There’s no doubt about my excitement when it comes to ‘Geralt’ – the development board for the upcoming MediaTek MT8188-powered Chromebook tablets we hope to see later this year. With this processor on board, not only are we happy to see Chromebook tablets in development again; we’re actually very hopeful that we’ll finally get some truly solid performance from these upcoming detachables.
We’ve already covered the fact that ‘Geralt’ is being tested with at least one quality 11-inch screen and one already-known, already-awesome screen we’ve seen before in the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5. But we also know that ‘Geralt’ is bringing the fan-favorite headphone/mic jack to the tablet form factor along with a pretty solid camera sensor, too. And even though we feel quite confident that a Duet 5 sequel will come from this development board, we also hope for a few other attempts at the tablet form factor from a few other manufacturers, too.
Yet another port ‘Geralt’ is set to deliver
Over the years, Chromebook tablets have been pretty light on the port selection. While Android tablets or iPads tend to be used more for consumption tasks, Chromebooks need to be ready for work and education-based tasks at a moments notice as well, and the lack of port selection on Chromebook tablets in the past has made this a more difficult task than necessary.
Where most tablets have a single USB Type C port on them, ‘Geralt’ looks to be bucking the trend a bit and not only adding in a headphone/microphone jack, but now an SD card slot as well for expanded storage when needed. Take a look.
As you can see, the ‘Geralt’ board is getting prepped to utilize an SD card, and this is an important inclusion for Chromebooks that will be built off this baseboard. While not every derivative of ‘Geralt’ will take advantage of this, I truly hope every single one does. Adding back ports like the headphone/mic jack and an SD card slot delivers the message that these tablets aren’t just for watching Netflix. They will be able to be used at a desk or on the go to get productive work done as well.
While it is technically possible to do the same thing with a single USB Type C port and a dock, ports that are physically on the device are just flat-out easier to deal with. As I type this on the ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX34, I don’t have to mess with a docking station and can plug all the stuff I need right into the Chromebook, and it is comforting to know that I can rely on these ports without the need of any external peripherals to do my job. Docks are fine, but there’s something nice about having all I need already built in. With the portable nature of tablets and their appeal to those on the go, not forcing those same users to carry around a docking solution for basic tasks is a great thing.
‘Geralt’-based Chromebook tablets should make a marked departure from what we’ve seen in the past if all these options are used to their full capability by manufacturers. Devices with a few extra ports can still be sleek and stylish, but giving a user the extra bit of I/O they need to sit down and get productive on the go is a welcome change that could make a serious case for these new tablets to finally become the all-in-one devices I’ve been hoping for in a ChromeOS tablet. As always, we’re continuing to dig around and we’ll report back when we’ve found more. Stay tuned.