We haven’t spoken much about ‘Cheza’ and Qualcomm-powered Chromebooks in quite a while around here. To be honest, I fully expected to see something from this entire effort at CES or at MWC last week, but we’re still waiting to actually see something emerge from Qualcomm or any other manufacturer.
As a reminder, ‘Cheza’ is the reference model Chrome OS device from Qualcomm that is powered by the Snapdragon 845 (same as the Pixel 3 XL for reference). We don’t expect to see ‘Cheza’ as a standalone device, but more as a device and board that multiple Qualcomm-powered devices will stem from.
Still, the things we see emerging from ‘Cheza’ can shine a light on what we can expect to see from manufacturers at some point in 2019. If all goes to plan, we should expect to see these devices showing up in the second half of 2019 according to Miguel Nunes who heads Product Management for Qualcomm. This info was relayed back in December at Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Tech Summit, so even though Snapdragon Chromebooks were confirmed over a year ago, it seems Qualcomm’s plans are still on track.
If you’d like to see everything we’ve compiled on ‘Cheza’ so far, you can click here and read up. For now, let’s get on to what is new.
High-Res, Bright Display
We knew ‘Cheza’ was being tested with at least a QHD display, but we now know the exact panel being tested. And it looks quite impressive!
What we’re looking at is being pulled from ‘Cheza’s .dtsi file in the Chromium Repositories and it is full of many details we already knew. The display model, however, is new info and we can actually look this display up on Panelook.com and get the exact specs.
We’re looking at the Innolux p120ZDG-BF1:
- 12.0-inch measure
- 2160×1440 (3:2)
- 1000:1 Contrast Ratio
- 16.7M Colors
- Wide viewing angles
- 450 Nits Brightness
That is an impressive display with about 40,000 fewer pixels to deal with than the Pixelbook. I love high-res panels, but I only want as many pixels as necessary to create a sharp look from a realistic distance. This panel’s resolution at 12-inches will 100% achieve that and make it a tad easier on the yet-unproven Snapdragon 845. As this chip pushes QHD+ displays on phones all the time, I don’t foresee any issue.
The other very notable aspect of this display is the brightness: 450 nits! That is – on paper, at least – brighter than the Pixelbook’s display. With that panel (or the HP x2, Samsung Chromebook Plus/Pro), I never need any additional brightness in any environment, so it is encouraging to know that these new Chromebooks will likely be spec’d out with bright displays.
The entire point of Qualcomm entering the Chrome OS fray is portability. We plan on seeing tablet/detachable devices with LTE baked in, so bright screens would be important for users who aren’t in the same lighting situations on a daily basis. I also love the idea of a 12-inch detachable as I feel even 12.3-inches is too large in the Pixel Slate.
I don’t know about any of you, but I’m terribly excited to finally see some impressive ARM-powered, LTE-equipped Chromebooks hit the market. With what should be insane battery life, great performance, lightweight designs, and now excellent screens, I really think devices with Qualcomm’s silicon could become the standard rather than the exception once they hit store shelves.