A few days ago over in the Chrome OS Reddit thread, a somewhat-questionable post showed up by a Lenovo employee offering test units of an upcoming Chrome OS tablet with the option for the testers to keep the tablet after the trial period. There was a bit back-and-forth about whether the offer was legit, but we here at Chrome Unboxed felt like it was all above board. Turns out it was.
In a subsequent reply to the original post, the moderators of the Chrome OS Reddit page explained why they had removed the form that allowed interested users to submit their names for the trial and went on to say that they’d actually substantiated the whole thing with Lenovo. Even though they had done some legwork prior, there were still some users who thought the whole thing might still be a phishing scam.
After removing the form, the moderators eventually were able to confirm the entire thing was legitimately from Lenovo, and now a new email is going out to all those who put their name in the hat to try out the new Chrome OS tablet. Despite the early report that the whole trial effort had been shut down internally, it looks like the trial is rolling on. Here’s what that email has to say to the users who registered:
Thank you join and support our user trial, because we get many people sign in, we need some time to filter participators, we will reply you this week. If you are not been selected, don’t be upset, we will put you in our user pool, if there any new product you will be first one to know.
Lots of people ask about the detail of product, because the confidential reason, we can’t give you any information about it, and all user trial participators need to sign up NDA.email info via 9to5 Google
Broken English aside, this email is from Lenovo and confirms the trial devices will be rolling out soon. Those chosen should get their emails this week and likely will be asked to sign an NDA. We could be looking at test units for this new device headed to the eager hands of testers within a couple weeks at this point.
All of this leads us to the conclusion that this new Lenovo tablet will likely be rolling out in early 2020. As we said in the prior article about all this, Lenovo did a similar test with the Smart Clock that shipped about 6 weeks after the initial testing invitation was extended. While we don’t usually see Lenovo at CES, they will be at the show this year and we expect to be hearing from them pretty soon regarding this new tablet.
This also leads us into the conversation about the MediaTek 8183 and all the tablets and detachable Chromebooks it will be powering. All these devices have been in a pretty tight development window so we’d expect to see them all start arriving in the same small window. With the baseboard ‘Kukui’ being the foundation that all 9 of these devices are being built from, it wouldn’t surprise me to see all 9 show up in the first quarter of 2020.
Just like with other devices built on a single baseboard, we’ve likely missed a handful of them and thus we could be looking at even more of these ARM-based tablets than we even are aware of at this point. No matter what way you slice it, there are going to be plenty of tablet options in the very near future and tons of new Chromebooks with the ‘Hatch’ family of devices as well. I feel like we’re on the precipice of yet another Chromebook revolution similar to the sweeping changes we saw at the end of last year, and we’re excited to see what comes of it all.