The Chromebook, codenamed “Atlas,” would be the first clamshell running Google’s Chrome OS, to sport such a high-res screen. Cool beans, but do Chromebooks even need that many pixels?
No, they dont.
Google launched Chromebooks as a way to undercut Macs and Windows laptops. Chrome OS’s whole shtick was supposed to make computers cheaper by removing all the traditional local OS stuff and replacing them with powerful cloud-based alternatives.
But instead of increasingly powerful Chromebooks with decreasing prices, the trend has instead been towards beefier devices with higher price tags.
Don’t get me wrong, Google’s $1,000 Pixelbook with its fast Intel Core i5 and i7 chips and high-res screen (2,400 x 1,600) add up to an all-star laptop. Power users like me appreciate every ounce of performance Google’s 2-in-1 offers, but it’s still pure overkill for the vast majority of users who’ll only browse the web and watch YouTube videos.
4K Chromebooks would be awesome, for sure, but totally unnecessary.
Which is why a Chromebook with a 4K display would be even more absurd. 4K Chromebooks would be awesome, for sure, but totally unnecessary. It’d also likely add to the cost of premium-priced Chromebooks. And the last thing anyone should be doing is paying too much for a Chromebook.
I also wonder what a 4K display will mean for battery life. To power the 8.3 million pixels in a 3,840 x 2,160 screen will require either a larger capacity battery or some of significant power efficiencies made to the chipset.
Chromebooks generally offer longer battery life than Windows or Mac laptops because Chrome OS isn’t running as many background processes. It’d be a shame if Chromebook battery life takes a serious hit for the sake of pixels most people won’t need.
Of course, 4K Chromebooks aren’t confirmed. They’ll remain a rumor until Google or its device partners announce such devices. The Google I/O developers conference is right around the corner so we may hear more then.