A Chromebook that's been seen floating around in the Chromium Gerrit repository under the codename 'Kohaku' since early this year has cropped up once again with new details all but confirming the gadget to be a follow-up to Samsung's Chromebook Pro.
Among other hints that have become clearer since Kohaku was last seen, documentation associated with the battery to be built into the device now show "SDI" as the manufacturer. There can be little doubt that's Samsung SDI and the suspicion is only strengthened by the appearance of several more Samsung employee emails among the commits themselves.
Another comment, within a piece of code that seems intrinsically linked to the display being tested for the device, is far more telling in that it references "Caroline." That's the codename that was used for the original Chromebook Pro and, according to the comment, several key values in the code were pulled directly from Caroline.
Following previous trends set by Samsung
Specifically, the display comment questions whether any of the values within what was pulled from the Chromebook Pro need to be changed. The implication of that, pointing to a display that will be nearly identical to its predecessor, actually adds some strength to speculation that Kohaku is indeed the next-generation Samsung Chromebook Pro.
As with the transition from the Samsung Chromebook Plus to the Chromebook Plus V2, very few changes have been made to the Samsung Chromebook Pro so far. Those have centered on iterations that added LTE connectivity and another variant with backlighting added to the keyboard.
More succinctly, the Samsung Chromebook Plus followed a similar path, with minor alterations made right up until Samsung released the second version. When it did unveil the Samsung Chromebook V2, the company did so with the biggest changes including a new secondary camera sensor, minor display adjustments, and a new processor. That's precisely what's being seen with Kohaku.
Aside from these most recently noted changes, which also include hints that the screen would hold onto its 400-nits-rated display, the biggest change spotted for Kohaku has been a new processor. Specifically, previous commits to the Chromium Gerrit have pointed to the possibility that 9th-generation Intel chips will be used — coupled with cooling components to keep everything running smoothly.
PD charging standards were spotted too, suggesting that not only would a much more powerful chip be used that require some cooling. The device also appears to be developing with a far superior battery with better recharging speeds compared to the current Samsung Chromebook Pro in order to achieve a similarly great battery life from the new gadget.
So when is this finally going to arrive?
There is always the chance that Samsung plans to launch an entirely new line of Chrome OS gadgets instead of a direct successor to the Chromebook Pro. Given the 2017 launch date of the first iteration of that laptop, however, that seems unlikely and the Chromebook Plus did follow a similar timeline.
That doesn't necessarily mean this will land any time soon. Samsung hasn't been particularly consistent in the timing of its Chromebook launches, despite that they've always been held up among the best available in that segment of the tech market. It's original Chromebook Pro launched at CES while the Chromebook Plus V2 launched in June of last year. So there's no guarantee it will even appear before 2020's CES event.