Google's tablet UI concept pictures

Whilst Google's upcoming Chrome OS is being primarily designed for netbook computers, as we reported recently, it could be the ideal operating system to run on a tablet device - and this is an option that Google is considering. More information about how the new operating system could be optimised for such a form factor is revealed in documentation on Google's Chromium projects website.

With a supposed deal on the table for HTC to partner with Google and manufacture a Google-branded tablet computer running the Chrome OS, the search engine giant would be looking to perfect the user interface of the operating system to provide a good experience . The documentation on the Chromium website notes that tablet devices running Chrome OS would aim to have a screen size between 5 and 10 inches and would include an optimised touch UI (user interface) that takes up the whole screen, possibly using a "tabs only" system instead of separate windows.

It goes on to note that there would be "larger touch targets" and multi-touch gestures such as "upward dragging motions", along with "docking panels", a "high-res display" and "visual explorations". However, the interface would not be too dissimilar to the standard Chrome layout, with the main difference being larger controls such as tabs, the toolbar and other buttons. Further information reveals that the UI would be "ideal for portrait devices" and that toolbar components could be "autohidden to have full-screen content." There is also a suggestion that the tabs could be moved to the side when viewing in landscape.

View the picture gallery below for some of the images and more details of how Chrome OS might run on tablet devices.

All images are from the Chromium Projects website. As with most pre-release products, the operating system and UI are still under development so any designs may change in the future.

Thanks to Neowin member Silverskull for the tip.

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62 Comments

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Hopefully the Andriod based ICD Vega due to come out mid year would be capable of running this, looks cool.

I think as long as google comes out with a tablet that is sub $500 it will do very well if marketed towards 17-23 olds. This will be a device for college students and technophiles! This will not be well met in the business industry and I think google knows that! I'll buy one for replaement of a netbook...and with Google docs supporting MS Office docs formats natively now...thats even better if it'll be chrome OS

buzz99 said,
I just don't see practical use for tablets, especialy iPad.

then you can't think very far outside of the box....photographers can use it as a portfolio, people can use it to read news, take notes in class....read books..to name a few.

Tjcrazy said,
Why Pie Chee? Out of everything to search for.. Pie Chee??!

It looks more like the user was mid-typeing "Pie Cheese" to me. Why not?

hotdog963al said,
No one likes Tablets.
Do Apple seriously have this much effect on the industry? Geez.
A tablet to me is a very portable, supports pen-input (stylus) AND touch, and allows me to do basically anything thanks to an 'unrestricted' OS.
The direction Goole and Apple is taking? No thanks.

Looks better than the Slate imo (mostly because it doesn't just use Windows 7 with touch controls) However I'd like to see some concepts of something other than the browser or keyboard styles. It would be a cool feature to include multiple keyboard styles.

Not sure why people keep bitching about the bezel. Its a tablet its supposed to go in your palms. You don't want it to be screen right to the edge, where are you going to hold it? Bigger bezel is good in this case. Its not a phone we aren't trying to make it as small as possible.

:/ Not liking the UI.

Think I'll wait for the HP slate, which is rumoured to be sub $500, unless the iPad gets modified first.

Ok... I am not a big fan of google, but thats a nice concept.. I really can see the chrome OS working well as a Tablet OS.. nice :)

dotf said,
I want to be the first to say it....

the bezel, the bezel, the bezel

is still too large.
lol

when you start getting larger LCD panels you have more on the sides of them that takes up room... unless they go OLED, I don't seem them shrinking it too much more... maybe half that at most...

As has been said about the iPad bezel, it's where you rest your hands. If you rest your hands on the screen, that registers as a touch. Even with AI to detect the difference between touches and rests, you'd have touches where you don't want them and no touches when you do want them.

DaveGreen said,
It's nice idea but too web-based.
At least the iPad works even offline. While this?

Have you ever heard of Google Gears? I'm sure that Chrome OS will have lots of offline capabilities, regardless of it's Internet-centric design.

vaximily said,

Have you ever heard of Google Gears? I'm sure that Chrome OS will have lots of offline capabilities, regardless of it's Internet-centric design.


Actually, Google's pretty much abandoning Gears in favor of standards-based offline storage. There's a good chance Chrome OS won't even support it; it's based on the Linux version of Chrome, which never received a port of Gears.

They do look pretty nice! The UI concepts look much better than the iPad's OS, in my opinion If only they would become a reality.

I still don't get why someone would want a tablet when it's big and can't do half of what a regular Windows based device can do. IMHO, HP went the best route with tablets.

Benjamin Rubenstein said,
I still don't get why someone would want a tablet when it's big and can't do half of what a regular Windows based device can do. IMHO, HP went the best route with tablets.

Yup. In the end you probably get frustrated and after a month or two and it ends up lying under the piles of newspapers, magazines never to be used again.

Benjamin Rubenstein said,
I still don't get why someone would want a tablet when it's big and can't do half of what a regular Windows based device can do. IMHO, HP went the best route with tablets.

