Samsung are one of the early manufacturers supporting Google's Chromebook platform, indeed the first device running Chrome OS was a Samsung model. Over the years, the company has sold a number of successful Chromebook models based on either an ARM or Intel chipset. And now the company appears set to announce a new, convertible Chromebook with a current codename of "Snappy" hot in the footsteps of the Samsung Chromebook Pro. The new Samsung Chromebook's convertible design means that the keyboard is detachable and the device uses a touchscreen, but it appears that Samsung are deliberately raising their game with the Snappy model.
The new Chromebook will be built around a new motherboard, codenamed "Reef." The Reef board's most notable feature is that it is itself built around the new Intel Apollo Lake chipset, which is the latest generation of the Intel Atom line of chipsets. The Apollo Lake chipset is based around the Goldmont processor core, which promises 30% greater performance compared with previous generation Intel Atom chipsets. The Goldmont will be offered in dual-core, 1.3GHz (turbo clock speed of up to 1.8GHz) or quad-core, 1.6GHz (up to 2.0GHz in turbo mode) cores. Furthermore, the Apollo Lake chipset is constructed on a modern and power-efficient 14nm process and contains a new generation GPU, based on Intel's Gen9 hardware, which promises stronger and more efficient graphics performance. The Apollo Lake chipsets are designed for fanless running, which means Samsung's new Chromebook should be cool and quiet in operation. The greater power efficiency and performance numbers are certainly appreciated, especially as Chromebooks are set to receive compatibility with a slew of Android OS applications.
However, the Samsung Snappy is bringing with it another feature: not only is the screen touch-enabled, but it also includes a Wacom digitizer and this means that the Chromebook will support a Stylus. Stylus support should be a very good thing for the convertible Chromebook platform as it will allow the device to be better used for taking notes or running presentations when running in tablet mode. Samsung has considerable experience adding new features for tablet-supporting devices in the shape of the Galaxy Note family of devices, which are based around the Android platform. At this juncture, we do not have any details as to what special features the Wacom-equipped, Samsung Snappy may include over and above the stock Chrome OS functions, but from the sounds of it, this new Chromebook should be very interesting.