Report: Samsung to launch 'Android Book' laptops this year

Google's Android operating system was originally intended for "smart cameras" rather than smartphones, but in the years since Google bought Android, the OS has made it onto a bewildering array of other devices, including tablets, e-readers, media players, games consoles, smart watches, fridges, washing machines... and all the way back around to cameras

With the development of Google Glass, Android has made the leap onto another form factor in the shape of smart glasses. But there remains one device category that Google hasn't yet conquered: notebooks. It's not for lack of trying, though. Various Android laptops and netbooks have surfaced over the years; all the way back in 2009, for example, Acer launched the Aspire One D250, with both Windows XP and Android onboard, while a few months later, Toshiba launched the dedicated AC100 Android netbook. 

Sadly, Android has never been properly optimised for notebook use, and the user experience of such devices was fairly poor. The launch of the Chrome operating system as an alternative for cursor-based interaction largely rendered the Android-as-PC experience irrelevant, with Google's Chromebook Pixel representing the ultimate iteration of the company's computing vision thus far. 

But it appears that Android will soon return to notebooks once more. 9to5Google has seen an analyst's note from Mingchi Kuo of KGI Securities, which claims that Samsung plans to do just that with a first Android notebook launching within the next few months. 

The analyst states that Samsung plans to launch the first such "Android Book" with Jelly Bean, possibly version 4.3 of the mobile OS. He implies that broader plans are under way at Google to optimise Android for notebooks with the next major release, version 5.0, which is widely expected to be called "Key Lime Pie." Recent reports have indicated that Android 5.0 has been delayed, and the analyst appears to suggest that there may have been an earlier plan to launch the first Android Book at Google's I/O conference this month, before development of the OS was slowed.

He further states that "some brand vendors, like Samsung, want to move first", forcing them to launch with Jelly Bean. He adds that "shipments will be limited as the current Android OS isn't well supported for laptops."

Additionally, he claims that Google is working on a new TV set-top box product to rival Apple TV, but says that that project has been delayed as a result of a decision to drop Texas Instruments OMAP processors in favour of those from the NVIDIA Tegra family. He also expects Google to launch a "smart watch-like wearable device alongside Google Glass" but believes it's unlikely to launch this year. 

New efforts to launch Android on notebooks come as rumours continue to suggest that Google plans to merge Android and Chrome OS, which the company recently denied

Source: 9to5Google

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To me Android tablets are couch surfing/content consumption devices for the most part. Stepping up to a notebook with keyboard and mouse assumes more serious work to be done on the device and that would be a complete joke using Android. If you need real work done you use Windows (or OS X). Android tablets (and iPad) are simply not meant nor capable of serious work but I guess there's people who will buy anything...

When you say "Google is working on a new TV set-top box product to rival Apple TV" you should change the word "rival" to "copy". Google copies Apple. It doesn't rival Apple. And why would they produce an even less-functional version of a failure?

Great news, as long as they will be open and you could install any OS you'd like (like Linux).

I have been waiting for a cool ARM based notebooks/laptops for a long time, sadly, nobody wants to do a step forward and produce something like this. Probably due to Windows not supporting ARM platform (you can't install Win RT on any PC or hardware yo want, it comes preinstalled only).

I've been messing around with Linux on ARM and Chrome OS lately, I am really pleased to see thing are moving ahead with great speed. On some hardware, you can have LIVE dualboot (two OSes at once), e.g. Ubuntu and Chromium OS running at the same time (sharing same kernel) and instantly switching between them with one keybind. Magic.

I am really looking forward to what technology future will bring us.

What seems useless for some, can be a gold mine for others. For example, smartphones are seen as counter productive to some.

However, that is beside the point. I am trying to imagine what future technology could bring us.
Imagine a touch-able convertible netbook/laptop like Asus Transformer or MS Surface. Using an Android while in a tablet mode and seamlessly switching to Ubuntu (or whatever distro) when matched with a keyboard part (desktop mode), sharing same Documents, settings and apps. Using same kernel for every device, but choosing the userspace you like (or is the most appropriate to your taskwork).

We are not there yet, but I'd like to think future is bright.

Anyone is a fool if you are using this on any notebook or desktop. HSN was selling a desktop with Android as the OS and Android cpu. What a joke. Their salesmen pumping the idea that Android is the number one operating system (even though he is selling a desktop)... just pure lies out of their mouths. They sucker people into buying this worthless crap.

Your far better off running Linux than Android on a desktop or laptop. Although Windows is still superior.

jd100 said,
Anyone is a fool if you are using this on any notebook or desktop. HSN was selling a desktop with Android as the OS and Android cpu. What a joke. Their salesmen pumping the idea that Android is the number one operating system (even though he is selling a desktop)... just pure lies out of their mouths. They sucker people into buying this worthless crap.

Your far better off running Linux than Android on a desktop or laptop. Although Windows is still superior.

