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What the upcoming Snapdragon Chromebook ‘Trogdor’ could look like

Since Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Summit last week, we’ve been digging around in the commits a bit more looking for more clues surrounding the ‘Trogdor’ baseboard that is housing the Qualcomm SC7180 processor. That processor, if you recall, is thought to be the new Snapdragon 7c chip that was just announced at the Summit last week and has been included in ‘Trogdor’, which has been under development since this summer.

We also have to consider the fact that ‘Cheza’ (the Qualcomm board that ‘Trogdor’ has been pulled from) has been in development for two years now and has laid a foundation for Qualcomm ARM Chromebooks regardless of whether or not it actually ever comes to market. With that foundation solidly laid down and 6 months of ‘Trogdor’-specific development, there’s no reason we shouldn’t expect to see this device relatively soon.

That brings me to the specific language in one of the recent commits for ‘Trogdor’ that I’d missed about a month ago. In the initial board commit (the ones from the summer seem to be placeholders, possibly) where all the actual basic pieces have been put in place for ‘Trogdor’, there are some very specific things happening with this board that make it differ from the ‘Cheza’ baseboard it was initially based upon.

Trogdor: Initial board commit
 
This is an initial commit for Trogdor. Use Cheza as a baseline.
 
Make the change according to the schematic, e.g.
* Reflect the GPIO change
* Reflect the TCPC/PPC part change
* Update the USB topology, e.g. no device mode support
* Remove the detachable related code
* Add keyboard support
* Support keyboard backlight
* Update the battery characteristic
* Add initial support of muxing DP path
* Support a single USB-A port
* Change sensors from lid to base
* Minor code style improvement

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Of note in this list are a few features, namely the addition of a USB-A port and the removal of the detachable related code. ‘Cheza’ has been known to possess quite a few great features and has been a detachable since early development, so ‘Trogdor’ being the first device we are expecting to see from the Qualcomm-powered Chromebook efforts not being a tablet or detachable is noteworthy.

With a clearly clamshell or convertible design, this device could slot itself more in line with newer Snapdragon laptops like the newly-released Samsung Galaxy Book S. We’ve found nothing in any commit alluding to ‘Trogdor’ being a convertible, but I also haven’t found anything saying it isn’t, either. Usually there is some clear language pointing us in one way or the other, so the fact that we can’t find anything definitive leads me to believe this may be a clamshell-only device.

While we’re not saying this will be from Samsung or look just like the Samsung Galaxy Book S, I am confident that these upcoming Snapdragon-powered Chromebooks will be ultra thin, ultra light, and will likely be marketed in much the same way as we’re seeing current Windows laptops with Snapdragon inside. While I am a bit more excited by the proposition of detachable Snapdragon Chromebooks, I think there is clearly a market for well-built, light, thin Chromebooks that have outstanding battery life. It seems that ‘Trogdor’ is headed down that path.

Robby Payne

Tech junkie. Musician. Web Developer. Coffee Snob. Huge fan of the Google things. Founded Chrome Unboxed because so many of my passions collide in this space. I like that. I want to share that. I hope you enjoy it too.

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Robby Payne