Blog Post

Look ma, no wires! Inductive charging could come to Chromebooks

Don’t throw away your Chromebook power cord just yet, although wireless charging is at least being considered for Chrome OS devices: The Chromium OS team has written code to manage inductive charging for Chromebooks.

wireless charging

Reddit user basmith7 spotted the code, which is publicly available to view. I examined the code and see various mentions of inductive charging, including how and when it would work with a hardware board code-named Ryu; it’s typical of new chips and boards to be integrated with the [company]Google[/company] Chrome OS software well in advance of actual products. Although details are scarce, I found mention of an [company]Nvidia[/company] Tegra chip in code supporting Ryu.

The current code monitors when the lid of a Chromebook is open or closed and would only recharge wirelessly when it is closed. That means you wouldn’t be able to work with your Chromebook on a wireless charging pad to keep the battery levels up; you’d have to close the laptop lid and let it sit to recharge. That makes sense since inductive charging can be slower than re-charging with a wire.

It depends on many factors, of course, but it’s more likely that a Chromebook would use more power than an wireless charger could return to the battery. Since this code was tested by the Chromium OS team as a “sanity check” — their words, not mine — this could be nothing more than a proof of concept for a hardware partner. Still, wireless charging of a Chromebook would be a nice convenience factor: Simply place it on a pad at the end of the day and walk away knowing you’ll have a full battery in the morning.