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).
Probably much better than getting an Android tab. Because ChromeOS will be updated constantly to latest v., while Android devices get maybe one OS upgrade a year after it comes out, and are thereafter obsoleted. So when will there be ChromeOS phones?
Given that the android tablet has effectively died a death with the discontinuation of the Pixel C, this is exciting news. Any word as to whether it’s an Intel or ARM machine?
Not officially, but Chrome Unboxed is predicting a Rockchip CPU.
An Arm chip will give better Android App support. App behavior seems very spotty on x86 sometimes
Interesting. Knowing Acer, I was afraid you’d say a bottom of the pile Celeron. At least Rockchip should keep the costs down!
Even MS is trying to get established on ARM for battery and always connected advantages. So presumably ARM.
What’s the advantage of this over an android tablet with chrome installed and set to display the desktop version of websites?
dunno why I’m being voted down, it’s an honest question 😀
The Android Tablet ecosystem is pretty much dead… I haven’t been able to find a decent model (8 or 9 inch) that would get decent support (i.e. updates)! There are some Chinese models but nothing special. I ended up getting a refurbished Fire HD just to keep me going; this doesn’t even come close to replacing my Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4!
Thanks for the reply, but surely having a tablet that does what a chromepad (!) does as well as many other things is preferable. I understand choice is not so great but what about somethinng a bit bigger?
Not an android fanboy, I use an Ipad (shhh) but just trying to figure out the advantage.
Just had a look… launched in August/2016, with a MTK CPU. Asus has been releasing updates up to now (but I wouldn’t bet they will continue for long), including a Nougat (started with Marshmallow). From many comments on the web it is not very fast and the battery is not that good.
Main point for me is really that size… anything bigger than 9″, goes into netbook territory and there Tablet’s loose (in my book)..
Anyway, still waiting for something decent that is maintained by the supplier. Asus is not very reliable on that (nor are most of the other anyway). E.g. The Asus Z380M was being maintained up to end-2017 but no updates now… not good!
Myself I will wait and see what will come in the table front. An Oreo 8.4 would be nice but a Chrome(T/P)ad would also be ok for me.
It seems that the Mediapad M5 showed up at the FCC: https://fccid.io/QISSHT-W09
Maybe it will be annouced at the MWC and I will have something to buy in a couple of months!
I just bought this one for $129 now $117. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Samsung-Galaxy-Tab-A-8-Tablet-16GB-Smoky-Titanium-Refurbished/51755641
Updated to Android 7.1 after plugging it in. Faster than a Fire tablet and also slightly better display. Installed the Google launcher and I ignore the Samsung software. Not bad!
Faster boot speed, 5 years of software and security updates delivered by Google rather than Acer, and a fuller featured web browser with support for things like extensions. Meanwhile, since Chrome OS now has and optional Android subsystem, you can run Android apps on the tablet just as you would on an Android tablet.
thanks. Think it’s probably still better in a laptop form.
it will undoubtedly have a laptop dock/case
The advantage over an Android tablet is mostly Chrome. Mobile Chrome on Android is much more limited than Desktop Chrome that you’ll get on Chrome OS. Better bookmark managing, extensions and installable web-apps support, better multi-window, etc. Also Chrome OS has better native file managers and other desktop level features that are nice to have but Android doesn’t necessarily have by default
Will they all, at the very least, get security updates regardless of who’s selling them? Snarky comment, I know. But given the tragic state of security updates on Android phones & tabs, it’s a fair question.
I really like this idea. As long as it supports Android apps.
The shelf DOES look a lot like Honeycomb-but-better in tablet mode. :O
“Chromepad”, they should definitely be called “Chromepads”. That’s baller marketing.
Also if they are reasonable devices at reasonable prices I’m totally buying one.
Give me a Win10 version – my Dell Venue Pro is getting old.
Amen Hildy. Going to be sad when my Dell gives up the ghost.
What models do you guys have? The 5000 series?
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