Chromebooks have been around for nearly a decade, and over the past few years we’ve also started to see convertible models with touchscreen displays and 360-degree hinges that let you use a Chromebook in tablet mode. But you know what we haven’t seen? A straight-up Chrome OS tablet.
It looks like that’s going to change soon though, because Acer is showing one off at the Bett education technology show in London this week.
It was spotted by attendee Alister Payne.
Update: So umm, yeah. That tweet was deleted. I’m guessing someone wasn’t supposed to be showing this off to the world just yet.
Acer officially unveiled three Chrome OS devices at Bett: two Chromebooks and a Chromebox. There was no mention of a tablet in the company’s press release.
But Chrome Unboxed has been expecting to see Chrome OS tablets for a while. Hints in the source code have suggested that developers are working on them.
There aren’t any official details about the Acer model yet, but the picture seems to show a tablet with an 8 inch screen, give or take an inch or two. It also seems like it may have a 4:3 aspect ratio display. And the tablet is certainly running Chrome OS, based on the user interface.
While Chrome OS got its start as a browser-based operating system designed to run web apps, these days many Chrome OS devices can also run Android apps, which means that this isn’t just a handheld web browsing device. It’s basically an Android tablet that also runs the desktop version of Google’s Chrome browser rather than the mobile version.
There’s no word on when Acer will officially launch the tablet, how much it will cost, or if it will be aimed at the education market or made available to a wider set of customers. But with the Android tablet space looking kind of stagnant, I can’t help but be a little excited at the possibility of Chrometabs, or Chromepads, or whatever they’ll be called.
Update: Chrome Unboxed did some more sluething and reports that the Acer Chrome OS tablet probably has a 9.7 inch, 2048 x 1536 pixel display, a Rockchip RK3399 processor, a fingerprint sensor, front and rear cameras, and an EMR stylus that stows in the tablet when it’s not in use. Take all of those specs with a grain of salt though, since they haven’t been confirmed and could possibly change before the tablet hits the streets (if it ever does).