It has been quite some time since Dell pushed out a premium Chromebook. To be specific, it will be two years in August that the Broadwell-based Dell Chromebook 13 hit shelves. Since then the manufacturer has fallen all but completely silent on the Chrome OS front.
Just recently, we witnessed the release of the Dell Chromebook 11 model 3180 (guys, you really need to get the naming thing under control) but this was an education-focused, last generation, Braswell device that was very much forgettable.
So, with all the new Chromebooks out and on the way, where is Dell in all of this? We have some theories about that subject that you can check out at Chrome Unboxed. The upcoming Chromebook, code name ‘Asuka’, is very likely the next Dell device to come to the market but where is it?
‘Asuka’ has been in development for a year. Yes, A YEAR! Since its introduction into the Chromium repositories we have received an inside tip from a reliable source that a new Dell Chromebook was spotted in the hands of employees of one of our favorite companies that will remain nameless. (rhymes with shmoogle) That was early fall of last year though and if the Chromebook were that far along then, what’s the hold up?
I’ve racked my brain to try to figure out why Dell would wait so long to release another device. ‘Asuka’ is running on the, now previous generation, Skylake chipset. If much more time ticks by this Chromebook will be behind the eight ball when competing against the latest and greatest from the world of Chrome OS. We do, however, know that a new Chromebook is coming from Dell and a recent article from the Google Blog may have actually given us a sneak peek and we look right passed it.
Earlier this month, The Keyword blog announced a partnership between Google and VMware to bring the virtual desktop to Chrome OS. Great stuff but a minor detail in the article caught my eye. the images above are both Dell Chromebooks. The one on the left, the 2015 Dell Chromebook 13. The one on the right, an image from Google’s blog.
At first glance they look very, very similar. Keyboard, chassis and logo all appear identical. The difference? Those bezels. The original Chromebook 13 had some pretty gnarly borders around the display, especially the one on the bottom. This new image looks to have a much more subdued outline and while it’s not the Infinity Edge display we’ve seen on Dell’s Windows devices, it is much more attractive that the older model.
I may be getting my hopes up here. It is highly possible that this is just a mock-up and the device on the right doesn’t even exist. Or, maybe the graphic designer cropped the display image out of proportion and it cut into to bezels on the device. On the flip side, we do know Dell has a new Chromebook in the pipeline and Google highlighting this device in a seemingly inconspicuous manner has me very suspicious for sure.
I’ll be snooping around this week to see what else on can find out about what is coming next from Dell. Stay tuned.