It's no secret that Google hasn't done any significant work on Android tablets lately. But perhaps that's because it's slowly moving away from tablets and focusing on Chromebooks instead.
With some Chromebooks able to run Android apps — although not very well — owning a tablet seems pointless now. In fact, some speculate that Chrome is pivoting to Chromebooks as the main platform for large-screen Android experiences instead of optimizing it for tablets.
Samsung Is Working On 2-In-1 'Nautilus' Device
Proof? Well, based on recent changes to the Chromium Repository, it seems Samsung is currently developing a Chromebook with a detachable keyboard, or essentially a 2-in-1 device like Asus Transformer Book. If true, it could be the first of many 2-in-1 computers that run Chrome OS and Android apps at the same time.
Chrome Unboxed, known for discovering new devices or upcoming features hidden within the Chrome Repository, first noticed the code changes in early October, hinting that a new Chromebook called "Nautilus" was being developed. Several lines of text seemed to suggest that Nautilus is a device with a detachable "base" that enters tablet mode when disconnected.
At the time of discovery, Chrome Unboxed couldn't be sure as to which company was developing the said device. But that changed recently when new commits were added to the Repository by Jongpil Jung, who had a Samsung email address attached to his name. He was also part of the team that developed the Chrome Pro and Chromebook Plus, the company's current-generation Chromebooks.
Samsung Nautilus: Not A Cheap Windows, MacBook Alternative
Very little is known about this so-called Nautilus 2-in-1 device, but it will allegedly run on an Intel Kaby Lake processor. That's not surprising. While Chromebooks are popular for being cheap alternatives to Windows 10 laptops and MacBooks, Google has increasingly been introducing higher-end models equipped with top-of-the-line internals, such as its own recently released $999 Google Pixelbook. Critics have been discussing the increasing price of Chromebooks lately, with the overwhelming sentiment being that $999 is too much for what Chrome OS offers, and that getting either a MacBook or a Windows 10 laptop would be wiser.
Even still, the fact that Samsung is working on what's potentially an expensive 2-in-1 device suggests there's a market for premium Chromebooks, so good for Google.
Don't expect Nautilus to arrive anytime soon, though. Based on how things look in the Chromium Repository, the device might be in the early development stages. Perhaps Samsung plans to unveil it in 2018, likely sometime during the second half.
Would you buy a premium Chromebook? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!