Google’s Chromebooks, in case you haven’t heard of them by now, are basically laptops that run only one application: Chrome. There are several models available at various price points, the cheapest being an Acer unit for $199 that uses an Intel chip. There’s also a Samsung unit that uses the company’s own Exynos 5 ARM based processor; it costs $249.

According to a rumor from DigiTimes, which we have to stress is a site that has a mixed track record, Google is working on a touch screen enabled Chromebook. Said device allegedly has a 12.85 inch screen, but here’s where things get interesting: Instead of Google asking Samsung or Acer to make them this new machine, Google is going to launch this touch Chromebook under their own brand.

The story goes on to say that Compal will be doing the assembly, which should kick off by the end of the year. Realistically speaking, when would this device actually launch? We’re speculating here, but we think this would be the perfect device to announce at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Why? Because just about every laptop maker on the face of the planet is going to announce a Windows 8 machine there. Google could leverage the hype those machines are going to generate by pitching their machine as a Windows 8 substitute.

Speaking about Windows 8, that OS was made specifically for touch in mind. Chrome OS, the way it’s shipping today, isn’t exactly touch friendly. Is Google planning on overhauling the OS to make it easier to use with your fingers? If so, why is Google pouring so much effort into Chrome OS instead of Android?

There are a lot of unanswered questions here that we should be getting the answers to early next year. We here at Android Authority just want one thing, we wish Google made Chromebooks easier to buy in countries other than the United States and the United Kingdom.

  • SuyashSrijan

    Maybe they’re planning to merge Android with Chrome OS? There were a lot of rumors that Android 5.0 will run on laptops and PCs, this could be it!

    • MasterMuffin

      It would awesome!

      • Stefan Constantinescu

        I don’t buy it. Chrome OS is more than just the OS, Google dictates special hardware that’s required for safe booting and all that jazz.

        But hey, you’re free to have your opinion about a rumor. Just hope we find out everything we need to know during summer 2013!

        • MasterMuffin

          I don’t believe in that either, but (as I said) it would be awesome! One Os to rule them all

  • Adam Greenblum

    If what you mentioned is true, that would definitely make things even more interesting. It looks like Google is not ready to give up on the Chromebook, despite some early struggles.

    The Chromebook is an interesting concept, and I’m sure that many people will be interested in an easy-to-use, quick-starting, low-cost laptop. It’s true that Chromebooks require an Internet connection, but most people do most of their work on the Internet anyway.

    There are even ways to use Chromebooks to connect to Windows applications. For example, Ericom AccessNow is an HTML5 RDP client that allows Chromebook users to connect to Windows applications running on Terminal Server (Microsoft RDS) or to VDI virtual desktops, and run those applications and desktops inside a browser tab.

    There’s nothing to install on the Chromebook, as AccessNow runs inside the HTML5-compatible browser.

    You can click here for more info:

    Please note that I work for Ericom

  • Because Chrome OS is awesome.

  • “Why is Google pouring so much effort into Chrome OS instead of Android?”

    Because these two operating systems already share a lot of “DNA” and there will surely be point further down the line where the two begin to merge.

    And because it pays Google to have a product in the desktop/laptop market because they are also pushing their Google Apps for Business products.

    For a business – or educational instituation – that has “Gone Google” a Chromebook or Chromebox is a very compelling alternative proposition; why run Windows if it’s only purpose is to get you to the Chrome browser?