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Google Handhelds Technology

Google Releases Chrome OS Tablet Concept Demo 237

Posted by Soulskill
from the keeping-up-with-the-jobses dept.
MojoKid writes "With all of the iPad buzz stirring up the tech world over the past couple of weeks, Chrome OS has almost been forgotten. Though Google has yet to officially release the netbook-centric operating system to the public, the company continues to keep details flowing about their forthcoming lightweight operating system. In their own response to all the recent tablet fanfare, Google decided to release some teaser shots and a demo video of the Chrome OS running on a concept tablet device. The Chromium team suggests that a screen of 5" to 10" is optimal for enjoying Chrome OS and of course tablets, netbooks and MIDs all fit that size class rather well. Couple a streamlined Google-based OS with NVIDIA's Tegra 2 processor in a design like this and the iPad could have serious competition."
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Google Releases Chrome OS Tablet Concept Demo

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  • iPad buzz? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sakdoctor (1087155) on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @12:52PM (#30997280) Homepage

    I haven't seen any actual buzz, as in people genuinely talking about it.

    I have see, press releases, astro-turfing, slashvertisements, and spam.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by XxtraLarGe (551297)
      My wife just sent me an e-mail today saying everybody is asking her about the iPad, especially about how the wireless works. She works in a non-tech environment, so a tablet with a simplified OS is probably the perfect thing for most of them. They know I'm a Mac user, so they always ask her Mac related questions to relate to me.
      • by poetmatt (793785)

        lots of people have interest in the ipad, but that doesn't mean purchasing or even positive interest. Just "hmm, something interesting from apple - lets look up more info".

        This is a result of the hype and the ipad underwhelming in general.

    • by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @01:07PM (#30997570)

      the iPad could have serious competition

      Once Apple has figured out to whom this is being marketing.

      The whole Apple-Yahoo-MS-Google circle jerk posturing is delirious. If next week Steve Jobs called a press conference and sliced his dick off with a silver scalpel in a room full of stunned reporters, I have no doubt that -- not to be outdone -- Sergey Brin would cut off his with a chainsaw on nation-wide TV seven days later.

      And no one in the tech punditry -- all happy just to have jobs and something to write about besides the latest PC graphics card -- would question *WHY* these idiots are emasculating themselves, they'd just write tedious "thought" pieces contrasting the metaphors of Job's elegant, shiny castration versus Brin's use of loud horsepower.

      • by Pojut (1027544)

        And no one in the tech punditry -- all happy just to have jobs and something to write about besides the latest PC graphics card -- would question *WHY* these idiots are emasculating themselves, they'd just write tedious "thought" pieces contrasting the metaphors of Job's elegant, shiny castration versus Brin's use of loud horsepower.

        I think they would do it for the lulz...at least I hope so, because that's what they would be providing. In excess.

      • by aicrules (819392)
        I think you overestimate how elegant a castration via scalpel would be. Sure the initial incision would be a bit more subtle, but the time it would take once more gristly bits were reached and the added effort needed to make it through would surely be equally as gruesome. In fact the idea of it makes me shudder blech...
    • Ah, so you're one of those lucky saps that doesn't have any Apple controlled friends.

    • Right here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eF0y0IfpPU

    • by severoon (536737)

      The buzz is: that's buzz. (The economy's not doing so hot, so marketing folks will take what they can get.)

  • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @12:54PM (#30997308)

    In response to Apple's iPad announcement, Google proved that it could draw a tablet and post it on the web.

    My point being that maybe there is something more interesting than tablets. We already know that we'll see a fresh batch of articles on tablets / iPad in about 60 days.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Thelasko (1196535)
      I'm shocked that the ChromeOS shown in the animation has such rich multitasking. They're really aiming high with this one.
  • I hate virtual keyboards. The other touch sensitive concepts are cool, but I'm a touch typist and to have to use a virtual keyboard is the pits.
    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      So why do you care enough comment on a form factor that doesn't have a physical keyboard?

      There are plenty of devices with keyboards and they aren't going away.

    • by Pojut (1027544)

      I agree with you, I despise virtual keyboards. In fact, the lack of a physical keyboard is the primary thing that prevented me from buying an iPhone (I have an HTC Ozone).

      That being said, this is a Tablet...it isn't supposed to have an actual keyboard -_-;;

    • It's better then a stylus though. I have an HP tc1100 and while it has a detachable keyboard I
      tend to use it without that. Almost everything I need to do is fine because I generally just
      use it for reading but at those odd times when I want to do something on it that requires
      typing, and I'm too lazy to get up and find the keyboard, I would rather use something like the
      v-keyboard in the video then the tiny on screen keyboard and stylus combo.

    • You can get a keyboard dock for the iPad [apple.com].
      • by prockcore (543967)

        You can't tell from the photo, but that keyboard doesn't even have an escape key... instead it's a special "home" key that does the same thing as the home button on the iphone.

