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Mystery Chromebook with dedicated AI button could be a new Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Plus, and I really hope that’s the case


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A couple of weeks ago, I reported on a mysterious Chromebook with a dedicated AI Assistant button - and now new information has come to light that gives us a clearer image of exactly what that laptop might be.

The Chromebook, codenamed ‘Xol’ (one of the Worm Gods from the Destiny mythos, in fitting with Google’s videogame-themed codenaming convention for Chromebooks), is almost certainly being developed by Samsung, meaning it’s likely the long-awaited Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Plus. Some emails unearthed by ChromeUnboxed appear to indicate this, along with several commits found in the Chromium data depository.

2022’s Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go was a swing and a miss from the Korean tech giant, so I’m hopeful that committing to Google’s Chromebook Plus initiative could result in a win for Samsung. As I noted above, the previous Xol leak pointed to a laptop with a Google Assistant button on the keyboard, which might not sound like a big deal - but trust me, it is.

A better class of Chromebook

Previously, a dedicated Assistant button was a feature unique to Google’s own Pixelbook line, which were fantastic laptops; in fact, I really wish Google would bring them back. But since we now know that Xol isn’t a revived Pixelbook but rather a Samsung device, signs point towards that button becoming a new standard for ChromeOS laptops, with Samsung’s new Chromebook at the forefront.

Of course, it might not actually turn out to be an Assistant button, exactly - after all, Google is in the process of consolidating all its AI offerings under the new Google Gemini brand, so a ‘Gemini Key’ would make a lot of sense for ChromeOS hardware. We might not be that far away from all of the best Chromebooks having their own button for summoning a Gemini-powered helper, especially as more and more laptops implement neural processing units for on-device AI functionality.

Whatever they end up calling the button, this could be Samsung’s chance to make a splash in the Chromebook market. Chromebook Plus hasn’t quite made the impact Google was likely hoping for; the first one we reviewed, the Acer Chromebook Plus 515, was a solid but ultimately unexciting entry. 

Asus Chromebook Plus CX34 opened

We've seen several Chromebooks bearing the 'Plus' brand already, but they've hardly been groundbreaking. (Image credit: Future)

The ‘Plus’ is supposed to indicate a slightly more premium Chromebook, with Google instating a list of minimum hardware requirements and system capabilities for laptops launching under the new brand. 

The Chromium repository also indicates that this mystery Samsung Chromebook will come with a high-speed NVMe SSD, something present in every premium Chromebook, meaning that we could see a slightly more high-end Chrome laptop - the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook might have been pricey, but it was a stellar example of what Chromebooks could be.

Samsung and Google have been partnering up more frequently as of late, and I truly hope the two companies are going all-in on this project. Google’s previous collaborations have produced some very strong laptops, and Xol could prove to be a return to form for the Galaxy brand; after all, the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra was a fantastic laptop, and it definitely needs a Chrome-powered little brother.

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