Google Chrome Tablet Concept Emerges

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

A Google-related site has shown concepts for a tablet based on the Chrome OS,  which Google supporters believe will beat the Apple iPad

A tablet based on Google’s Chrome OS has been shown, in concept form, on the Chromium site, giving rise to the speculation one would expect.

The Chrome tablet concept, which includes a video, has been posted on Chromium, the site for open source projects related to Google’s Chrome OS. Although Chromium is not itself a Google site, the concept was posted by Glen Murphy, a designer of Google Chrome OS.

The video and images show keyboard interaction and multiple windows for different tasks, with zooming and tabs along the side of the screen.

A tablet has been expected from Google for some time, following its success in producing the Nexus One phone, and rumours have suggested it would be made by Taiwanese company HTC, which also makes the Nexus One.

Google’s Chrome OS was launched in July 2009, but netbooks running it are not expected to appear until the end of 2010 – presumably the tablet version could not be produced much sooner. The Google Chrome browser meanwhile is steadily increasing its market share.

chrometab.jpg

According to discussion on the Chromium site, potential Chrome tablets would have a variety of screen sizes, some as small as 5 inches, and would support multi-touch.

The Google rumours are obviously timed to respond to Apple’s launch of the iPad tablet last week. Despite obvious excitement over the Apple tablet, there is hostility among free software advocates who demonstrated against Apple’s content management technology at the iPad launch.

A Chrome tablet, based on an open source operating system, though still a long way from reality could be expected to offer a more open approach to content, and could also avoid the iPad’s obscure micro SIM-card format which critics say Apple is using to tie people into its device.

The Chrome demo appears to show the device multi-tasking, another feature missing from the iPad.