4K Atlas Chromebook to use IMX208 front camera, supporting 1080p video chat

I was catching up on my feeds this morning and noticed that ChromeUnboxed found a nice tidbit on the upcoming Nocturne Chromebook: That device is expected to use the Android camera app will support “Portrait Mode” which creates a bokeh effect.

That makes you wonder if Nocturne is the Pixelbook 2 or the 4K Atlas detachable is it. Or will we see two Made By Google Chromebooks soon?

That thought got me looking around at code commits for Atlas today and although I don’t see mention of Portrait Mode, I did find some interesting information about the device’s front camera.

Unlike the current Pixelbook, which uses a 720p webcam for video calls, Atlas will support 1080p, or FullHD video conferencing at up to 60fps. And the camera sensor for this device is Sony’s IMX208, which has an active pixel resolution of 1936×1096. Sure enough the camera settings code for Atlas uses that same specification.

There are numerous camera resolution settings in the code commit, so not every video chat — or Chromebook selfie, if that’s your thing — necessarily needs to be in Full HD. In fact, Google Meet only streams up to 720p currently, although I believe that the older Google Hangouts can handle 1080p video streams.

Does this help us figure out if Nocturne or Atlas will be the Pixelbook 2? Not quite yet, but clearly, both are shaping up to be high-end contenders.

About the author

Kevin C. Tofel has covered technology since 2004. He's used ChromeOS since Google debuted the CR-48 in 2010, reviewing dozens of Chromebooks since then. He worked for Google's Chrome Enterprise team from 2016 to 2017, supporting the launch of Android app support. In his free time, he uses Chromebooks to learn software engineering at Launch School. In 2019, Kevin joined the CS Curriculum Committee at his local community college.

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