It’s been a minute since we found a new Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered Chromebook beginning development. For those unaware, we’ve had eyes on a Qualcomm Chromebook for quite a long time at this point. Originally started with the ‘Cheza’ baseboard and based on the Snapdragon 845, the idea of a Chromebook with a Snapdragon processor inside has gone through a few changes over the past couple years as we’ve all been eagerly awaiting the actual product.
While we don’t beleive the Snapdragon 845 chip is in play any longer, much of what the Chrome OS team developed for that chip has been ported over to what we are tracking now in the SC7180 that we feel quite confidently is the new Snapdragon 7c Compute Platform Qualcomm announced in December of 2019. This chipset makes far more sense for Chromebooks when compared with the phone-focused Snapdragon 845, and since that time, we’ve uncovered a few more Chromebook development boards that have this new 7c chip inside: ‘Trogdor’, ‘Bubs’, ‘Lazor’, and ‘Pompom’ are the current lineup we’ve had in front of us for the majority of 2020. There’s been movement and development happening, but when compared with the exploding number of Tiger Lake development devices and AMD-powered boards we are currently tracking, it began feeling a bit like the Qualcomm Chromebook experiment was stagnating.
Meet the newest Qualcomm-powered Chromebook: ‘Limozeen’
Just a few days ago, a new developement board was created under the name of ‘Limozeen’ and was a direct copy of ‘Lazor’ from the ground up. This means it will posses the same Snapdragon 7c chip and, from the looks of one of only 3 commits available for this device, it will likely be a convertible and have a backlit keyboard.
The truth is, we don’t know a ton about most of these Qualcomm-powered Chromebooks at the moment. What is more important right now is the fact that new boards are being put into play and that signals the fact that more manufacturers are jumping on board to make Chromebooks with Qualcomm silicon inside. Assuming it will be on par with something like the Qualcomm 765 we’re seeing in phones like the OnePlus Nord, the upcoming Google Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5, this chip will outperform all the other ARM-based options for Chromebooks currently available. It just needs to get here.
While the entire Snapdragon-on-Chromebooks effort has been going on long enough to warrant a 2020 release, I still don’t feel like that is in the cards at this point. We’re unsure what is taking so long, but my hope is an announcement of some sort happens sooner than later. Just like with the aging ‘Cheza’ board and its now 2-year-old 845 chip, these Chromebooks need to get released before they become obsolete. If delays keep pushing these devices back, they’ll feel out of date by the time they actually arrive, and that’s never a good look. Perhaps an announcement at Qualcomm’s yearly summit in December will bring Chromebooks into the fold in an official capacity and we’ll see something – virtually – from CES 2021.