We May See Chrome OS Tablets Arrive Soon
As Chromebooks--portable computers based on Google's Chrome OS platform--continue to carve out a healthy niche for themselves, there are strong signs that we are soon going to see Chrome OS tablets. This, of course, has been in the rumor mill for some time. Last October, I reported on a developer-focused version of Chrome OS that included an on-screen keyboard, which of course would be ideal for use on a tablet. Now, the Chrome OS team has confirmed that the latest Stable Channel version of Chrome OS has such a keyboard, and it's likely we'll see tablets based on Google's operating system soon.
Francis Beaufort went so far as to supply a screenshot of a Chrome OS tablet, found here. And, in a post from the Chrome OS team, the new on-screen keyboard is confirmed:
Some highlights of [Chrome OS] changes are:
Side dock which allows users to dock small windows and panels to screen edges. Windows are all automatically managed in this mode.
Turned Google Drive offline backup on by default after first login.
Sticky keys, which allows you to perform keyboard shortcuts / mouse+keyboard gestures by pressing the keys in sequence instead of simultaneously.
Onscreen keyboard which allows you to type and use device features (top row) with a pointing device.
You can add to all of this that Acer is holding an event at the end of April where it is widely rumored to be introducing a Chrome OS tablet.
Google may actively encourage the delivery of Chrome OS tablets, now that it is so active in the hardware business through its Motorola acquisition. It also has a lot of experience with tablets through its work with Nexus tablets. In all likelihood, later this month we'll see the Chrome OS tablet market take shape.