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The dawn of the 4K Chromebook era might soon be upon us

We do not know if or when the mysterious Atlas Chromebook will launch in the near future, but at least we know Google is playing around with 4K displays.
By
April 5, 2018
Pixelbook Chromebook
TL;DR
  • Chromium OS source code revealed mentions of a Chromebook codenamed Atlas with a 4K display.
  • If true, Atlas would be the first Chromebook with such a high-resolution display.
  • The merits of having a 4K display on a Chromebook, however, are questionable.

The Google Pixelbook remains one of those unicorn Chromebooks that features a display with higher than Full HD resolution. That could change sometime in the future, if source code from Google’s Chromium OS is any indication.

Spotted by a Reddit user, the source code referenced a machine with “Atlas” as its codename and a display with a 3,840 x 2,160 resolution. The mystery Chromebook looks to not include an SD card slot, though there are mentions of a keyboard, touchpad, and touchscreen.

The real story is the display resolution, which would make Atlas the first Chromebook with a 4K display. As cool as that sounds, it makes us wonder why anyone would pack such a high resolution display on a Chromebook.

Gamers and graphics professionals would be the target audiences for 4K displays, but those folks are poorly tended to on Chromebooks. Not only is the horsepower typically lacking, but you would have to load up Linux to play non-mobile titles.

There is also the thought that a 4K display would be overkill for a Chromebook. Having such a high-resolution panel will not only push the price tag up, but likely negatively affect battery life as well.

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Then again, the 16:9 4K display on the Atlas would be a boon for your Netflix and YouTube consumption. The extra pixels would also allow for more windows on the screen without losing visual fidelity.

Keep in mind that we know little else about the Atlas, such as its size, processor, or price tag. We do not even know if the Atlas will become a reality. Either way, it seems that Google is at least playing around with the idea of Chromebooks with 4K displays.