Rumor: Google to launch touch-screen Chromebook?

Google has worked with PC makers such as Samsung and Acer to release notebooks that run on Google's Chrome OS for the past couple of years now. Recently, two more new Chromebook models have been launched, including one from Acer, shown above, that has a starting price of $199.

Now a new report claims that Google will start selling a Chromebook notebook that will have Google's branding, rather than that of a third party PC maker. A translated report from the China Times website claims that Google has hired Taiwan-based Compal to actually made the new Chromebook unit and shipments could begin as early as the end of 2012.

The report also states that Google's Chromebook will also be the first that will have a touch screen. This will likely boost the price of the model at least $100 beyond that of the cheapest current Chromebook from Acer. However, if the story is true, it might also show that Google feels that the trend in touch screen notebooks that started with Microsoft's launch of Windows 8 last month, and one that Apple has yet to embrace, is one that Google cannot ignore.

Via: TechCrunch.com
Source: China Times | Image via Acer

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22 Comments

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ChromeOS is the right hand of Google. Android is the left hand of Google. Neither knows what the other is doing...

I was very happy a few years ago when the announced the Chrome OS, wow, finally someone to compete with Microsoft, and then when I had a look at it I was in shock, a full screen web browser, nice :-)

It looks like the idea did not go well, so they implemented a Window manager for Chrome OS, but still, all the apps are in the cloud, and not much local file system.

It is maybe a good option for corporations with thousands of desktops and internal web apps, it may save them a lot of money, but for consumers???

I wished if Chrome OS is something small, powerful, can be installed on a normal computer, like my Desktop at home, has a Virtual machine to run some Windows apps that still need, has a solid API that allows developers to build any kind of app, etc.

Unfortunately, after years of Chrome OS development, Google is planning to give the developers the ability to access the local photos and videos (after the user approval)
I was making fun that Apple limits you do thing their way, but man, Chrome OS took that thing to a brand new level.

We are getting there, the next stage will be detachable screen, pen support, and local apps, and the problem is it is still a step behind everyone else.

Does seem a bit pointless, web browser with glorified web pages as icons and Google services for not the best price in the world. Perhaps not aimed at most consumers, probably worth buying a normal laptop, nexus 7 or something similar. For education still seems a bit restricted, developing countries maybe.

Dot Matrix said,
Chrome OS is still around? Wow...
It is still out there for folks who want a netbook that is less capable than the one they bought in 2007 that came with XP.

I think they should either get rid of Chrome OS or merge both Chrome OS and Android. If you could run Android apps on Chrome OS, it would have at least some appeal to me then.

matt4444 said,
I think they should either get rid of Chrome OS or merge both Chrome OS and Android. If you could run Android apps on Chrome OS, it would have at least some appeal to me then.

They did say this a long time ago: http://gizmodo.com/5410862/chr...e-destined-to-merge-somehow

They haven't mentioned anything on the subject since, though...

EDIT: But, hey, that Chrome OS tablet UI video I linked to in my other comment didn't look like it was gonna happen for a while, & 1 would assume it would be the basis of the UI of the touchscreen Chromebooks, so you never know what could happen in life!

MASTER260 said,

They did say this a long time ago: http://gizmodo.com/5410862/chr...e-destined-to-merge-somehow

They haven't mentioned anything on the subject since, though...

EDIT: But, hey, that Chrome OS tablet UI video I linked to in my other comment didn't look like it was gonna happen for a while, & 1 would assume it would be the basis of the UI of the touchscreen Chromebooks, so you never know what could happen in life!

Yeah, saw that link a while ago, it's from 2009! Shame nothing has come of it...yet.

It will be a massive failure because we all know that lifting your hand off the keyboard and moving it 4 inches to touch the screen is too tiresome on your arms.

nohone said,
It will be a massive failure because we all know that lifting your hand off the keyboard and moving it 4 inches to touch the screen is too tiresome on your arms.

I know you're being sarcastic, but it will be a failure because the OS isn't designed for touch at all (apart from the fact it's the most useless OS i've ever used). It would be like trying to use Win 7/8 desktop with touch - it's possible but not a nice experience at all.

Edited by 1Pixel, Nov 27 2012, 5:53am :

1Pixel said,

I know you're being sarcastic, but it will be a failure because the OS isn't designed for touch at all. It would be like trying to use Win 7/8 desktop with touch - it's possible but not a nice experience at all.

Chrome OS itself is utterly useless junk though. Windows 95 and even many feature phones are more useful/capable. It's only good for browsing the net, but then why not just get a cheap Android tablet to do the same, atleast then the OS can actually do other stuff when you need it.

Yes, I am being quite sarcastic. People have said over and over that Win8 is a fail because of things like to use it to the full potential, touch, you need to take your hands off the keyboard. This is just one of the many things that people have said will cause Win8 to fail - lack of apps, can't run all desktop apps (WinRT),, touch based, confusion in the market, blah, blah, blah. But to some here, that makes Chrome book a winner while still claiming those same things a failure for Win8.

drazgoosh said,
Chrome OS doesn't strike me as a touchscreen friendly OS...

The OS itself doesn't strike me as an enjoyable OS for that matter. Sat around talking with a Google guy at Best Buy, experimented with it... I just can't see myself throwing that much money on something like that.

dead.cell said,

The OS itself doesn't strike me as an enjoyable OS for that matter. Sat around talking with a Google guy at Best Buy, experimented with it... I just can't see myself throwing that much money on something like that.


The crime of the Chromebook is that it's just a gussied up netbook. All it has going for it is its price--that's *it*.

In any and all regards, ANY OS that can run the Chrome web browser can automatically do everything ChromeOS can do, plus ALL the other functionality the OS provides. Even JoliOS feels more complete than ChromeOS, and it too is just a web-based environment.

ChromeOS is a cute experiment, but ultimately it could never, ever compete with even Android on decent hardware with a keyboard accessory.

drazgoosh said,
Chrome OS doesn't strike me as a touchscreen friendly OS...

It's just typical Google copying MS as usual and doing it with a vastly inferior yet cheaper version. Just look at all the Google stuff there is thats trying to take some of the MS pie. This is of course when Google are not copying Apple.

Google are really pushing Chrome OS lately, but it's the worst OS i've ever used. Even Android is vastly more capable. Yet Android don't even begin to compare to Win 8. I've used feature phones with more functionality than Chrome OS.

1Pixel said,

Google are really pushing Chrome OS lately, but it's the worst OS i've ever used.

It's not that terrible, it's just not compelling. It's a concept design for a very possible future (web as a platform), but relies too heavily on that one possibility when history shows us time and time again that technology progresses as a series of compromises.

If anything, ChromeOS has a million times better chance of being accepted by a consumer than, say, some crappy KDE distro of Linux. But ultimately, other mobile OSes are progressing much more rapidly while remaining simple and affordable enough for this niche, that ChromeOS simply serves no purpose.

My guess is that it's something like what Windows Phone 7 was: a separate, internal project at Google that will ultimately result in a clash of product teams and an eventual merging.