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Gaming Chromebooks with RGB keyboards are on the horizon

We’re not saying RGB keyboards mean gaming, but…

chromebooks on purple background
Image: KnowTechie

We’ve been hearing rumors of Google bringing gaming to Chromebooks for a couple of years now. It seems that day is near, as 9to5Google has found pointers to RGB backlit keyboards in multiple upcoming Chromebooks.

Now, we’re not saying that RGB on a keyboard means a gaming device, but go look at the market for both gaming keyboards and gaming laptops. It’s rare to find an option that doesn’t include RGB on every key. Even those that don’t typically use red or green backlights, and not the more standard white or blue.

The Chrome OS code also says it will enable per-key RGB control. That could have been to control RGB-enabled external keyboards, but the code points to specific, unreleased devices only.

READ MORE: You’ll soon be able to use your Chromebook as a 5G hotspot

whirlwindfx atom compact gaming keyboard
Image: KnowTechie

9to5Google‘s code spelunking found three such devices, with the codenames Vell, Taniks, and Ripple. Taniks looks to be manufactured by a part of Lenovo, while Vell is being worked on by an original device manufacturer that recently created a bunch of HP devices.

READ MORE: Is Apple working on its own gaming controller?

Ripple is slightly different, in that the code points to a detachable keyboard, like the Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad, or the one from the Asus ROG Flow Z13 gaming tablet. It’ll be interesting to see which company eventually releases this, or if it will be one of Google’s own devices.

The other pieces of gaming on Chromebooks are in the works, as well. Nvidia ported its ray-tracing tech to ARM last year, showing that high-end graphics cards can work alongside ARM CPUs. Then, for the actual games, Google is still working out how to bring Steam to its Chrome OS.

We expect that higher-powered Chromebooks are coming. But it’s still unclear how much value they will bring over similarly powered Windows laptops.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek. Hardware guy here at KnowTechie, if it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't) I probably have one around here somewhere. My hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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