This week's news from About Chromebooks, Jan 7, 2024
I hope you all had a fantastic New Year’s holiday and I wish you peace, happiness, and success in 2024.
I used my offline time to contemplate the future of About Chromebooks because 2023 was awful. I publicly shared my revenue numbers from the last five years and if you check, you’ll see what I mean about last year.
But I’m not here in your inbox to whine or fundraise. So let’s hit the news!
There’s something for everyone this week, including the new ChromeOS 120 release and a big upgrade for those who use Linux. I also have details on two new Asus devices: One Chromebook and one ChromeOS tablet. I expect additional information on these and other devices in the coming week because the Consumer Electronics Show kicks off on Tuesday.
If you get value from this newsletter and want to say thanks, consider buying me a coffee below or at this link. As always, that’s never required but sincerely appreciated.
The latest ChromeOS 120 release adds several new features including a Virtual Desks button, pinch and zoom PiP resizing and more. This version is now rolling out to most of the supported ChromeOS devices. If your Chromebook hasn’t received the ChromeOS 120 release, you can check the status of your device here.
Better Virtual Desks access in ChromeOS 120
I’ve been testing the new Virtual Desks button on my Chromebook for many months now. And I think it’s a fantastic addition to ChromeOS 120. That assumes you use the Virtual Desks feature, of course. Maybe this will get you to try it if you don’t.
Back in November, I reported that a new ChromeOS tablet was on the way. I knew it was going to be the Asus Chromebook CM30 (CM3001), a follow up to the company’s CM3 detachable tablet. Other than a few other details, such as a chipset upgrade, little else was known. Now, the Asus Chromebook CM30 tablet details are fully available online.
What’s inside the Asus Chromebook CM30 tablet?
It’s worth noting up front that the CM30 details are on the global Asus site. This detachable ChromeOS tablet is not yet appearing on the U.S. portal. Having said that, let’s dig into the specs.
A MediaTek Kompanio 520 chipset is confirmed as powering the Asus Chromebook CM30. And the 10.5-inch touchscreen has the 1920 x 1200 resolution I expected. There are two display options, both of which are expected to have 400 nits of brightness. One option will support an option stylus, while the other will not.
You can’t buy one yet, but the first Intel Core Ultra ChromeOS laptop has made an appearance. It’s the Asus ExpertBook CX54 Chromebook Plus that we learned about last month. Chrome Unboxed has an early unit in hand and from what I can see in their video overview, this Chromebook Plus looks fantastic.
Right off the bat, it’s clear that Asus is using premium materials and a solid structural design for the CX54 Chromebook Plus. In fact, I chuckled when Robby tried to bend the chassis and said that it might break before it bends. I doubt you could break though given the aluminum alloy construction.
Last month, I reported that the upgrade of Linux to Debian 12 on a Chromebook was nearly here. Today I was able to test it because ChromeOS 121 brings the next big Linux upgrade to Chromebooks.
I updated one of my devices to the ChromeOS 121 Dev Channel this morning and found this out. Google added a nice little notification nudge to tell me.
I decided to run through the process and found it quite seamless.
To kick off the Linux upgrade from Debian 11 to 12, I clicked the notification that appeared. That took me to my Chromebook Settings, explaining the Debian 12 upgrade was available.
That’s all for this week!
As I mentioned, CES takes place this week in Las Vegas. I’ve typically attended the show annually since 2005, minus a few years due to COVID restrictions. I won’t be there this time around but I will be watching. Expect to hear about any new Chromebook or ChromeOS developments out of CES next week.
Until next time,
Keep on Chromebookin’!