• A Google Chrome commit strongly suggests that we will be seeing 4K Chromebooks soon.
  • Google is likely to use Chrome OS to compete with Apple’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows 10 S.
  • However, offering 4K resolution screens will require significant horsepower and battery life.

One of the commits for Google Chrome makes it clear that we will be seeing Chromebooks with 4K resolution displays in the near future.

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Judging by the recent Pixelbook, it seems Google is quite serious about Chromebooks and vested in bringing more premium devices in the future, and as Chrome Unboxed suggests, these laptops may come with ultra-high 4K resolution displays. Chrome Unboxed found a commit behind a Google Chrome patch, which reads:

As an added bonus, this logo is not only much rounder but also higher resolution, making sure it will continue to look crisp and pretty on our secret upcoming 4K Chromebooks.

Based on this unambiguous commit, we should expect to see Chrome OS-powered laptops, 2-in-1 convertibles, and tablets with a screen resolution of 3840 x 2160. Indeed, 4K resolution boasts four times more pixel density than Full HD and is what you’ll find on the most expensive laptops and televisions on the market right now. The fact that Google and its hardware partners are contemplating introducing 4K Chromebooks indicates that these companies are committed to the Chrome OS ecosystem and hardware development. With Apple aggressively pushing iOS 11 on iPads and Microsoft following Apple’s footsteps with Windows 10 S, Google’s logical choice of weapon is Chrome OS.

However, 4K displays aren’t without problems of their own. Although it’s only a matter of time until we see 4K screens on smaller portable devices, these will place significant strain on the processor and the battery. The main challenge for Chromebook manufacturers will be figuring out a way to provide the regular 10-hour battery life on a laptop with a 4K screen without sacrificing its portability and aesthetics.