Over the years, Chrome OS has landed on a wide variety of form factors like laptops, desktops, all-in-ones, tablets, and more. New evidence suggests Google is looking at bringing Chrome OS to another form factor — dual-touchscreen Chromebooks.
In the last few years, more and more manufacturers have begun experimenting with dual-screen laptops and tablets. ASUS has already released such a dual-screen Windows laptop — the ZenBook Duo Pro — and Microsoft has been actively developing Windows 10X, which was initially intended specifically for dual-screen devices, including their own Surface Neo tablet.
With that in mind, it’s not too surprising to see that Google has been working on a Chrome OS device — codenamed “Palkia” — that is internally listed as having two touchscreens and a trackpad. We even see that fact laid out in the description of a code change, where a developer describes the locations of the chips that control each screen.
There are two touch screen controllers on the Palkia device. One is on the lid; another is on the base.
One interpretation of this description is that “Palkia” has both an inner touchscreen like any other clamshell Chromebook and an outer one visible when closed. However, in the code, we find that Palkia has “tablet mode” disabled along with the usually necessary hardware sensors. Essentially, that means we’re looking at a clamshell-only device, not a convertible or tablet.
Combining all of this, our interpretation is that this dual-touchscreen Chromebook could be built similarly to the ASUS ZenBook Duo Pro, with a second, smaller display below the hinge, but there’s no way to know for sure.
Before you let your imagination run too wild and start saving up for a dual-screen Chromebook, signs currently point to “Palkia” being a prototype/experiment — not a product we’ll be able to buy one day soon.
In a comment on one code change, a Chromium developer suggests that they “don’t need to pay much resource for a POC project” — “POC” here means “proof of concept.” Elsewhere in the same change, two different developers state that “Palkia is not an OEM device,” meaning there’s no company like ASUS, Acer, Lenovo, or even Made by Google themselves planning to release this particular Chromebook project.
Instead, it seems like Google is preparing for the future possibility of Chromebooks having more than one touchscreen, following the trend of Windows (and to an extent macOS) laptops offering a second built-in display. Once the hardware support is fully functional, it should be interesting to see how the Chrome OS team decides to handle this kind of second display, if it will be any different from simply connecting a second monitor.
Would you use a dual-touchscreen Chromebook? If so, what would you want to see on your second screen? Let us know down in the comments!
More on Chrome OS:
- [Update: Live in Canary] Google working on clipboard manager for Chrome OS
- Chrome OS preparing Steam gaming support, starting with 10th Gen Intel Chromebooks
- Android’s AirDrop, Nearby Sharing, shows signs of debuting on Windows, Mac, and Chrome OS
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