        That'll hurt us vim-users.

    • And I hate physical keyboards on devices where the keys are so small my finger covers five at a time. I hate the wasted real-estate that could've instead been used for a bigger screen, and therefore a bigger screen-keyboard with almost proper-sized key-contact-patches.

      I hate them even more when they waste space making a "full" qwerty keyboard half the size of a deck of cards. I'm a touch-typist, and such things feel like a cruel joke at my expense. If you must have a physical keyboard of that size, put s

  • The video shows 2 windows open. Probably best not to have multiple apps sharing the same screen.

    • by abigsmurf (919188)
      This is actually an area where they could take a cue from Windows (specifically 7). The 'drag to top to maximise' etc. window shortcuts seem to be something designed to make handling windows in a touch screen a lot less cumbersome.
  • by KanadaKid19 (886639) on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @01:00PM (#30997432) Homepage
    The article says 5"-10" screen size is ideal for Chrome OS, then they go and show a video with what looks like what, a 30" screen? The reality distortion field has spread, and it stretches rulers now too!
    • by Rockoon (1252108)
      I would argue that their video shows something closer to a 20" screen, and such a size might be optimal for what I'd want.

      Now picture this.. a low-horsepower tablet that is convertible into a wireless LCD touch-screen monitor for your high-horsepower desktop computer.
    • Jeff Han did this four years ago:
      http://www.ted.com/talks/jeff_han_demos_his_breakthrough_touchscreen.html [ted.com]

      He now has a company spun off from his research at NYU:
      http://www.perceptivepixel.com/ [perceptivepixel.com]

      I'll use this opportunity to make a larger point: you're not going to get much progress out of the corporate game of developing a product. The difference is in these two questions:

      1. What is possible to sell?

      2. What is possible?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by proxy318 (944196)
      no, that was a 10" screen, they just had a 2' tall person demonstrating it.
  • Not sure if I care (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @01:03PM (#30997496)

    I realize this entire discussion will probably devolve into a GNU/Free versus Closed argument, or a Mac Lovers versus Mac Haters flamefest, but...

    Having watched the demo video, I'm not convinced. This really just seems like another Tablet PC, except it's running Chrome OS instead of Windows XP. The demoed functionality is almost exactly like the application switcher that's available in both PC and Mac (alt+tab cmd+tab), and the resizing functions just use your fingers instead of a mouse pointer. Personally I think that's an issue - I'd rather use a mouse for most of that functionality.

    I know there are some people that mock the iPad because it's not running a tablet-ized version of the full OS X; but when I see demos like this, it just reminds me of why Tablet PCs never escaped their niche. For a lot of typical desktop functionality, it is easier to use a mouse. There's no compelling reason making me wish to be able to do those exact same functions using my fingers. It's not that those Tablet PCs were running Windows - it's because they offered no compelling reason to exist for most of us!

    Now, hopefully Google will have some additional tricks up its sleeve, and there'll be a reason to care beyond "it's running Linux". And I do believe competition is a rising tide that lifts all boats (yup, I'm pulling out the cliches now). But hopefully Google has studied the past and will try to look at why the Tablet PC never really made it, rather than just duplicate the same mistakes Microsoft made.

    • by jo_ham (604554)

      I think this is what both Apple and Google are doing. Apple could easily have released a tablet that ran retail OS X with some extra touch screen function built in, but they chose to scale up the iPhone/iPod Touch and go that way. I don;t know if it will be at all successful, but I think it has more of a chance than if it was a tablet with a desktop OS running on it - there are a fair number of those already, and they're hardly setting the world on fire. They are very useful in niche markets, but beyond tha

  • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @01:09PM (#30997594)
    Ok, when they have something more than entirely made up concept stuff, then we might be able to have a discussion about serious competition for a given product. Until then, it's made up shit. I can make a video of someone using a supercomputer the size of a wrist watch, if I want - until it's actually made, however, it's just concept art.
  • Must have apps. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @01:15PM (#30997720) Homepage Journal

    Web apps just don't cut it Google. Apple found that out with the iPhone, Palm has learned that with the Pre. People want to have stuff that runs even when there is no internet even if it is just a game.
    We also want to carry some media with us so if we are stuck on a plane with no WiFi or anyplace with no WiFi or 3G we can watch or listen to something.
    Stop working on the Chrome OS and improve Android or just go right to a tablet Linux.

    • by argent (18001)

      Absolutely. If I can't use it when I'm in a lab at work (electrically noisy racks)... or for that matter a restroom near it... I'm not going to buy into it.

      You can't do EVERYTHING in the cloud. The whole idea is so 1974.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by nickyj (142376)

      Uh.. with google gears you don't need a constant internet connection, you don't need a connection at all. I use gears on my netbook and I can still read/compose emails, read my google reader, make new and modify docs/spreadsheets all without an internet connection.

