Android tablets have been neglected for years. This is due to various factors, with the most important being a decline in consumer interest in tablets as a whole, as well as the rise of large-screen smartphones termed “phablets.” Google’s last Android tablet was the Pixel C, which was released back in 2015. While Android tablets are on the decline, Google has been working on improving touch functionality in Chrome OS with features such as a floating keyboard, split screen in tablet mode and in Android apps, a touch-optimized Chrome browser, and much more. Some have even speculated that Google plans to replace Android tablets with Chrome OS touchscreen devices.
Even though Google launched the Pixelbook as a high-end convertible last year, no Chrome OS tablets have been launched so far. That may change as what appears to be an Acer tablet running Chrome OS was discovered at Bett 2018, an annual trade show in the U.K. about marketing information technology in education.
Alister Payne, an Information Systems researcher, first tweeted a photo of the Acer tablet. The tweet has now been taken down, but Chrome Unboxed has preserved the photo of the tablet. On first sight, it looks to have a ~10-inch display size, and the desktop shows the touchscreen Chrome OS user interface.
For now, the specifications of the Acer tablet remain unknown. However, this does make it certain that at least one Chrome OS tablet exists, even though it wasn’t on display at Bett and Acer hasn’t made any official announcement so far. Its launch time frame remains a mystery, but its existence may indicate that Google is serious in its intentions to make Chrome OS a proper tablet OS. In any case, it may take some time for the OS to catch up to Android with respect to tablet functionality.
We expect to learn more in the coming months.
Via: Chrome Unboxed
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