Even though there are those of us who don't believe a Chrome tablet is a viable product, speculation that we'll soon see one announced has recently surfaced. This is due to a press invite to an Acer event that leads one to believe a tablet may be announced.
This week, Google quietly updated Chrome OS, and one of things added in the update sure implies it is getting ready for a tablet. One look at the release notes and it jumps out.
The onscreen keyboard has existed in the developer channels for a while, but releasing it into the stable (general release) version seems to be a good signal that Google is readying Chrome OS for a tablet. A touch keyboard has no use at all on a Chromebook with a physical keyboard.
Some pundits have speculated that this keyboard might instead indicate an Acer Chromebook with touch screen will be announced at the upcoming event. I don't think that's the case, as Acer already has a touch Chromebook.
The Acer 720p and Google's Chromebook Pixel have touch screens. I've used them both and there is absolutely no need for an onscreen keyboard. A nice, physical keyboard is sitting between the user and the touch screen which is much more convenient and efficient than a virtual one on the screen.
That's why I think we'll probably see a Chrome tablet announced soon. If that happens, I still don't think there's much hope for it to succeed, however.
Additional Chromebook coverage:
- Chromebooks: Unlikely battlefield for Intel vs. ARM
- HP Chromebook 11 hands on: Distraction-free writing with vivid display
- Google announces new Chrome devices from Acer, Asus, HP, and Toshiba
- Chromebook Pixel: One of the best laptops I've used
- Acer unveils first Chromebook with Haswell for $249
- Chromebook Pixel: 5 tips and trick
- Chromebook Pixel hands on (photos)