Colorful Keyboard Trick Teased on Gaming Chromebooks. Google’s Chromebook initiative has been very successful, particularly in the education sector where schools have made some significant cost savings on both hardware and software. Chromebooks can become inexpensive to buy and maintain, While Google’s Cloud-based Google Classroom means that the schools are not tied right into expensive software licensing.
Colorful Keyboard Trick Teased on Gaming Chromebooks
That does not mean that Chromebook gaming is a lost cause. We have recently experienced the rise of cloud-based game streaming platforms like NVIDIA’s GeForce Now and Google Stadia is offering 4K gaming to Chromebook, though these services would only be available in some markets. In March 2021, we first learned of a new “Game Mode” being developed for ChromeOS designed to bring steam games to Chromebooks through a Linux container.
This happens to be a part of a joint project known as “Borealis” being developed by Google and Valve. Then, in April 2021, Nvidia gave an announcement that it had partnered with MediaTek to bring in Chromebooks with some serious RTX-powered gaming chops to the market. It now looks like we are a step closer to seeing these efforts come to life, at least based on a new feature flag identified by 9to5Google that is under development in the chromium source code.
What This Means to Gamers
With MediaTek and Nvidia working together to make a Chromebook platform aimed at gaming, it would stand to reason these new gaming-capable Chromebooks will feature the looks and features that gamers would want to see in a gaming laptop.
This is basically what has been uncovered by 9to5Google in the form of a “feature flag” given the name “Enable RGB Keyboard Support.” While the functionality can actually be aimed at supporting external gaming Keyboards, it seems this new feature is being prepared for new gaming-focused Chromebooks currently under development.
With some further sleuthing, 9to5Google happens to have uncovered a minimum of three specific hardware codenames amongst the source code, including “vell,” “Taniks,” and “Ripple”. The first two are expected to be Chromebooks powered by the 12th-gen Intel chips, which suggests that they would be Chromebooks powered 12th-gen Intel chips, which suggests they would be a much higher-end device. When it comes to graphics options there are at least three possibilities.
One is that it is running on an integrated Intel’s Xe graphics, while another is that it might actually be mated to Nvidia’s RTX GPUs. A third option is that it might be getting paired with mobile variants of Intel’s own upcoming discrete Xe-based GPUs. Also, we have been receiving hints that this might actually be an HP Chromebook that would slot into its OMEN gaming range.
The third device, which is “ripple,” looks like it might be a gaming-capable 2-in-1 akin to a less powerful version of the new Asus ROG Flow Z13, although there are not so many obvious hints concerning who would be manufacturing its OEM or its architecture.