as I flipped the box over to check it out, however. I noticed a sticker that had been placed in the top-right corner that was manually added, not shipped on the box. The sticker simply states: ‘Works With Chromebook.’ What? Is that even a thing?
I’ve never seen these labels before and after a bit of looking for this online, I’ve not been able to find anything officially from Google about this. The stickers are official-looking and after asking one of the Best Buy employees about them, the employee said they didn’t think the stickers were there before but didn’t really have much more info to share.
My only conclusion at this point is that we’re getting ready to see Google begin a move similar to what we see existing in the ‘Made for Google’ space and similar to what Apple has done with their accessories as well. With Chromebooks still being relatively new to many consumers, giving them a clear way to identify accessories that have been tested and verified to work well with Chromebooks out of the box would be a massive win for not only users, but accessory makers as well.
We’re definitely keeping our eyes peeled for more of these hardware accessories now and I’d expect if this becomes a protracted effort by Google and other accessory makers that we’ll just see this logo printed right on the box out of the factory. If that is the case, this simple addition could be the beginning of something quite important for Chromebooks in the consumer space moving forward.