Newly sighted commits in the Chromium Gerrit repository suggest that the Chrome OS device known as 'Nocturne' — that's believed to be one of the upcoming Pixelbook 2 models — will get a noticeably brighter screen than previous Chromebooks and will have automatic brightness enabled for more than just its screen. Both of those two features are also shown to be inexorably linked to the fact that Nocturne will feature a display that is "brighter than normal [sic] Chromebook." In fact, the default setting for brightness is set in the first of the two to a default of 47.62-percent, which is indicated as being suitable for an environment that's illuminated to between 90 and 250 lux. As noted by the commit itself, that's generally around the brightness of a typical reasonably well-lit indoor environment. The commit also points to the second of the two newly spotted changes associated with Nocturne. The current default brightness is said to remain in place until the team working on the Chrome OS device have implemented "ALS," which will handle automatically adjusting the brightness of the display.
That second commit enables automatic brightness adjustments for testing, presumably to fine-tune the auto-brightness to appropriately adjust based on environmental factors. Configured based on files associated with the previous Google Pixelbook – namely, 'Eve' – it also appears to apply to more than just the display panel. In fact, it appears as though the keyboard will not only be backlit but will also adapt to the brightness of the environment Nocturne is used in, just as the display panel will. That would be an extremely useful feature for those who consistently work from or use their device in a variety of lighting but would also be a first in the Chromebook market. Other Chromebooks do ship with a backlit keyboard but this would be the first time one has been delivered to customers with that feature adjusting on its own to suit the lighting.
Meanwhile, other recently noticed commits have suggested that although the company seems to have a more traditional Chromebook in the works, Nocturne will be a detachable device. Another suspected Google Pixelbook, codenamed 'Atlas,' appears to be in the works for the more traditional laptop audience. It's not immediately clear whether Atlas will ship with a backlit keyboard or ALS features as well. However, Google is expected to unveil new hardware in October so that should become apparent soon enough.