Google Said to Be Building a Touchscreen Chromebook, the Timing Is Right
There have been several clues and the rumor looks solid now
There have been plenty of signs and it's now clearer than ever that Google is working on a touch input Chromebook, to be released later this year. The Wall Street Journal reports that sources close to the company have confirmed that such a device is coming soon.There aren't many other details, there's no word on who's actually building the touchscreen Chromebook, the specs or price.
Google has been experimenting with touch-input Chrome OS devices since the beginning, a virtual keyboard has been included for years.
But no device with touch input ever came out, most likely for a multitude of reasons. For one, touchscreens big enough to fit on a laptop, even a small one, were quite expensive.
The device would also have competed with Android tablets. What's more, it wasn't clear that people wanted touch input in a laptop.
On the software side, Chrome and Chrome OS were never designed for touch input and the web certainly isn't. Now though, the time may be just right for such a device and Google can thank Microsoft for that.
Microsoft's push to have touch input in Windows 8 and the number of laptops with touchscreens coming out means that the world is ready to buy a touch input device and that the parts are cheaper than ever.
The web is also slowly starting to adapt to touch input, though that has been happening for a few years now, thanks to Apple's iPad.
All in all, a mixture of factors means that Google can build a touchscreen Chromebook that people would want to buy and have something to do with it.
It also means that Google can build such a device relatively cheap, close to the price of the regular, "higher-end" Chromebooks, perhaps a little more expensive than the cheapest iPad.