Chromebooks aren’t typically known for their hardware capabilities. You don’t usually need that extra horsepower on a Chromebook unless you’re the kind of person that keeps 20 tabs open at the same time. But recent discoveries in the Chromium OS source code suggested there a new model with 16GB of RAM and an Intel Skylake processor is on the way. Back then, it was believed Google would stand for the production, but recent code discoveries and forum discussions instead confirm that this latest laptop is being manufactured by Hewlett Packard (HP).
Google’s Chromebook Pixel is the only real high-end model released so far. It makes sense for many to assume that it will be responsible for manufacturing this new model as well. But that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore, with HP taking Google’s place. The device is codenamed “Chell” and other code suggests it will feature two USB ports — one USB-C and one USB-A. It should also feature an SD card reader and Bluetooth compatibility. Code discovered in February shows that it will also have a touchscreen. There are also references in the comments that suggests the new laptop will have “VR config settings,” which means it might be one of the first Chromebooks to support virtual reality.
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Virtual reality on Chromebook would be the first attempt at supporting VR on an internet oriented device. But it wouldn’t be HP’s first venture into VR territory. The company already has desktop computers designed to aid in consumption and development of VR content. Considering Google’s VR experiments with Chrome on mobile devices, it’s likely that the laptop would utilize the Chrome web browser to enable VR content.
Google is reportedly working on their own VR headset that’s said to be released later this year. If HP is implementing VR support into this device, it would make sense if the two devices were compatible. While there are other candidates, such as Razer’s open-source OSVR headset, Chrome OS isn’t a likely target due to the limited Chromebook userbase.