As if ‘Coachz’ wasn’t already one of the most intruiging Chrome OS devices coming in 2021, it now has one of the only hardware features missing from the overall formula: a fingerprint scanner. Sure, it’s not as fun as wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, a kickstand, or the magnetized, charging stylus we expect from this 3:2, high-res 11-inch tablet, but it is one of the only hardware features that was missing from the overall package for ‘Coachz’.
I suppose the only other thing I could ask for in a solid 11-inch tablet at this point would be decent cameras. Like the Pixel Slate, I’d love to see ‘Coachz’ come equipped with reasonably-good cameras on both the front and back. Perhaps a solid 1080p shooter up front and something like an 8MP or 12MP around back with auto-focus and a nice sensor would be pretty awesome and frankly unmatched in the Chrome OS world.
Back to the fingerprint scanner, however, it became clear last night as I was digging around in the Chromium Respositories that ‘Coachz’ was being prepped with a biometric sensor. I first saw a commit referencing a board I’d never heard of when searching for ‘Coachz’ called ‘Dartmonkey’. You can see it below.
Seeing that ‘Coachz’ implements something called ‘Greenfoot’, I was obviously curious. In a quick search for ‘Greenfoot’, I came up with this commit:
See anything interesting, there? Yep! As it turns out, ‘Greenfoot’ is identical to something clearly related to ‘Nocturne’ – A.K.A. the Pixel Slate – with _fp appended to the name. It doesn’t take much of a leap to realize this is referencing a controller board for the fingerprint sensor on the Pixel Slate, and points to ‘Coachz’ implementing something quite similar. It took very little digging to prove this out, and, as it turns out, ‘Greenfoot’ and ‘Dartmonkey’ are basically the same board for different uses: always put in place to add fingerprint sensors. You can see their similarities also being referenced in the above commit, thus making sense out of the random ‘Dartmonkey’ commit I originally stumbled on. Clear as mud?
While not as straightforward as other commits we’ve found for devices with fingerprint scanners, just trust me when I say the path clearly shows that ‘Coachz’ will come bearing a fingerprint scanner with all of its other bells and whistles. While I was pretty certain that this device is being made by HP, I have reasons to doubt that a bit now as well, but we’ll save that for another post. For now, just know that development for ‘Coachz’ is still humming along and we will likely see this device in the first half of 2021. Our expectations are running high that it could be the best Chrome OS tablet yet.