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 suggest that a new model with 16GB of RAM and an Intel Skylake processor is on the way.
While initially thought to be currently under fabrication by Google, it’s actually Hewlett Packard who’s behind the new Chromebook.
The new device, codenamed “Chell,” is thought likely to feature an Intel Core M CPU, though a Pentium is also a possibility. All will come from 6th generation Skylake chip stock, however, and will be paired up with 16GB of RAM. There’s no word on a dedicated GPU, so we’re presuming on board HD Graphics or Iris processing will power the expected 3,200 x 1,800 resolution display.
Along with those internals, the new HP Chromebook is also predicted to have two USB ports — one USB-C and one USB-A. The snippets of code suggest too, that it will feature a SD card reader and Bluetooth compatibility.
Earlier code discovered in February, shows that it will also have a touchscreen and there are references in the comments that suggests the new laptop will have VR config settings.
This was initially thought to potentially mean that the new Chromebook would have some form of Virtual Reality support, but that is no longer the case. Not only would a Chromebook be very unlikely to have the requisite hardware for high-end virtual reality, but “VR” in that context is much more likely to stand for “voltage regulator,” instead.
Although there are some laptops designed with virtual reality in mind, they tend to be expensive, heavy and lack much battery power, because of the requirement for a hefty GPU to even come in at the low end of VR-compatibility.
Updated 10AM 4/19 by Jon Martindale: Updated to include newly rumored details about the laptop