What you need to know
- Nvidia GPU-powered Chromebooks are reportedly in the works.
- At least two are in the making, likely powered by Intel 13th Gen Raptor Lake processors.
- These are expected to ship with Nvidia RTX 4050 GPUs.
Over the past few years, we have witnessed more Chromebooks getting into gaming, particularly with Steam games via ChromeOS. The hardware on Chromebooks, however, has been fairly limited, something that is likely to change this year with new dedicated GPUs reportedly coming to Chromebooks.
New findings from 9to5Google suggest that efforts to bring Nvidia RTX graphics to ChromeOS hardware have been going on for over a year. The plan is to have access to direct graphics cards for Steam gaming on Chromebooks.
We've recently witnessed AMD's announcement bringing new Ryzen and Athlon processors with integrated Radeon graphics for Chromebooks made by Asus and Dell. The 9to5Google report now indicates that Nvidia may have its sights on Chromebooks, with plans to bring its RTX GPUs to the platform.
As part of the plan, Google reportedly invested in internal hardware codenamed “Draco” or “Agah” — an alleged prototype based on Intel 12th-Gen processors and coupled with an Nvidia RTX 3050 GPU. As things progressed, the company is said to have a newer hardware model codenamed “Hades,” notes 9to5Google.
Unlike the prototype, the “Hades” will act as a foundation for OEMs to build new commercial gaming Chromebooks. Currently, there are two in the making, codenamed “Cora” and “Zeus.” These models, which are likely to be built on “Hades,” will reportedly be powered by Intel 13th Gen Raptor Lake processors coupled with a newer Nvidia RTX 4050 GPU. Additionally, they are said to feature faster, upgradeable DDR5 RAM.
Other features may include USB-C charging up to 240W and a battery bypass that would provide power directly from the charging cable. The aim is to achieve longer battery life and reduce heat dissipation.
It appears Google is entering an industry currently dominated by Windows-powered laptops, slowly moving its gaming Chromebooks away from the streaming-only gaming they've so far relied on. These alleged gaming Chromebooks sound promising, and it will be interesting to see the response from gaming audiences if and when these devices land, particularly if they are more affordable than their Windows counterparts.