|Credit: Alister Payne|
A Chrome OS tablet was spotted at The Bett Show, a United Kingdom-based annual trade show showcasing information technology in education. The device is an Acer product and measures between eight and ten inches diagonally.
All Chrome OS devices thus far have had keyboards; they are all either 2-in-1 convertible hybrids or traditional laptops. Android tablets have done very poorly, with poor app optimization (many Android apps don’t scale well to a larger screen size) and a lack of differentiation from the Apple iPad.
The iPad isn’t a MacBook replacement, however. It run iOS, the same mobile operating system used on the iPhone. Chrome OS, on the other hand, is a custom version of Linux and as such supports input via a mouse and keyboard. Android app support has made its way to the platform, making it a robust ecosystem that includes both smartphone apps and a desktop-class web browser, something iPad owners can only dream of.
|The Acer Chrome OS tablet uses a 4:3 aspect ratio.|
This is where things get interesting. By targeting the Apple tablet size, Chrome OS tablets may be seen in the home, business, or education markets as a viable and less expensive iPad alternative.
Particularly in education and business, being able to deploy all of your devices with the same software will likely be too tantalizing to resist for firms and schools currently using both iOS and Chrome OS devices. Home users too may find appeal in the notion of everything running Google software, from the laptop, down to the tablet and smartphone.
Laptop sales have been in decline for years, but Chrome OS devices have bucked that trend. The iPad has performed similarly in the tablet market. A Line of Chrome OS tablets may do to the iPad what Chromebooks have done to Windows laptops.