Is a Google-branded Chromebook with a touchscreen in the works?
Google already sells a line of smartphones and tablets through the Google Play Store. While technically these devices are made by Samsung, Asus, and LG, they’re sold under the Google name.
According to the China Times, Google could be preparing to do the same thing with an upcoming Chromebook.
Chromebooks are basically laptops that run Google Chrome OS instead of Windows, OS X, Ubuntu, or other operating systems. In other words, they boot and shut down quickly and feature an operating system designed primarily around a web browser.
Up until now, Google has partnered with Samsung and Acer to release Chromebooks, with prices ranging from $200 to $550. While they’re listed in the Play Store, these laptops are actually sold through retailers such as Amazon and Best Buy.
But the China Times report suggests Google could work with Taiwanese equipment maker Compal to produce a Chromebook that would be a pure Google device, from head to toe.
That would allow Google to have even more control over the hardware, price, and physical design than it does over the latest Chromebooks.
China Times suggests that the Chromebook could have a touchscreen, which makes sense since the Chrome browser can run on the touch-friendly Android operating system as well as Windows, OS X, Linux, and Chrome OS.
That’s about it for the hardware specs revealed in the report though. There’s no information about the processor, storage, or other features.
Chrome OS can run on a range of chips including ARM-based processors and Intel or AMD chips with x86 architecture. While most Chromebooks to date have shipped with 16GB of flash storage, Acer’s latest Chromebook has a 320GB hard drive, so there’s no telling what kind of hardware a Google-branded Chromebook might feature.