The Chromebook known simply as ‘Atlas’ is making waves this week as it may be the first Chrome OS device to sport a true 4K resolution display.
We were sitting around the office this morning kicking around ideas of what the application for such a pixel-dense display could be on a form-factor as small as a 12-13″ Chromebook which prompted Robby to ask “what if it’s a Chromebase?”
Makes sense. Something in the range of 24″ to compete with the likes of an iMac with a desktop-class processor and gobs of RAM. So, I started digging to see if there were any updates to the new device in the Chromium repository.
Searching the layout.conf file, I found that ‘Atlas’ is indeed a Chromebook, not a Chromebase. However, much to my surprise, I found a commit that referenced two other devices we have been tracking and the verbiage is clear that ‘Atlas’ is taking cues from these upcoming DETACHABLES.
In the recently added coreboot file, we find that ‘Atlas’ is listed as a variant of the reference board ‘Poppy‘. ‘Poppy’ also happens to be the baseboard for the upcoming ‘Nami’ Chromebook that we are very confident is a detachable Chrome device.
UPSTREAM: mb/google/poppy: Add variant for Atlas
Add a new variant of Poppy for the Atlas board.
Deeper into the Kconfig.name file, we see that inclusion of Atlas with the reference board Poppy as well as Nami:
As Robby recently pointed out, 4K on anything less than a 15″+ device is most certainly a moot point so what can we expect from a detachable device with this kind of resolution?
Then a colleague shared a good point with me. The HP Chromebook 13 G1 used a similar layout with a 3200×1800 display but rendered them at 1600×900. ‘Atlas’ is being tested with a 3840×2160 resolution that, when scaled, becomes a standard 16:9 1920×1080 layout. On a 12-13″ device, this would be a greater PPI than Apple’s best iPad Pro.
Overkill? Maybe but it will make for some very nice viewing. ‘Atlas’ is still very much in its infancy stage of development so I don’t expect to see many solid details for some time. With any luck, we might catch wind of the intriguing device over the summer as other detachables make their way to market.