Right off the bat, let’s file this one away in the unconfirmed-but-probable category. While I feel quite confident that the info we have leads us to the end result of a Samsung-made Chromebox or AIO (all-in-one) Chromebase, we can’t be 100% sure of this. The most questionable part of this upcoming device is the trick up the sleeve I mentioned in the title: built-in Qi wireless charging. I have no doubt this feature is inbound, but I’m completely unclear on what it will be used for.
12th-gen Intel-powered Chromebox or Chromebase
Let’s start with the device, shall we? Code named ‘Gaelin’, this new ChromeOS hardware looks to be in the ‘Brask’ family of devices built off of the ‘Brya’ baseboard. If you don’t keep up with boards, code names, and the like, let me clarify. ‘Brya’ is the main board that all 12th-gen Intel ChromeOS devices are spawned from and ‘Brask’ is the ‘Brya’ board that all Chromebox-type devices will be built from as a reference.
Why we think it is made by Samsung
Like we saw with the HP Chromebase 22, AIO devices fall under the same development family as Chromeboxes, so ‘Gaelin’ could end up as a Chromebase. For now, I don’t have any firm evidence of this. All I know is it is not a Chromebook and that it will have some form of 12th-gen Intel silicon that powers it. Oh, and we can make the assumption that it is being made by Samsung thanks to one email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All over the early development of ‘Gaelin’, we see this same email address attached, and when you search the Chromium Repositories for that address, you find a developer that has been tied almost exclusively to Samsung products. He makes an appearance on the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2, Galaxy Chromebook Go, and Galaxy Chromebook 2 360 while not really contributing to much else. It’s clear that his involvement points back to Samsung in most instances, so it is a reasonable assumption that ‘Gaelin’ will be a Samsung product as well.
Qi wireless charging
Finally, we have the interesting trick this device will come with: Qi wireless charging. What will that be used for? I have no idea at this point, but we’ve seen this in Chromebooks a few times at this point and it has always been tied to charging up a USI pen. With devices like the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook and the HP Chromebook x2 11 utilizing this sort of wireless charging to top up a snapped-on pen, it could be easy to imagine ‘Gaelin’ doing something similar.
But if ‘Gaelin’ is set to be a Chromebox, what sense would that make? I suppose charging a USI pen on my Chromebox would be an interesting trick, but Chromeboxes are generally hooked up to screens most users already have around. And those screens don’t tend to have USI pen input available. Perhaps this means the top of the Chromebox will be a spot to top up your phone or earbuds, and I think that could be a very cool feature.
Or, maybe Samsung is actually making some sort of AIO Chromebase that has USI pen support with a magnetically-attaching pen that clips on and charges on the side of the device’s screen. That feels like it makes the most sense to me, but I also have absolutely zero proof that ‘Gaelin’ has a built-in display at this point. With it only being in development for a couple months, there’s time for it to all shake out in the coming weeks and perhaps we’ll get a better grip on what this Chromebox/Chromebase will become. Until then, we’re piecing together what we have and we’ll let you know when we find more.