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Are Google and Lenovo teaming up to make the ultimate Chromebook?

Chromebook
(Image credit: Konstantin Savusia / Shutterstock)

Google and Lenovo could be working on an exciting new Chromebook – at least that’s what new rumors are suggesting.

While Google is primarily a software company, it’s also made some of the best Chromebooks ever. The Pixelbook and Pixelbook Go are examples of just how good these Chrome OS-powered laptops can be, so many people have been eagerly awaiting the company’s next release.

It’s been a long wait – the Pixelbook Go launched back in 2019, and while it still remains one of our favorite Chromebooks, it’s also well overdue a successor.

Lenovo is also behind some brilliant Chromebooks as well, including the fantastic Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook, so the idea that it may work with Google on a new Chromebook is certainly exciting. 

 What’s the evidence? 

So, where are these rumors coming from? Chrome Unboxed has done some digging and found references in the Chromium Gerrit (which lists what people are working on in Chrome and Chrome OS) to a device known as ‘Lindar’.

What’s interesting is that references to Lindar mention lightbar support. This would be a strip of lights that shows a different color when the lid is closed depending on the battery level.

This feature was last seen on Google’s premium Pixelbook Chromebook back in 2015. The lightbar was also included on the Pixel C tablet, and an animated version of it displays when you use Google Assistant on a smartphone.

It’s closely associated with Google – especially premium devices – which suggests Lindar could be a high-end Google product.

As Chrome Unboxed points out, there’s also suggestions that Lindar will be based on the ‘Volteer’ baseboard, which means it will use the latest Intel Tiger Lake processors, again pointing at a powerful Chromebook device.

So, what about Lenovo’s involvement? In the Lindar commits, there are emails from the “@lcfc.corp-partner.google.com” domain. LCFC Electronics works closely with Lenovo to provide parts for its devices, so Chrome Unboxed has looked to see if LCFC makes products for anyone other than Lenovo – and it appears not.

If the Lindar Chromebook is being made by LCFC Electronics, there’s a good chance it will be for Lenovo.

While the evidence is a bit thin at the moment – and remember this is all supposition until we hear anything official – it’s not beyond the realms of believability.

Google has teamed up with various manufacturers in the past for its Nexus lineup of phones and tablets, which are branded as Google devices.

Google has also worked closely with HP to create the HP Chromebook 11, which really felt like a collaborative effort – it even had the same lightbar as the Pixelbook.

We’d love Google to get more involved with Chromebook hardware again, considering how good its previous attempts were, so hopefully we’ll hear more about this mystery Lindar device soon.

Senior Computing editor

Matt (Twitter) is TechRadar's Senior Computing editor. Having written for a number of magazines and websites, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. If you're encountering a problem or need some advice with your PC or Mac, drop him a line on Twitter.