The reason I have wanted a tablet for the past 2+ years is that I have a Manhattan apt and my wife and I read A LOT. (not as much storage space for hundreds! of books) For me I would prefer to have my reading available in a lightwieght device. My wife just got a Toshiba laptop at work and it weighs just 2lbs. A device that is 1/2 that weight and could allow me to read Word, PDF, Txt files as well as some basic web surfing would be a nice addition, not replacement for our other systems.

Does that clarify why someone would want it?

Peace,
James

Benjamin Rubenstein said,
I still don't get why someone would want a tablet when it's big and can't do half of what a regular Windows based device can do. IMHO, HP went the best route with tablets.

I can see why you think no one would want a tablet when looking at the iPad. But the iPad is NOT a tablet. It is a specialty appliance meant for media consumption.

Real tablets are about taking advantage of alternative input methods in ways that make sense. Real tablets allow you to write on the screen to take notes and mark up your books.

The iPad is only about buying into Apple's ecosystem. They've made that abundantly clear.

jameswjrose said,
The reason I have wanted a tablet for the past 2+ years is that I have a Manhattan apt and my wife and I read A LOT. (not as much storage space for hundreds! of books) For me I would prefer to have my reading available in a lightwieght device. My wife just got a Toshiba laptop at work and it weighs just 2lbs. A device that is 1/2 that weight and could allow me to read Word, PDF, Txt files as well as some basic web surfing would be a nice addition, not replacement for our other systems.
Wouldn't the Kindle be reasonably appropriate for that? It's got the right kind of screen for reading, most (all) tablets do not.

Benjamin Rubenstein said,
I still don't get why someone would want a tablet when it's big and can't do half of what a regular Windows based device can do. IMHO, HP went the best route with tablets.

Exactly. Something that size should run a full featured OS. There should be a dock that I can plug it into and use a keyboard+mouse just like a regular computer w/ ease. So simple, yet so overlooked.

Shadrack said,

Exactly. Something that size should run a full featured OS. There should be a dock that I can plug it into and use a keyboard+mouse just like a regular computer w/ ease. So simple, yet so overlooked.


I don't agree. Windows 7 might have larger elements so touching is a little easier, but it's not designed for touch. When you have a touch screen, you have a completely new method of input and new design idioms that go along with that. You can't just plop a desktop OS on it and make it work perfectly.

I hate those conceptual mockup because they miss all the vital points such the connector, buttons and ports.

Magallanes said,
I hate those conceptual mockup because they miss all the vital points such the connector, buttons and ports.

That's not the focus currently. They have to start somewhere first before they can work out the other details later. Obviously with the changed keyboard locations, they're trying to figure out where your hands are in the first place. This is how they may very well make their plans for the future, putting any physical buttons and ports in a location that won't be in the way of the user. I certainly wouldn't expect them to work backwards, building the UI around a button or port location that is easily movable.

The UI is nice, but I hope there is never a tablet released as ugly as that! Rounded corners on the edges and the screen... eeew.

Ricksterm said,
The UI is nice, but I hope there is never a tablet released as ugly as that! Rounded corners on the edges and the screen... eeew.

Hmm...I must have missed the memo on rounded corners being out-of-style in contemporary design.

Shadrack said,

Hmm...I must have missed the memo on rounded corners being out-of-style in contemporary design.


The rounded screen though...never seen that before.

DClark said,

The rounded screen though...never seen that before.

While I'm just working from hazy memories of middle school computers... didn't MacOS have rounded corners at one point, if not still?

OMG! I just noticed that all these comment boxes have rounded corners. Damn, Neowin..get with the times already! Rounded corners are SO oh-nine.

Edited by Shadrack, Feb 2 2010, 1:40am :

Shadrack said,

Hmm...I must have missed the memo on rounded corners being out-of-style in contemporary design.


You did. M$ passed it AS LAW in late 90s and early 2k.

Now that is a device I might be interested in owning. The iPad is just an oversized iPod Touch and doesn't really feel like it fills any sort of niche or creates a new market.

metal_dragen said,
Now that is a device I might be interested in owning. The iPad is just an oversized iPod Touch and doesn't really feel like it fills any sort of niche or creates a new market.

as opposed to this being what???

tablet_user said,

as opposed to this being what???

This actually appears to be a functional netbook without the physical keyboard, as opposed to the iPad which is an oversized iPod Touch.

thealexweb said,
Make it chrome os compatible but please ship it with a new version of Android instead.

Chrome OS != Android OS... noob.

vaximily said,

Chrome OS != Android OS... noob.


He said to make the device compatible with Chrome OS yet ship it with Android instead. To let people choose, but let him get his choice by default xD
maybe.

Yakuzing said,

He said to make the device compatible with Chrome OS yet ship it with Android instead. To let people choose, but let him get his choice by default xD
maybe.

Ah, misunderstood what he way saying. Thanks for the clarification! >.<