Monday , January 23 2017

Detachable, hybrid tablet-style Chromebooks are on the way


Lately all the Chromebook discussion has been around the convertible Chromebooks that are apparently coming sometime in 2017 — notably the Lenovo Yoga and the Samsung Chromebook Pro. Now there is another option on the horizon, a detachable Chromebook.

ChromeUnboxed are reporting that they have discovered some fairly “concrete” evidence that ChromeOS is being prepared for some detachable Chromebooks. A few nights ago several commits were added to the Chromium Repositories that added a menu function to the recover boot screen for detachable Chromebooks. With a detachable Chromebook/tablet a different button/key combo is required to access the recovery or developer mode as the keyboard is currently used. The ability to enter these without the presence of a keyboard is something essential for a Chromebook with detachable keyboard.

Along with the key combo commit there was one that concerns adjusting voltage regulation for USB ports. While the commit is old it has now been merged into the main repository. The concrete part of the commit is that it specifically mentions tablets:

skylake: Add USB2 port config for max settings

Add a new USB2_PORT_MAX with the max possible settings
(56mV) for the TX and Pre-emphasis bias values. Also fix
the settings for the detachable tablet config to match the
skylake HSIO tuning guide as it was incorrect before.

While it is unknown exactly what some of these commits are intended for but the point is that configurations are being added to ChromeOS in preparation for ChromeOS tablets and detachables. With Android tablets dying a slow, painful death it is good to see that there may well be another option on the horizon.

As someone who loves using his Surface Pro 4 (and would buy another in a flash) I will certainly be looking closely at a detachable Chromebook should a decent one become available. Anyone else prefer one of these to a convertible Chromebook such as the Lenovo Yoga or Samsung Chromebook Pro or do you still like the convertible style more?

 
Source: ChromeUnboxed.

Scott Plowman   Senior Associate

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