Android is a mobile OS. Android is the number one OS for that. Enough said on that. Lastly, Linux is pure garbage for a consumer. Linux on its own is only good for servers and geeks. There is a reason why each iteration of Linux is supporting more and more of what Google produces OS wise. Linux supports Android and soon it will support Chrome OS.

jd100 said,
Although Windows is still superior.

Which windows?. WP?.. no way, Windows RT?.. please, Windows 8? yes but it is for notebook.

Android bores me now. I spent quite a bit of time this past week looking for a touchscreen notebook. I considered getting a Surface, but went with something that has a larger screen. Anyway, as excited as I used to be with Android tablets, (I own a Xoom and the wifey owns a Nexus 7), when compared to Windows 8 on a touchscreen ultrabook or even a Surface, there's simply no comparison.

Android tablets, and perhaps laptops soon, are just toys. To me, it all comes down the what they can do.

Take all the complaints about Windows 8, times them by any number between two and ten, then apply them to this. Tablet OS on a computer? How about a phone OS instead? (I refer to android as a phone OS because that's what it was originally on, and most apps are stilled geared towards phones) Metro jumping in your face while you're using the desktop? How about having no desktop instead? Mouse, trackpad and keyboard support that's workable but needs improvement? How about bare minimum mouse, trackpad and keyboard support instead? Etc.

1 GB of RAM and only 8 GB of storage for $550? And a lot of Android apps look like crap on this size and resolution of screen, Android just isn't design for these kinds of big low DPI screens.

IDK, I think that it may be pricey because of the Touch Screen and Keyboard together. On the other hand Samsung is really using Android a lot, maybe meaning a Cursor optimized android rom?

The Teej said,
Android Notebook? I could possibly see myself using one of these, maybe.

I thought that when i got my Asus Transformer Prime, however i soon discovered Android just doesn't work if you try and use it like you would expect to use a notebook.

Multitasking becomes very annoying, e.g. trying to have an IM chat and browse the web at the same time.

One thing i will say though is the keyboard was very nice for some games, Dizzy for example, and the ability to connect the Xbox 360 joypad via the USB port was great for games like Shadowgun.

I would love to see Android improve in this area anyway, in its current state though Android could never be any sort of Notebook replacement for me.

ians18 said,
IDK, I think that it may be pricey because of the Touch Screen and Keyboard together. On the other hand Samsung is really using Android a lot, maybe meaning a Cursor optimized android rom?

Look into the Asus Transformer range. They're offering 10.1" Android tablets with a keyboard dock (including mouse touchpad) for about £500 at the minute, so it's certainly do-able. Whether or not I see myself buying one though is another matter. If we're talking about a traditional hinged notebook, I've got no use for it, but a dockable-tablet style laptop like Asus with the Transformer I could see myself using.

Why would anyone choose an Android notebook over a real notebook with Windows? Especially considering you can run all Android apps on Windows with bluestacks software, which is free, and if the notebook has touch the Android apps will work with that too.

The peripheral/hardware support of Windows alone would make it far more useful, let alone the software.

W32.Backdoor.KillAV.E said,
Why would anyone choose an Android notebook over a real notebook with Windows? Especially considering you can run all Android apps on Windows with bluestacks software, which is free, and if the notebook has touch the Android apps will work with that too.

The peripheral/hardware support of Windows alone would make it far more useful, let alone the software.

1) Price
2) Simplicity

Not everyone wants a complicated device and slow to boot just to use the web. Personally, I wouldn't go with Android for that. I would use a Chromebook. 5 seconds to boot and your on the web with a windows like interface for multitasking. They are great for my meeting and field note use.

Personally I own lots of devices. Windows Phone, Android Phone and Tablets, iPhone, iPad, Windows Desktop/Laptops/Netbooks and a Chromebook. Each have their purpose except for two. The Windows Netbook is a worthless pile of junk. It is slow in many ways and only hinders my use for it. In case you're wondering, the second is Windows Phone. It's OT but my only issues I have with it is lacking in the app department. No need to respond to that just wanted to close my thought.

DarkNet said,

1) Price
2) Simplicity

That was the chromebook argument. The same chromebooks that sold less than Surfaces after being on the market 4 times longer than the Surfaces.

In the end of the day, even though you want to think everyone is fine with cloud apps and google docs, real highschool/college students and business need Office/Photoshop/AutoCad, and most consumers just want the ability to use Steam. Even the not so smart consumer knows that with a Windows 8 laptop they can get all of this and the touch apps they would get from an Android book.

InformedPoster said,

That was the chromebook argument. The same chromebooks that sold less than Surfaces after being on the market 4 times longer than the Surfaces.

In the end of the day, even though you want to think everyone is fine with cloud apps and google docs, real highschool/college students and business need Office/Photoshop/AutoCad, and most consumers just want the ability to use Steam. Even the not so smart consumer knows that with a Windows 8 laptop they can get all of this and the touch apps they would get from an Android book.

You are confusing two different things here. We are not talking about 32-bit application use here.