There is no shortage of premium Chromebook choices at the moment. With most of the big hitters offering up their own takes on flagship Kaby Lake devices, only two names are absent from the list.
ASUS and Samsung have both continued to launch new Chromebooks over the past year but neither has released a true successor to their now two-year-old Skylake models. While Samsung could be content resting on the Chromebook Plus refreshes, ASUS has some things in the works and we could be met with a fleet of new devices from the PC make next week in Las Vegas.
For starters, we take a look back to mid-November and a leak from the master Roland Quandt. Known for reporting only the best and almost always accurate product leaks, Roland shared not one but three new potential devices from ASUS including a rumored 10″ Chrome OS tablet.
Just the simple fact that the leaks included model numbers very similar to ASUS’ previous devices is enough to believe that the reports are accurate. Then, you look at the timing and it only reinforces Roland’s predictions.
It was this week two years ago that ASUS officially debuted the Skylake-powered Chromebook C302 just in time to head to CES 2018 in Las Vegas. I have no doubt that we will get at least a glimpse of a new flagship from ASUS when we hit the ground in Nevada next week.
The other Chromebook model referenced in Roland’s leak was a little more difficult to pin down but some recent Chromium commits lead me to believe that ASUS could be launching the first-ever Gemini Lake Chromebook next week at their off-site location where they host their CES hardware debut.
Ampton: modify the led behavior when battery error
TEST=check the led behavior when battery error
The Chromebook mentioned above, ‘Ampton’, is a variant of the ‘Octopus’ baseboard we discovered back in February and it is built on the Intel Gemini Lake chipset. It also happens to have ASUS email addresses attached to many of the commits related to it. Given that ASUS has just recently launched a lineup Apollo Lake devices, I am very confident this will be their next-gen mid-ranged Chromebook.
Gemini Lake may not excite a lot of users but as we have noted in the past, the N5000 processor boasts significant performance enhancements over its predecessor the N4200 Apollo Lake chip. Price points should be comparable to the previous processors meaning a more powerful device with a negligible price increase. Fingers crossed.
Now, back to that tablet.
Last year at CES, ASUS revealed the ASUS NovaGo. For those who missed it, the NovaGo was the first of two Snapdragon-powered Windows devices. Touted as the “always connected” PC, the ASUS NovaGo and HP Envy x2 were met with mixed reviews and many reviewers noted performance issues from the Windows software.
Fast forward to January 2019 and we know that Qualcomm has officially entered the Chrome OS space and that a new device should be breaking cover very soon. Qualcomm has kept the upcoming ARM-based Chromebook under fairly tight wraps but it’s very plausible that ASUS could be the creator of the long-awaited Snapdragon Chromebook. Imagine if you will, a 10.1″ Chromebook tablet powered by a Snapdragon 845 processor. It could be a game changer for Chrome OS entirely.
With that being said, ASUS could very well go with a MediaTek chipset and bring us a Chrome Tablet similar to their ZenPad line of Android tablets. I hope not but it is very possible. The next generation of MediaTek processors has been spotted in the repository for some time and I suspect we’ll see a device powered by the Octa-core chipset in the very near future. Still a big step up for ARM on Chrome OS but we’re chomping at the bit to see a Qualcomm device.
To sum up, ASUS stands to make a big splash on the Chromebook scene next week in Las Vegas an in case we haven’t mentioned it, we’ll be there in the middle of it all. Chrome Unboxed heads to CES 2019 in exactly one week and we’re looking forward to sharing a variety of very exciting news from the world of Chrome OS and Google.