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Gaming Chromebooks may be coming — should you care?

Acer Chromebook Spin 713
(Image credit: Future)

Gaming Chromebooks are two words that don't feel like they belong together. Even with the rise of Chromebook detachables that can offer a solid Android gaming experience, it's a nice bonus rather than a focus for the device.

It appears that may be set to change soon as a new report from 9to5Google revealed three codenames for what they believe are gaming Chromebooks due in no small part to the presence of RGB keyboards on all three (via The Verge). 

The team at 9to5Google first uncovered a new RGB Keyboard flag in Chrome OS, but further digging revealed the feature was associated with a specific trio of Chromebook codenames. The per-key RGB lighting flag can be found with Chromebook's codenamed Vell, Taniks and Ripple.

The first two feature Intel 12th Gen Alder Lake processors and are believed to be an HP Omen and Lenovo Legion Chromebook, respectively. The final codename is more of a mystery: it is identified as a detachable, so think Asus ROG Flow Z13 Chromebook edition, but there are no clear indicators regarding which manufacturer is making this Chromebook. 

While there are a number of game streaming services that could be leveraged by Chromebooks, the presumed key to this puzzle is Steam support on Chrome OS, something that was first tipped back in January of 2020. The encroaching release of the Linux-powered Steam Deck lends further credence to the gaming Chromebook concept perhaps finally becoming a reality.

While the best Chromebooks are excellent devices for productivity and general computing, it's going to be a significant hurdle to convince buyers that the once online-only OS is ready to be your next gaming laptop.

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.