Google is reportedly working on an experimental dual-screen Chromebook, according to information obtained from internal Chromium documents.
As spotted by 9to5Google, it looks like a Chrome OS device codenamed ‘Palkia’ could be in the works. An internal listing says Paklia has two touchscreens and a trackpad. Additionally, a code change on the Chromium Gerrit describes the location of the touch screen controller chips. The Chromium Gerrit is an online tool for collaborating on, reviewing and submitting code to the open-source Chromium project.
Although neither description is particularly informative, some think Palkia could have an internal touchscreen and an external screen, like a large Galaxy Fold. However, more code spotted by 9to5 shows that Google disabled tablet mode for Palkia. Additionally, Palkia doesn’t have any of the necessary hardware sensors to be a 2-in-1 device. In other words, it seems like Palkia is a traditional clamshell device.
That means Palkia could look something like the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo, a dual-screen Windows laptop that sports a smaller second display above the keyboard as well as a large traditional laptop screen.
Before anyone gets too excited about this fancy new dual-screen Chromebook, it’s important to note that Palkia is a prototype, not a product we’ll buy soon.
Another piece of code uncovered by 9to5 calls Palkia a “POC project.” POC here stands for ‘proof of concept.’ A different section of that code says Palkia isn’t an OEM device, which means there’s no company like Acer or Lenovo building it.
Instead, Palkia is likely an internal prototype the Chrome team will use to build Chrome OS features in preparation for possible future Chromebooks with multiple screens. Considering Microsoft’s work on dual-screen projects like the Surface Neo and Windows 10X and the various upcoming foldable and dual-screen Android devices, it should come as no surprise that Google wants to prepare for multi-screen Chrome OS devices too.
It’s worth noting that Microsoft has shifted focus on its Windows 10X plans and put dual-screen devices on the backburner because of the pandemic. Still, the future of lightweight computing will likely be fancy multi-screened devices. As such, Palkia will be something worth keeping an eye on.