Fresh off the heels of Google’s Pixelbook announcement, the wheels of the Chromium OS project continue to turn and development moves forward. The jury may still be out on the impact the Pixelbook will have on the consumer Chromebook market but it appears that hasn’t slowed manufacturers from pushing the platform’s limits by pumping out new hardware and form-factors.
Amidst the melee of Google’s hardware event, we have uncovered yet another detachable Chromebook in the works. While evidence of a two-piece Chromebook was unearthed months ago, the latest device appears to be powered by the Intel Kaby Lake chipset.
‘Nautilus’, as it is codenamed, was added to the repository in late September but details on the device have emerged just this week. Thus far, information on the device is scant but we do know from the overlay file that it is a Kaby Lake Chromebook.
Nautilus overlay: parent
A closer look at the board.c file gives us a clear indicator that the ‘Nautilus’ device is indeed being built as a detachable.
This function is called whenever there is a change in the base detect
* status. Actions taken include:
* 1. Change in power to base
* 2. Indicate mode change to host.
* 3. Indicate tablet mode to host. Current assumption is that if base is
* disconnected then the system is in tablet mode, else if the base is
* connected, then the system is not in tablet mode.
Nautilus board.c file
The names attached to this new device point to AMI (American Megatrends). The companies focus is primarily as a BIOS firmware vendor with a small footprint in the hardware sector. Unfortunately, this gives us little insight into who may be making this Chromebook.
The exciting part is that we may be looking at a detachable Chromebook that aims to follow in the footsteps of Google’s Pixelbook. Even with a low-end Kaby Lake chipset, ‘Nautilus’ will likely be a flagship type device that will offer segment-leading features and performance.
We are still tracking the original Skylake detachables and hope to see them come to realization in the near future. This latest ‘Nautilus’ device will plausibly not make an appearance until 2018. Perhaps we may see an announcement from a major vendor at CES in Las Vegas.
Stay tuned as we track this new device and all the happenings from the world of Chrome OS.