Now, word on the street is that Google is working on even more high-end Chromebooks that will use Intel’s Kaby Lake-G processors (current Pixelbooks uses 7th generation Intel processors). For those not in the know, Kaby Lake-G processors incorporate on-package AMD Radeon Vega GPUs for increased graphics prowess. A development board codenamed “Kidd” with the hybrid chip has been spotted in the Chromium Git.
Does that mean that we could soon see Chromebooks with Kaby Lake-G? It’s quite possible, but the vast majority of Chromebooks are low-end systems that are geared towards the education sector. Is there truly a market for a Chromebook with discrete graphics, and what would its purpose be? Fortunately, Google is making its intentions clear for Chrome OS and is expanding the capabilities of the platform (like the added support for Android apps in Chrome OS).
Google is extending support for Linux to Chromebooks, which will run inside of a virtual machine. “It starts in seconds and integrates completely with Chromebook features,” wrote Google earlier this month. “Linux apps can start with a click of an icon, windows can be moved around, and files can be opened directly from apps.” In other words, instead of having to switch environments — like you currently do with distros like Ubuntu — you can instead have a more seamless, integrated experience.
XDA Developers, which first discovered Kidd, suggests that there could be a usage case for gaming Chromebooks. After all, Pixelbook owners can install Steam on their systems to play games. However, the current state of GPU acceleration within Chrome OS is pretty barren to put it lightly.