Chrome OS tablets have been a thing for the past year and a half or so, but there still aren’t all that many on the market. Google makes one. Acer and Asus have models. And a few enterprise and education-focused companies including CTL and AOPEN have models.

But soon there could be another player: About Chromebooks has pieced together some clues and figured out that Lenovo is probably developing its first Chrome OS tablet.

Lenovo Tab M8 HD
Lenovo Tab M8 HD (an Android tablet, not the rumored Kodama Chrome OS tablet)

The evidence comes from a now-removed post to a Chrome OS subreddit, a Chrome OS bug report, and a little internet sleuthing that shows that folks who work at a Chinese hardware manufacturer with an existing relationship with Lenovo have been testing whatever the product mentioned in those items is.

Oh, and an unannounced Lenovo tablet with 802.11ac WiFi showed up at the FCC website recently. It’s unclear if this is the Chrome OS tablet or something else, but it does appear to have connectors on one side that could be used to attach a keyboard.

There are no pictures of the tablet yet, but Kevin Tofel at about Chromebooks notes that there are clues in the code that provide some key info”

  • It’s code-named “Kodama.”
  • It probably has a 1920 x 1200 pixel display.
  • The processor is a MediaTek MT8193 octa-core CPU.
  • It might have 4GB of RAM, but this isn’t certain.
  • There’s no ambient light sensor.

There’s no word on the price or release date yet, but it sounds like this will likely be a relatively low-cost device.

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11 replies on “Lenovo may have a Chrome OS tablet on the way”

  1. I picked up a refurbished Acer Chrometab 10 from BB for $180. Still higher than I wanted to pay but much better than the cost of an ipad+ apple pencil. I tried an ipad and apple pencil for a few months and it just never felt right to me. I’m much more comfortable using chrome OS and I like the EMR pen that stows away in the tablet slot. My primary use is note taking and web browsing and it has been excellent for both. There also a slide control under settings to setup Linux (Beta) but I have yet to install. I think there’s a market for these tablets if the price can drop to <$200. Oddly cases seem to be configured so that they flip open left to right instead of right to left. I can see that this would be rather annoying to just about everyone. I hold it upside down and use the rotation lock to keep the screen orientation fixed. This also puts the pen, power button and volume control in a more convenient place for right handed users. Here's a excellent review of a first gen acer chrome tablet. I would expect a lenovo chrome tablet to be as good or better.

  2. This might be just the tablet I need for work. Most of our company employee resources are cloud based and public web accessible. This could be be very useful when away from the office, if it is cheap enough. And cheap enough is less than $150.00.

    1. I agree with TateJ. I’d buy one of these if it was cheap enough. It’s gotta work better than the lame Windows 8 tablets.

  3. I will get excited about a Chrome tablet when it can get hacked to run a “normal” version of Linux with everything working properly. Along with decent specs. I will not throw money away on under spec’d junk.

    1. I have the opposite opinion of something like this. I am specifically interested in a low-spec Chrome-OS tablet, running a low-power ARM chip. I’d love to have something that I could run a lightweight Arch-linux build with i3wm or something.

      My only requirement is that I’d like to have a decent amount of storage on it. If I could buy it with at least 64gb of storage, I’d be happy. But I doubt they’ll bundle that much storage.

    2. Sounds good, but the problem is never running the OS itself, it’s the apps. What are the most common tools you use in Linux? Because for me it’s 90% CLI applications. And those don’t work well with touchscreens and high DPI. Other stuff that don’t work well on Linux tablets: GIMP, Libreoffice, and any professional application that was designed with a keyboard and mouse on a low-res screen in mind. Basically any reason you’d want Linux in the first place (because if it’s the full desktop browser, ChromebookOS got you covered already). I understand you thou, I really do. I also had a “this could be the only device I’ll ever need” moments in my life. I tried connecting my N900 running the Debian image to a TV via S-Video anda Bt keyboard. Technically it did work. In theory I really got a full desktop OS on me at all times that was able to run a complex graphic suite, like GIMP of a full office, like OpenOffice, I could run my SQL servers and python scripts and everything. And guess what? I never used it. It was such a pain to set up and then even worse to actually use it, that I gave up pretty quick and went back to X86 portables. Even now I have my Galaxy S8, rooted with DeX opened and think “man, this is the only device I’ll ever need”, and it actually works better than the full linux N900 did, got all my CLI stuff set up and running too, and ocasionally I even do use it as a desktop, connecting ti to a screen and keyboard and mouse and do some work with it. But faced with a chouce, I will allways throw in my 14″ notebook to the bag if I plan to do any actual work. And it’s not even the OS. I have a GPD Win. Same story, but it’s too small for on.the-go work. When I go on a holyday (especially with a cheap flight) I’ll only bring that, and still… The Linux tablet is a great hobby project to work on, but it’s the road getting there what’s interesting, not the result. The result is garbage. Sorry, but you won’t be getting rid of the PC this easily.

      1. I actually stopped taking my work 14″ laptop in business trips. Instead, I take my 7″ One Mix 2.
        In an hotel I hook it to the room TV and control it either directly or using a really small (smaller than One Mix) BT keyboard with touchpad from the bed.
        At work during the trip I have a habit of holding it like a gamepad and type with my thumbs, I got quite good at it.
        Also I throw in a BT mouse in case I’ll be in a mood to play games and a small usb wi-fi if I’ll want to share my connection.

        It’s not the device to rule them all, far from it. But, yeah, I routinely trade a not that big and thick 14″ skylake laptop for a 7″ and the tradeoff is still in my favor.

        1. It’s just when you compare the 7″ UMPC with the 14″ and realize with all the dongles and extensions all you shave off is about 2-300g of weight of your backpack, and the 14″ will be way more powerfull and comfortable to work with, it rarely makes sense for me to take the small one. Right now I use a Lenovo S540 14″ with the ryzen APU, it’s fairly powerful and about 1.5 kg. On the other hand my GPD Win with the adapters and cables and foldable BT keyboard is about 1kg in total. The battery runtime is about half, so I also have an external powerbank for it, now it’s closer to 1.2 kg. So for the added weight of a canned softdrink I get my big screen, full, backlit keyboard and several times better performance. And it still fits into a smaller bag. I get it when every gram matters, on a trip with a limited storage space or some special conditions where you don’t have the space for the big full laptop, you’d take that. I specifically got my GPD Win for on-site equipement configuration where I’m dangling from a cable dozens of meters above ground and trying to configure some device with gloves on. GPD Win is unrivaled for me in that situation, and if I know I’ll have that job, I take that. For every other days I take the full laptop.

          1. It’s not about weight for me, it’s about volume. I doubt my 14″ MSI with the power brick and all other things weighs comparable to One Mix 2 setup though.
            The key difference seems to be that you go to business trips to work as in to do what you normally do. However, my business trips are usually talks and discussions of the work already made and what to aim for in the future, so my optimal use case is different.

    3. At least linux will not be tracking your every action… android and chromeos probably are.

      1. That’s probably besides the point for most users. Unless you are using a ToR browser without cookies and the crippled JS-less version of most webpages, they’ll be tracking you on any platform. If you want to stay off the grid it’s not the devices you mainly have to worry about, not the OS, it’s the services. Your Google Maps and Chrome and mobile services and WiFi networks. Would it be worth it to use a frustrating piece of hardware and crippled version of services just so a database somewhere wouldn’t know where you are right now? It’s not the FBI that is after you, it’s the advertisers. Or, if it _is_ the FBI, then it’s not a linux tablet you need, but rather a good lawyer and also you should probably not use _anything_ not even a linux tablet.

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