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Upcoming Samsung Chromebook will feature ‘Ambient EQ’ display like Pixel 4

One of the best features about recent Made by Google products — starting with the Google Nest Hub and most recently seen on the Pixel 4  — is “Ambient EQ,” or ability to perfectly adapt the display’s brightness and colors to the room’s ambient lighting. Ambient EQ is now working its way to Chrome OS, and will debut on an upcoming Samsung Chromebook.

Most Android phones, and even some Chrome OS devices like the Pixel Slate, are able to detect the brightness of the room’s ambient light and adjust the brightness of their display accordingly. Google’s “Ambient EQ” technology takes things a step farther by also adjusting for the color of the light in your room.

Most recently, the Google Pixel 4 has put this to use to make its already top-of-the-line display appear more natural in every environment. Now, it appears, that Google is working on bringing this same Ambient EQ tech to Chrome OS.

Ambient EQ for Chrome OS

Spotted by XDA-Developers, Google has put a great deal of work into preparing Ambient EQ for Chrome OS, having already prepared the UI and a flag in chrome://flags to enable that UI on supported devices.

Show Ambient EQ UI

Shows the UI to enable Ambient EQ on devices that support it.


Once the flag is enabled, a new “Ambient Colors” option will appear in the Chrome OS Settings app under Device > Displays > Night Light, on supported devices.

But that begs the question, then, what device will be supported? With the Pixelbook Go already on the market with no mention of Ambient EQ, the next Made by Google Chromebook is surely too far away for this nearly finished feature to launch there.


Instead, we’ve uncovered another commit that makes reference to the same bug tracker number used for work on the ambient color sensor. The commit focuses on a Chromebook codenamed “Kohaku.” Digging a little deeper, we’ve further confirmed that Kohaku will indeed have an ambient light sensor (ALS) and a color sensor (RGB).

Samsung Kohaku ambient light and color sensors

The folks at Chrome Unboxed have been tracking the development of Kohaku since April, and point out that it’s almost certainly a Samsung Chromebook, based on Samsung email addresses being tied to numerous code changes.

More specifically, Unboxed notes that Kohaku is a convertible Chromebook with a built-in stylus and according to benchmarks will be powered by a 10th Gen Intel Core U-series processor and 8 GB of RAM. The U-series processor alone puts it head and shoulders above last year’s Samsung Chromebook Plus V2, and even this year’s Samsung Chromebook 4 series.

Considering how much work is still actively going into developing Ambient EQ support for this Chromebook and Chrome OS as a whole, we don’t expect Samsung’s latest and greatest Chromebook to hit the market in time for the holiday shopping season. In the meantime, it’s shaping up to be a premier device for Chrome OS in many of the ways that Google’s non-convertible Pixelbook Go is not.

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Avatar for Kyle Bradshaw Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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