Google gives strong signal a Chrome tablet is indeed on the way

Google gives strong signal a Chrome tablet is indeed on the way

Summary: On the heels of rumors of an upcoming tablet running Google's Chrome OS, the company did something this week that fans the flames.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Google, Tablets
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Google Tablet
(Image: Google)

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.

Google update note

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.

See related: Acer C720P Chromebook (hands on): Touch at a reasonable price | Day one with the Acer C720 Chromebook | Acer C720 Chromebook first impressions: Fast and cheap

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: 

Topics: Mobility, Google, Tablets

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  • Question

    Does this mean that if a Chrome OS tablet is released, Google will kill their Nexus 10 line?
    crystalsoldier
    • I THINK...

      THEY WILL KEEP BOTH OS`S.AND GIVE CHOICE TO DECIDE WHICH OS IS BETTER FOR YOU.
      YOU CAN TRY ANDROID OR CHROME OS ON YOUR EXISTING PC RUNNING INTEL OR AMD HARDWARE:
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      CHROME OS
      http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os
      http://chromeos.hexxeh.net/
      https://encrypted.google.com/search?q=CHROMIUM+OS&hl=en&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=qOtHU9TcGfCu0AGivYDoAg&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAg&biw=1366&bih=629

      GOOGLE HAS MONEY,VERY TALENTED PEOPLE WORKING FOR THEN,AND THEY HAVE ALL THE CHINESE & GLOBAL HARDWARE,AND SOFTWARE COMPANIES WITH THEN.THATS INCLUDING EVERYTHING FROM SMARTPHONE,TABLETS,HDMI STICK,MINI PCS,TO HIGH END CAMCORDERS!
      BrazilMan2014gv
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    • I very much doubt Google will drop their Android Nexus line...

      ...at least in the near future (say, next 3 years). What Google likely WILL do though is encourage developers to create equivalent apps already in Android for the Chrome App Store in Chrome OS such that Chrome OS and Android come closer to app parity and Chrome OS can eventually replace Android.
      CHIP72
      • People are forgetting HERA.

        This will bring serious conversation between all of Google's platforms by using the web as a bridge. Makes sense, really.
        Walkop
  • Not a fan of Chrome OS

    I think Android is far more versatile on a tablet then Chrome OS. Unless Google can somehow mate the apps of Android to Chrome OS. I think Chrome tablets will be lacking. I personally think Google needs to make a choice between Android and Chrome OS. I would almost rather have Android on a Chromebook then Chrome OS.
    JohnnyES-25227553276394558534412264934521
    • Google already has. They choose Chrome.

      Android is already dead. It will stick around for a while, but Chrome is Google's way forward.
      matthew_maurice
      • Think your right

        Yes, I do think Google is working toward Chrome as being its only OS. Android spent so much time being cobbled together and then had security questions to boot. I think Google prefers a more tightly controlled OS like Chrome. We have already seen touch screen's on Chromebooks and this was probably the precursor to the tablets. But I actually think right now Chrome OS is worse then Windows 8 RT. Or at least as handicapped. I can deal with the closed garden nature of Chrome OS. But give me a "real" operating system Google.
        JohnnyES-25227553276394558534412264934521
      • nah.. neither is the way forward.. they will merge.

        Chrome will be for tablets and laptops, android for phones.. and they will get closer and closer at the backend until the differences are small.
        frankieh
    • Mating the apps will happen through HERA.

      I think Hera is Google's gameplan to encourage everything to eventually move to the cloud, syncing across all devices regardless of platform. Its what Chrome is all about, except we'll see this integration everywhere!
      Walkop
    • Please .....

      learn the difference between "then" and "than".

      "more versatile THAN....."

      "rather ...... THAN...."
      Economister
  • Google gives strong signal a Chrome tablet is indeed on the way

    This product will fail more so than most tablets have already. Since its Google the support will be dropped after 6 months. Then its running chrome which wasn't viable on the laptop and in turn means its irrelevant on a tablet.
    Loverock.Davidson
    • Fail more than Surface?

      I'm not sure that's financially possible.
      matthew_maurice
      • Despite the large number of Android tablet makers, the only ...

        ... real Android tablet success story is Samsung. In the entire tablet space, it is Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft (with Google and Amazon in the Mix somewhere).

        The bottom line is that, for Microsoft to be in the top five after coming to market two years late, is really quite remarkable, and hardly a failure.

        In the phone space, Microsoft is #3 behind Apple & Samsung and ahead of #4, BlackBerry. Again hardly a failure.
        M Wagner
        • Apple, Samsung, Amazon, Asus, maybe Dell are the tablet success stories

          Microsoft is not one of them - not yet, at any rate - and their "top five" placement is an illusion planted on a hill of massive writedowns. The two Surface models are well back in the pack of top selling tablets (several Apple and Amazon models appear well out front before any Surface device makes an appearance on tablet sales lists), and we know from the massive write down of inventory last year, their journey into the tablet hardware business has not fallen into the money making category yet.

          Dell probably counts as a success despite more limited runs, but then, they know how to manage inventory, unlike the hubris filled oversized order that got placed for first generation Surface manufacturing.
          Mac_PC_FenceSitter
          • Oh, and Nokia is not number three in phones

            They don't actually even make the IDC's list.

            https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS24645514
            Mac_PC_FenceSitter
          • Asus and Microsoft

            If I recall right, Asus *was* as success story in tablets, but have lost a lot of ground to their competition recently. To the point they are not really making much there anymore. At least in terms of Android.

            Microsoft SurfaceRT is something of a failure, but Pro is doing exactly what it needs to do. It isn't expected to sell iPad numbers and to judge it as such is something of a misunderstanding. Surface Pro competes with ultrabooks and MacBook Air, which it looks to be doing extremely well at.

            Other than that, yeah the tablet market is very difficult for many manufacturers. It wouldn't be surprising to hear that manufacturers of white box android tablets make more money that any non-Samsung android tablet maker.
            Emacho
          • Yeah I didn't touch on the Pro

            which like you said, I consider a rather high end laptop convertible, more than a tablet. I know more people with the Pro than the regular Surface, and all the owners I know tend to be either devs or luxury item buyers.
            Mac_PC_FenceSitter
          • Surface

            Microsoft's first time developing its own PC device and it is not entering a market but creating one. They did their job. RT was a stupid idea, but 8 inch Windows 8 tablets are picking up big time and companies are already starting to compete to have the best one. I love my Surface Pro, it is powerful and has the best feeling build quality out of any mobile device.
            Richard Couillard