Since we came across ‘Kohaku’ a few months back, we’ve been pretty confident that this would be a Samsung-built Chromebook and would likely be the successor to the very-important Samsung Chromebook Pro that arrived at CES in January of 2017. With Samsung emails all over the commits, we also uncovered a handful of other pieces of this new puzzle when we found the references to ‘Caroline’ in the ‘Kohaku’ commits (‘Caroline’ is the code name for the Samsung Chromebook Pro) and further references to ‘Kohaku’s battery being made by Samsung themselves.
Honestly, we don’t need any more info to easily peg ‘Kohaku’ as Samsung’s next Chromebook, but we are leaning on past naming schemes to make the stretch that it will be the Chromebook Pro V2. After all, just because we know Samsung is making it, that it has a Samsung-made battery and that the commits for it reference the Chromebook Pro V1, none of that is enough to fully say this will 100% be the Pro V2. We’ve come across a few new bits of info in the Chromium Repositories, however, that make the case extremely solid for ‘Kohaku’ to be the next Samsung Chromebook Pro.
Convertible & Pen Support
With the ‘Hatch’ family of devices (you can read more about them here), the Chrome OS development team has added a much nicer, neater way to organize the feature sets in each variation. Within the limits of what this ‘Hatch’ baseboard is capable of, each variation can be one of the following, according to this commit:
chromeos-config-bsp-hatch: Add hardware-properties
Add hardware-properties to the config. The properties have been grouped into 5 categories: default, clamshell with no touchscreen, clamshell with touchscreen, convertible, and convertible with internal stylus. Categories can be changed or added as more combinations of hardware-properties emerge.
Within the linked /model.yaml file for this commit, we can clearly see that ‘Kohaku’ looks to be of the ‘convertible_with_internal_stylus_config’ variation and will basically have all the features ‘Hatch’ has to offer, including a convertible form factor. A quick look at the file shows clearly that ‘Kohaku’ will have the following features:
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From this list, it is easy to see ‘Kohaku’ will be a convertible with a touchscreen, all the necessary motion detectors (accelerometer, gyro, etc.), and has a stylus marked ‘internal’. Yep, that’s right, we’re also looking at a stowable, garaged stylus just like the Chromebook Pro, Plus and Plus V2 before it. Confirming this addition are a commit here and a commit there adding the actual stylus device and it’s functionality when being removed from the device.
If you’re looking at the list above and are a bit bummed out by the “has-fingerprint-sensor: False” line, don’t be. We’ve found an override commit that shows fingerprint scanning being added to this Chromebook as well, so you can rest assured that ‘Kohaku’ (or as we’re beginning to call it, the Samsung Chromebook Pro V2) will be rocking a sweet biometric log in option with all its other bells and whistles.
All in all, ‘Kohaku’ is shaping up to be one of a handful of Chromebooks set to deliver the next-gen experience we’re all waiting for. In my mind, a thin, convertible, stylus-toting, fingerprint-scanning Chromebook with a bright display, the latest silicon, and Samsung styling will be a hard combination to beat as long as the price is right. With all the competition coming in from a slew of new Intel-powered devices and ARM devices alike, my hope is prices start and stay competitive as we move into this new era of Chromebooks this fall and early into 2020.