Google prepares feature for mysterious Chromebooks gamers

Google would be laying the groundwork for the debut of the first gaming Chromebooks — or, at least, notebooks with an RGB keyboard. A new experimental feature in Chrome OS lets you enable color lighting of “supported devices”.

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The addition is as mysterious as the idea of a “Chromebook gamer”, which conflicts with the original concept of this type of notebook – light, more accessible and useful for basic everyday tasks. Machines running Chrome OS are usually equipped with entry-level processors, very limited storage, and no dedicated graphics card, as the platform is intended to rely on web resources such as the browser.

Chromebooks are typically cheap, affordable, and perform just enough for basic day-to-day tasks (Image: Handout/Acer)

There isn't even a version of Steam for Chrome OS, so traditional gaming doesn't seem to be the plan. Google could be targeting this segment through streaming platforms, on platforms like Stadia, Nvidia GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming.

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The experimental feature is identified as #enable-rgb-keyboard and was found on Chromium Gerrit, Google's update code repository. According to the website 9to5Google, the function would allow customizing each key with a specific color, but only Chrome OS developers could try the functions by commands.

Although it seems to be a feature to support peripherals (such as keyboard and mouse), there are indications that the novelty is in preparation for devices not yet released. Reinforcing, once again, that Chromebooks aimed at games are in development.

What would be the new Chromebooks gamers?

For now, there are no official announcements about gaming-focused notebooks with Chrome OS. However, 9to5Google found codenames and clues that appear to refer to devices equipped with 12th generation Intel Alder Lake processors — one from Lenovo and one from HP.

Additionally, entries also mention a third device, a removable keyboard, not a Chromebook. The concept is very reminiscent of peripherals sold for notebooks with Windows.

However, despite the clues, nothing seems to refer to release dates. For now, it remains to wait and spy on what Google develops for the operating system of the house.

Read the article on Canaltech.

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