The Samsung Chromebook Pro crashed onto the scene last week and has been making waves ever since. With a highly polished design, this still-unofficial device has all the right moves. The yet-to-be seen RK3399 ARM processor, a phenomenal display and Chrome OS’s first ever stylus all packed in to make – well let’s be honest – a gorgeous piece of hardware.
I mean seriously, just look at it.
What if the recently leaked Chromebook Pro (or as we call it, ‘Kevin’) is just one member of a family of high-end devices set to be released by Samsung?
We have been following a new device in development codenamed ‘Caroline‘. We don’t have a lot of details so far, but we do know this is a Skylake-based Chromebook. We also know that it appears to have a convertible form-factor just like the Samsung Chromebook Pro.
There is one more feature ‘Caroline’ shares with the Chromebook Pro: A stylus.
This, in and of itself, doesn’t lend much to the argument that ‘Caroline’ is another Samsung device. On the other hand, looking at the total picture, we can make a strong case that this device is the Chromebook Pro’s big sister.
First, the stylus.
The ARM-based Samsung Chromebook Pro will be the first device to feature a Wacom active stylus/digitzer. Now, we do know that broader stylus support is being added to Chromium OS. But, this is the first Chromebook to implement that technology.
Aside from a possible Lenovo device, ‘Caroline’ is the only other Chromebook in development showing stylus support. While I’m sure we will see more and more of these devices in the future, Samsung will be the first.
Second, the email.
If you take a look at the commit for the ‘Caroline’ stylus, you will find the author has a Samsung email address. I know this isn’t definitive proof that this is a Samsung device, but it does add another common thread between ‘Caroline’ and the Chromebook Pro. We saw a large number of commits from Samsung email addresses in the development of The Chromebook Pro. Also, I spent a good amount of time and coffee researching Samsung’s S-pen and stylus devices. To the best of my knowledge, they do not market their pens to other manufacturers.
For a Samsung employee to be adding stylus function to a Chromebook makes us feel quite confident that this is a Samsung stylus in a Samsung device.
Third, the Samsung Chromebook 2
I know what you’re thinking. What in the world does the Samsung 2 have to do with anything? I’ll tell you. Intel and Exynos. If ‘Caroline’ is a Samsung Core M Chromebook, it wouldn’t be the company’s first run at making side-by-side ARM and Intel devices. In my opinion, I think it’s a smart move. The upcoming RockChip version of the Samsung Chromebook Pro looks amazing and I am sure it will perform very well. But, even if it beats the new MediaTek found in the Acer R13, it still wouldn’t be a match for a Skylake device.
In the leaked images of the Samsung Chromebook Pro, we saw mention of a proprietary battery-saving application. If this application can be used on a Skylake device, I’m sold. To this day, the only real complaint I have with the HP 13 G1 is the much-worse-than-advertised battery life.
With continuing improvements to Chrome OS’s use of the Skylake architecture, reduced power consumption of the Chrome browser, and possibly an OEM app that will save battery, a Core M convertible device would be hard to beat.
So, there you have it.
It seems ‘Caroline’ could very well be an even higher-end follow up or addition to the Samsung Chromebook Pro line-up. As I said last week, I wouldn’t swear that this is a Samsung device but it will take some pretty hard evidence to convince me that it’s not. Either way, I’m keeping a close eye on this Chromebook in hopes to find out more.