Earlier this year Samsung released the Chromebook Plus and the Chromebook Pro — two high end Chromebooks. They look set to continue in this vain with all clues suggesting a detachable Chromebook in the works. More details have now surfaced that point to the detachable Chromebook also housing a stylus that can be stowed.
When Chromebooks are developed they need to have support for their features built into the operating system. The good thing for us is that the Chromium repository is open source and can be viewed by anyone.
Last month we discussed the clues that pointed to a Samsung detachable Chromebook being under development. Now further information regarding the new Chromebook, “Nautilus” has come to light via the Chromium repository.
A new commit reveals that the new Nautilus Chromebook, which is definitely a Samsung device as the author works for Samsung, houses a stowable stylus:
Nautilus has a PEN_EJECT signal that is routed to 2 CPU GPIO pins:
B19: We need an input driver to use this to emit SW_PEN_INSERTED event. (This patch enables the B19 usecase).
B21: This is used for wakeup (configured by ACPI)
Kevin uses gpio-keys driver to do this but the driver only understands device trees or platform data. Hence we instantiate the gpio-keys with the platform data.
TEST=Verify that the “stylus tools” menu gets launched when I eject the pen on nautilus.
Both of Samsung’s Chromebooks this year had stowable pens and considering how useful Google has made the Pixel Pen on their new Pixelbook it stands to reason that Samsung should be able to do the same for their new style-toting Chromebook. The Samsung Galaxy Book has a stylus as well and Nautilus is expected to be based on the Windows-based detachable laptop so it stands to reason that the Nautilus will also include one.
Given the state of Android tablets a detachable Chromebook that runs Android apps is an absolute requirement for the Android ecosystem moving forward. Hopefully this is just the first in a wave of similar devices.
Last year Samsung revealed their new Chromebooks at CES 2017 and while it may be too early for Samsung to announce it next week at CES 2018 they showed last year that they are ok with launching more than a month after announcement. In saying that they may even have Nautilus ready to ship very soon — last year the buggy Android apps on their Chromebooks delayed the launch date.
CES 2018 is shaping up to be an exciting event. Stay tuned for anything Android or Google related as we will be all over it.