What you need to know
- According to Chromium Gerrit commits, Google is readying new branding for specific types of Chromebooks.
- It's entirely likely these will be for Chromebooks with higher-end hardware, such as the Dragonfly Pro.
- "Chromebook X" devices could see a different boot logo and might have accompanying on-device branding.
Over the past few years, we've been seeing a few Chromebooks hit the market with specs that rival the best Windows laptops. But it seems that Google is preparing to set these apart from the rest with specific branding known as "Chromebook X."
As spotted by 9to5Google, the "Chromebook X" branding is slated to arrive on particularly powerful Chromebooks. According to a comment on a Chromium Gerrit commit, these devices will need to feature specific specs, such as a minimum amount of RAM, "camera definition, [and] display property."
There's no indication of what some of those specifics will be. However, 9to5Google notes that models eligible for the Chromebook X branding will be powered by AMD's Zen 2+ and Zen 3 chips, along with Intel's 12th Gen processors.
But there's even more to the story, as with the Intel 12th Gen chips, there are actually two different boards that will be compatible. You'll have the traditional Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 options, but Google is apparently set to include Intel's N-series of processors.
Traditionally, Intel's N-series of chips have been reserved for the best cheap Chromebooks. However, Intel has been making strides with its lower-end SoC's making them much more performant than their predecessors. But while performance has improved, it's unlikely they will power Chromebooks that include things like Thunderbolt 4 or other features found on high-end Chromebooks.
Something else that has been discovered is that these differentiated models could see "exclusive features" that aren't as widely available. These include things such as support for up to 16 virtual desks, Live Caption, voice isolation, and more.
Rather surprisingly, there are additional features said to be only available on Chromebook X models. Specifically, Google has been working on a specific "set of 'Time Of Day' wallpapers and screen savers that would change in appearance throughout the day."
Adding more credence to Google potentially introducing different branding for specific models, the folks over at Chrome Unboxed discovered something rather interesting. Changes were recently made in the Chromium Gerrit with both references to "CBX" and "Chromebook Plus."
The former is likely just a shorter version of Chromebook X, while Chromebook Plus will be what you'll see when you purchase one of these Chromebooks. As you can see in the screenshot above, a message will appear welcoming you to the "Chromebook Plus," along with the "CBX" being used as the identifier for the message to appear.
Another Chromium Gerrit commit suggests that the Chromebook Plus won't actually be branded on the hardware. Instead, these will be "soft branded" devices, which could mean that we'll see branding on the packaging and within the software.
It's unlikely that we'll see a "Chromebook X" or "Chromebook Plus" branded device released until later this year, which was also backed up by a source speaking to 9to5Google. This begs the question of whether options like the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 or HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook will see any of the exclusive features. While no guaranteed answer is provided, some notes suggest "legacy" models could gain access to these features in a future update.
We might not have to wait long before some official announcement comes from Google. Many of the changes mentioned could arrive in ChromeOS 115, but it's unknown which Chromebook or Chromebooks will adopt this new branding.
The definition of a premium Chromebook
HP's Dragonfly Pro Chromebook might not be for everyone, but if you want one of the best ChromeOS experiences out there, then this is definitely the one for you. It features a beautiful 14-inch display, 16GB of RAM, and a haptic trackpad.
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Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.