Chrome OS Concept Tablet Breaks Cover With Demo

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News Posted: Tue, Feb 2 2010 9:42 AM
With all of this iPad buzz stirring up the tech world over the past couple of weeks, Chrome OS has almost been forgotten. That may have something to do with the fact that Google has yet to officially release the netbook-centric operating system to the public, but still, you'd expect a company like Google to keep the details flowing about a forthcoming operating system.  Today it seems we're getting exactly what you'd expect, in response to all the recent tablet fanfare.

A while back, we heard that Chrome OS would only be made for certain systems that met certain specifications, namely netbooks that were tailor made to run the OS. This approach is similar to the one taken by Apple with regard to OS X, which will only operate on Apple-built systems. But as the "Year Of The Tablet" really gets going, it makes sense to think that Google would be interested in dipping into that sector. Tablets are certainly going to be a hot topic (and likely a money-maker) in 2010 and 2011, and Google would be silly to just sit it out while the others take advantage. We already witnessed the traditionally search-oriented company break new ground with their Android mobile OS, and if renders from the Chromium platform team, which is the foundation of Google Chrome and Chrome OS, have their way, Chrome OS will eventually make landfall on tablets as well.





A few new design creations have floated out to the web, and naturally they have garnered quite a bit of attention. These showcase "user interface concepts" where it would be feasible to cram Chrome OS onto a tablet. When you think about, Chrome OS seems perfect for a tablet form factor. The system is designed to be lightweight, meaning that little power is needed to run it with as little overhead as possible, bogging down system resources. We've also seen that cheap, highly efficient chips are available for tablets courtesy of  NVIDIA's Tegra 2 CPU, and honestly, Chrome OS would give the iPad the biggest run for its money. Windows 7 still feels too "serious" an OS for something like a tablet, but Chrome OS is perfectly positioned to enter the market as-is and really make an impact. Who knows, one could imagine a situation where Google actually overtook Microsoft's OS market share lead in at least the tablet sector.  Though that's a far reach at this point obviously.  We can't say that hell would then freeze over, but you never really know...



The Chromium team suggests that a screen of 5" to 10" is optimal for enjoying Chrome OS, and wouldn't you know that tablets, netbooks and MIDs/UMPCs all fit that category. It's rather exciting to think of the possibilities of a Chrome OS-based tablet. Couple a streamlined Google-based OS with NVIDIA's Tegra 2 and a design like this, and you really could have an iPad killer.



In related news, Google is making a serious push over in Europe to draw attention to their Chrome web browser. The reason? The EU is forcing Microsoft to install a "browser selection window" within new versions of Windows, so people will be forced to choose a browser (rather than just have Internet Explorer in there by default). It's the first major ad push for their web browser, and it just might signal a more serious effort to spread Chrome more to the mainstream. Why would you want to spend money to increase market share of a free browser? If Chrome is a vital part of Chrome OS, you could see one thing leading to another. It's called the "halo effect," and Apple is definitely enjoying the spoils from people who buy iPods or iPhones and are then suddenly hooked into the Mac ecosystem. There's nothing stopping Google from attempting to recreate that same kind of magic, and we can say we'd be fairly bedazzled should a tablet like this hit the market anytime soon.
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rapid1 replied on Tue, Feb 2 2010 11:35 AM

This is a nice mock up concept, but I fear nothing more. I have been talking about an all inclusive tablet/E-reader device fohink this design platform would be great for r a while now. I even tried to patent one. This of course does not make me uber qualified or anything. I just have a lot of idea's.

I think this design platform would be great for a wide uptake in the current market. I also think it could be a very capable entry though. Everything I see with an actual release though seems under equipped. This one included really. Why would you want a tablet that runs a stripped down iPhone OS, or a stripped down web browser OS like Google Chrome?

I hope that sooner rather than later we see a device with at least UL laptop capabilities. The HP work seems to lean this way as do several others like the IBM/Lenovo equipment. However most of them are not on the market yet. I truly think the big boys should jump on this opportunity while it's in the public eye.

Now the tegra2 tablet thats one which seem more what I am am talking about. Although maybe a little under qualified equipment wise for what I am saying here. I am not really saying defined equipment, I am just talking capability wise here mainly.

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OK, the mockup looks real pretty, but i must say my ethusiasm is damped by some realism. to be specific,  the scale of things. lets assume that the 10" screen that they are stating it is best tailored to is across, and not diagonal, the mock users hands would be a MAXIMUM of 2" across and 2 1/2" wide to have such an ease of use.

now as my own hands are more than double that in size...

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Dave_HH replied on Tue, Feb 2 2010 4:13 PM

good points, Mike but I think the demo wasn't necessarily so much for the actual device but the UI

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So I guess we all have to shrug and call it "just a large Android phone?"


"I didn't cry when Bambi's mother was shot... but I cried when HAL was turned off."

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@psychomike Hmmm...Google is using babies for their mockups it seems. Makes sense, that's how they brainstormed the name of their company. Gaggle was a close runner-up, followed by "Dada".

@rapid1 The Chrome OS could very well trump iPhone OS on tablets as well Windows 7 on netbooks. Remember, the biggest advantage would be to simply turn on your computer and be able to check your email within seconds, without waiting for windows to load up. So there is definitely a market for it. At the very least, you'd have the option of booting either Chrome OS or Windows if you've got both installed.

I guess the next question people will ask is...does it support Flash? Smile

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I'm greatly looking forward to see what Google can do with the Chrome OS on this format. I suspect we'll be seeing some serious technical innovation of a type which leaves Apple's iPad in the dust. No wonder Mr Jobs sounded so bitter !...

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realneil replied on Wed, Feb 3 2010 10:11 PM

I'll be watching to see what this thing really is, what it costs and whether I'm Gonna need or want one of them.

 

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Inspector replied on Wed, Feb 3 2010 10:25 PM

ya, i'll see if its worth buying when they actually have it made and have a low cost Wink

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Inspector replied on Wed, Feb 3 2010 10:25 PM

ya, i'll see if its worth buying when they actually have it made and have a low cost Wink

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