Chromebook 'Cheza' Confirmed To Be A Detachable Device

A Chrome OS device codenamed that's currently only known by its codename 'Cheza' has now been all but confirmed as a detachable tablet, based on a newly spotted commit in the Chromium Gerrit Code Review.  The code effectively adds in components for the detachable-specific Chrome OS UI, meaning that is should have the latest tablet-centric interface first shown with the Google Pixel Slate. Further comments embedded with the commit go further to confirm the form factor of the hardware by noting that there's not any point trying to conceal the lack of a keyboard anymore - ordinarily done through the practice of hiding the code in private resources.

Background: Cheza was first spotted in the Chromium Gerrit with strong indicators already present to suggest it was a Chrome OS tablet rather than a Chromebook. However, the reference to a "detachable" in that previous commit was associated with a secondary file that wasn't necessarily directly tied to Cheza itself. Since that commit, there have been dozens of others that have provided a bit more insight into what exactly Cheza is and what it will bring with it. To begin with, Cheza is currently thought to be powered by Qualcomm's energy-efficient octa-core Snapdragon 845 SoC, rather than Intel or ARM, bringing along its contemporary Adreno GPU for handling graphics. The device has also been hinted at as supporting the company's "Always On PC" features, allowing for both Wi-Fi and mobile data connectivity via 4G LTE. A Snapdragon 845-powered has already been included in other computers has enabled that functionality, specifically in Windows hardware. Those devices can see as much as twenty hours of battery life between charges, Chrome OS is likely to do even better given that the focus has been on portability from the very start.

That all suggests that Cheza will also be a high-end device but aren't the only indicators on that front either.  Meanwhile, not only has the gadget been tested using a wide-angle 16:9 ratio 12.3-inch display panel with a 2560 x 1440 resolution but the Snapdragon SoC actually supports up to a 4K resolution. So there could be a 4K panel on the final build as well, although it is also possible that capability will only be used for secondarily connected displays. Namely, previous commits linked to the hardware of the tablet have suggested that two USB Type-C ports will be present that can be used for both charging and display output. What's more, the device is currently expected to use the latest UFS solutions for storage as opposed to the somewhat more power-efficient but slower eMMC. Perhaps most importantly, Qualcomm previously expressed that it would not take part in the development of Chrome OS hardware to be sold for less than $500.

Impact: As alluded to above, this will not be the first detachable Chrome OS hardware to hit the market. In fact, Google's own Pixel Slate wasn't either since it was proceeded by HP's Chromebook x2. With that said, the affirmation that Cheza will be completely detachable and implications about 4G connectivity seem to suggest that Chrome OS tablets are here to stay and a major focus for OEMs on the platform. There are still plenty of unknown details about the device, such as what materials will be used, the manufacturer, pricing, and more. But there's still plenty of time left between Cheza's expected 2019 launch and now for more information to leak out.

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