Though we are still not at the point where we can pin down how many actual devices will come from the baseboard ‘Geralt’, we continue finding clues about what this development board will be capable of as time rolls on. So far, we know ‘Geralt’ is a tablet-based device being tested with a couple different-sized, quality displays and that variants of this board will contain some (if not all) of these features: removable storage, a headphone/mic jack (missing in most tablets these days), a decent camera option, and a very capable MediaTek MT8188 SoC.
While that’s a lot to already know about a board that is still firmly in development, we also have a solid set of reasons to believe one of the devices that will eventually emerge from this work will be a follow-up to the popular Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5. With all this already understood about ‘Geralt’, it’s easy to see why we keep digging around for more clues about Chromebook tablets that will eventually be delivered from this early development work.
High-resolution screen support
One of the failings of some of the earlier ARM-powered Chromebooks over the years has been the lack of proper support for high-res displays at a fundamental, board level. With the ARM chips we’ve had in the past, there simply wasn’t enough muscle under the hood to deal with things like 4K screens, and there have only been a few ARM-powered Chromebooks where this hasn’t been an issue. Thankfully, it looks like ‘Geralt’-based Chromebook tablets won’t have this deficiency.
With this change, the MediaTek MT8188 that powers ‘Geralt’ is being set up to support 4K resolutions, and that’s good to hear. That means we could see higher-res tablets (QHD is enough in my opinion) with this powerful chip inside or it could mean that ‘Geralt’ Chromebook tablets will be able to output 4K to external displays. Or it could mean both will be the case.
Even with larger tablets, I don’t think there’s any need for 4K on the internal display. It simply doesn’t add any value and takes away from the overall performance. But for external monitors, this is a big-time addition that will be vitally important for this tablet when it comes to productivity.
In my case, for instance, I’ve been waiting for a Chromebook tablet that could 100% be my go-to device day in and day out. We’ve had some get close, but they always fail on performance. For simpler tasks and workflows, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 is perfectly fine. Putting it through my standard paces, however, and it can’t keep up.
This MT8188 could very likely be the first Chromebook tablet SoC that gets it all right: performance and battery life delivered in thin form factors. We clearly have to wait a bit to find out what manufacturers end up delivering with this development board, but as the benefits continue stacking up, I’m continuing to get more and more pumped about a tablet that can finally be a great consumption companion and desktop workhorse in one. We’ll update as we find out more.