The Abandoned Plans of Google Chromebooks With Dedicated GPUs

Google’s ambitious plans to introduce Chromebooks with integrated Nvidia graphics cards have reportedly been scrapped. The tech giant had previously incorporated gaming laptop-like features into some of their models, such as changeable RGB keyboards and high refresh rate displays. However, these devices were all equipped with integrated GPUs, mainly intended for use with streaming services like Nvidia’s GeForce Now and Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming.

Earlier this year, a Chromebook board codenamed Hades was discovered by 9to5Google, featuring a dedicated GeForce RTX 4050 GPU similar to those found in Windows gaming laptops. This development raised expectations that Google might venture into the realm of dedicated GPUs for Chromebooks. Unfortunately, recent developer comments on Chromium Gerrit have shed light on the fate of not only the Hades board but also two other Nvidia-equipped boards named Agah and Herobrine.

The cancellation of these boards strongly suggests that any Chromebooks based on them will not come to fruition. This turn of events comes as a disappointment to those who were eagerly awaiting the release of Chromebooks with more powerful graphics capabilities.

Although the dedicated GPU Chromebooks have been scrapped for now, it is still possible that Google may venture into this space in the future. There have been reports indicating the existence of a board codenamed Aurora, which was discovered in a recent code patch. While this board is believed to be primarily for internal Steam testing rather than an actual device, it is marked with an RTX 3050 graphics card.

This spark of hope implies that work to make Steam on ChromeOS compatible with dedicated GPUs might still be ongoing. It remains to be seen if Google will eventually release Chromebooks with dedicated GPUs to cater to gamers and power users who require higher performance.

In addition to abandoning the Nvidia-based Chromebook plans, Google has reportedly scrapped the development of Chromebooks powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 SoC. This project, known by the codename Herobrine, was aimed at creating ChromeOS tablets. With the cancellation of this project, it appears that no new ChromeOS tablets will be released anytime soon.

The decision to cancel the plans for Chromebooks with dedicated GPUs is undoubtedly disappointing for tech enthusiasts and gamers hoping for more powerful Chromebook options. While Google may have retreated from this particular endeavor for now, the existence of the Aurora board and ongoing work related to Steam compatibility with dedicated GPUs hint at the possibility of future releases.

Is Google merely postponing the launch of these powerful Chromebooks, or are they exploring other alternatives? Only time will tell how Google plans to address the demand for high-performance Chromebooks in the ever-evolving landscape of computing.


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