It looks like it may be a time for a bit of rejoicing if you are looking forward to the upcoming Chromebook tablet code named ‘Coachz’. I know I’m very eager to see this device when it finally shows up and am hopeful that it may be the first Chromebook tablet I actually end up using on a regular basis. While we’re still holding out to see what performance will actually be like when using the Snapdragon 7c processor on a Chrome OS device, the other peripheral components of ‘Coachz’ are extremely exciting for sure.
To catch you up, ‘Coachz’ will have a dizzying array of features like: wireless charging, an externally wireless charging stylus, an 11-inch 3:2 QHD screen, Snapdragon 7c processor, detachable form factor, a fingerprint scanner, and a kickstand built in. On paper, this Chromebook tablet answers the mail in a way no other Chrome OS device before it has, provided the performance is decent and the build quality is solid.
We initially found ‘Coachz’ starting development alongside another board code named ‘Strongbad’, but it initially appeared as if this was a development/production setup. To be fair, it still might be, but we’re now beginning to see work being done specifically on ‘Strongbad’ that has already been accomplished on ‘Coachz’. If these boards were identical, there would be little need of this. Check out a few of the more recent additions to ‘Strongbad’ that have begun popping up in the Chromium Repositories.
Here is a perfect example of a commit that is adding features to ‘Stongbad’ that were already present in ‘Coachz’. We’ve previously mentioned ‘Zed’ is the keyboard for ‘Coachz’, yet it is being worked on for ‘Strongbad’ here as well. If these boards were basically one and the same, why would we be seeing this twice?
Here’s another. We’re seeing the mode_switcher_type being defined for ‘Strongbad’ and if you dig into the files present in this commit, you’ll quickly see ‘Strongbad being defined as a detachable device. Again, I’m unsure why you’d need to do any of this stuff twice if ‘Strongbad’ and ‘Coachz’ were basically the same boards.
Finally, this ‘Dartmonkey’ addition has also been in the works for ‘Coachz’ prior to now. The same logic applies, here: why would this be needed if the same hardware has already been added for ‘Coachz’ if these are the same boards? Both are offshoots of the main Snapdragon board in ‘Trogdor’, so I just don’t see the reason there would need to be further nesting of development/production boards, here. ‘Trogdor’ is the devleopement board, after all, so ‘Strongbad’ being a unique device does make a lot of sense on the surface.
The proverbial pinch of salt
Let me be clear in saying that I could be wrong, here. ‘Strongbad’ and ‘Coachz’ could be connected in a way I don’t fully understand and we could end up with only one Snapdragon 7c Chromebook tablet in the end that carries a few different code names. If that is the case (though I feel it isn’t at this point), there’s still reason to believe we may end up with more than one of these ‘Coachz’-type devices.
If ‘Strongbad’ ends up being some sort of platform development board for the ‘Coachz’ variant (or the other way around at this point), we may not get two devices from these two boards, but it creates a scenario where we may see more production devices come from whatever structure is being built, here. After all, if all they were planning was a singular device, why bother with multiple levels of developemnt? Your guess is as good as mine at this point, but until I find otherwise, I’m feeling more and more confident that we may see more than one new Snapdragon Chromebook tablet in 2021 one way or the other, and that makes me very happy.