It’s been a few weeks since we’ve seen anything new or eye-catching in regards to the device only known as ‘Kevin’. What we know up to this point is that ‘Kevin’ will:
- be a convertible device
- have stylus support (likely stow-able)
- be outfitted with the newly-released Rockchip RK3399 SoC
- have GPS support
We can now also be sure of the device’s screen resolution and aspect ratio and make some logical inferences about the possible screen size as well.
Looking at this commit, we see clear reference to a 2400×1600 screen. And a deeper look shows us that ‘Kevin’ is currently undergoing testing for High DPI settings in Chrome OS.
Some of you may be looking at that resolution and wondering about the relatively foreign numbers. We are used to seeing 1280×800, 1366×768, 1920×1080, 2560×1440, 2560×1700, and 3200×1800. What you can tell from most of these types of displays is that they are of the 16:9 or 16:10 variety. While this is good for movies, it’s not the best for the web and definitely not great for tablet use. There’s a reason most of the successful tablets (iPads, Samsung’s newer tablets, and the Surface devices) are more square and usually 4:3.
The outlier in the list of resolutions above is the Pixel with its 3:2 ratio. While not quite as square as a 4:3 setup, 3:2 is still pretty square and thus better for web and tablets. If you’ve ever used a Pixel, you know what I mean!
So, I am quite excited to see ‘Kevin’ will be sporting a 3:2 aspect ratio as it will likely be used as a tablet quite often.
Additionally, the High-DPI screen is an exciting spec and gives us a bit of a clue as to the screen size.
Think about the height of the screen we are talking about. At 1600 pixels, running in High-DPI mode, the screen will render objects as if it is 800 pixels high (See our review on the HP Chromebook 13 G1 for more on this). Another device running at 800 pixels in height is the ASUS Chromebook Flip. Though it employs a 10-inch screen, objects are a great size and using it from my lap (writing this article, actually) is comfortable.
This gives us a clue that ‘Kevin’ will likely be a 10-12 inch device.
High-DPI screens like to run at half the actual resolution both in width and height, so the UI will be displayed on ‘Kevin’ as a 1200×800 pixel screen. Much larger than 10-12 inches would make everything on-screen quite large and likely would use a different panel. While scaling is possible, it is usually an option for the user and, out of the box, devices will use half resolutions both in height and width as the default setting. The Pixel, HP Chromebook 13 G1, Macbooks, and Surfaces do this exact thing.
All this leads us to be pretty confident that ‘Kevin’ will utilize a screen in the neighborhood of the Pixel or Pixel C. And both of those are beautiful!
We are getting very excited about the way ‘Kevin’ is shaping up and cannot wait until this device is made official! Who else is getting excited?