An ARM-powered Chromebook with a Surface-style kickstand seems set for a 2021 debut
What you need to know
- A new Chromebook running a Snapdragon 7c is coming in 2021.
- The Chromebook will be a detachable tablet with an 11-inch 3:2 display.
- It's also set to be the first Chromebook with a kickstand.
The trend in consumer computing at the moment is the move away from Intel to ARM processors. While Intel previously had the monopoly on power, ARM processors bring with them benefits including support for mobile connectivity and better battery life. Apple has accelerated this shift with the new MacBooks, but Google and Microsoft were already slowly moving towards this on their respective platforms. Now, there are reports about a new Chrome OS tablet coming next year, and it'll bring a few things we haven't seen on the platform.
The report comes from the enthusiasts over at Chrome Unboxed who gleaned a few details from Chromium commits. Codenamed Coachz, this upcoming tablet is a detachable tablet that's powered by the Snapdragon 7c. It would likely have an 11-inch display with a QHD resolution at a 3:2 aspect ratio. You'll also find pen support on this enabled by USI, and it's rumored to be able to charge said pen wither wirelessly or via the USB C port.
If this launches, it'll be the first Surface-style Chromebook on the market. Sure, Google launched the Pixel Slate, and Lenovo has its Duet, but those devices lack the kickstand that set Microsoft's efforts apart from other tablets.
We've already seen powerful Chromebooks running on the Snapdragon 7c with Acer's Spin 513 (the bigger 713 shipped with a classic Intel processor), but a new Chrome OS convertible would inject some excitement into the Chromebook hardware field. It's not clear when this tablet would launch, or who's making it, but judging by the hardware, it'll likely be in the upper Chromebook price tiers.
Need something now?
The beauty is a beast in the power department.
If you're someone who loves a 3:2 screen and a big, beefy processor to power it, this Project Athena Chromebook is for you. It's got a bigger price tag than the 513, but it's got more ports and more power to justify the upgrade.
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Of course now that Apple has done its basically a green light for the rest of the industry to move forward.
Someone please explain to me why a kickstand is a step forward (rather than a step backward). Is it just a "me too" marketing gimmick? Why is a kickstand better than a dectachable with a hinge, like the HP Chromebook X2?
The tablet can be upright without the keyboard? That's really all there is. The surface design sacrifices some laptop benefits for a slightly better tablet experience. Just a different set of tradeoffs.