  • Ok, so iPad isn't even out yet, but google still feels threatened enough to put out a hastly put together "concept art" as a "demo". Sheesh.

    One thing everyone seems to have missed about the iPad announcement is the fact that apple will have iWorks on it for $30. This has two implications:
    1. Nobody else will write a full on office app for iPad.
    2. Nobody will write a full office app for any other touch tablet.

    Chew on that for a while.

    • I don't think I see how the second implication is being... implied?

      If Open Office can run on Chrome - how hard would it be to make a tablet Port? Would those who write OO not be interested in this? Or whatabout our friends at Microsoft, who are giving away licenses for MS office in the hopes to keep their hold of office applications as tight as possible?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by MindCrusher (1249502)

      Ok, so iPad isn't even out yet, but google still feels threatened enough to put out a hastly put together "concept art" as a "demo". Sheesh.

      On the original chromium page the video is listed as uploaded on the 25th of January. If I am not mistaken that is two days before Apple's iPad event.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by recoiledsnake (879048)

      Ok, so iPad isn't even out yet, but google still feels threatened enough to put out a hastly put together "concept art" as a "demo". Sheesh.

      One thing everyone seems to have missed about the iPad announcement is the fact that apple will have iWorks on it for $30. This has two implications:
      1. Nobody else will write a full on office app for iPad.
      2. Nobody will write a full office app for any other touch tablet.

      Chew on that for a while.

      Wrong on both counts. Well #1 is kind of true, but that's only because Apple bans competing applications. #2 is just plain wrong, because the full Office 2007 runs on touch tablets.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      Chew on that for a while.

      I chewed on it for a couple seconds, and what I came up with is that Chrome OS is based on Linux and X11, so nobody has to develop an office suite for Chrome OS; you can just run OpenOffice.

      Chew on *this*.

  • by eagee (1308589) on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @01:23PM (#30997890)
    How could something no one wants to buy have competition?
    • You mean like Flash and Silverlite?

      • by eagee (1308589)
        >

        Well, give those a name so strikingly similar to a feminine hygiene product that even my nine year old makes the association, then only allow one instance of them at a time... wait no... no, only allow one instance of other stuff because those won't be supported, throw an ungainly dongle here and there, and then yes. Yes - that's exactly what I mean.

        :)
  • Five to ten inches? Thanks, but I'll pass.

    Is it just me, or is there anyone else out there who wants a big tablet instead of some small, sleek, fashionable, and largely useless piece of overpriced tech trinketry? At this point, I'm about to pick up an old Thinkpad on eBay and make one myself -- and still probably come out cheaper than the latest and greatest. And no, I don't need a touch screen. I'd be perfectly content to mount a few programmable keys down one side and the Trackpoint hardware on the other.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Five to ten inches? Thanks, but I'll pass.

      Size queen.

      All I want to do is be able to read PDFs in color and at a reasonable scale.

      There are numerous tablet PCs which do this already. You can pick them up used for around four hundred bucks. Still pretty spendy, I admit, but they do exist, in sizes up to 15" or so. Not having a touch screen, however, is crazy talk. I'd really like a wacom-equipped LCD tablet myself; I wouldn't even mind having to use the stylus, given its incredible increase in functionality over a touch screen.

  • I've been playing with android-x86 on my eeepc. It's nice, but doesn't seem to have any applications.

    Mostly I'm interested in getting Google Maps Mobile running on it... it's the only thing I really miss from having a Blackberry. Is there any way of getting Google Maps Mobile on a laptop / netbook?

    I don't really care for an Android / iPhone / Blackberry / Symbian device and accompanying data plan just to get gmm going... it would be nice to get gmm running on a larger netbook running it and tether it to

  • Hah! They're in the middle of their tablet disaster and meltdown and now here come Google. It's gonna' be Godzilla vs that fisherman guy on the beach outside of Tokyo. Or Bambi.

    Stoopid Apple, they should never released a tablet now that Google has theirs out.

  • by Geeky (90998) on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @02:27PM (#30998928)

    I've been thinking about this tablet format, and I think it's got a few limitations.

    For a start, you've got to hold it up or prop it against something while you use it. So, how's this for an idea... give it a hinged lid that can be used to protect the screen and as a stand when it's open. Better yet - if you've got the hinged bit at the front, why not put a physical keyboard in there to save screen space and for easier typing.

    Wonder if anyone's come up with any products like that?

  • by 1155 (538047) on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @03:03PM (#30999474) Homepage

    Did anyone else notice in the demo video that the hands on the person were freakishly small? I think Google is trying to tell us something:

    ChromeOS is not for manhands.

    That's right folks. Forget your hopes and dreams of manhandling the ChromeOS, this OS isn't for you. It's designed and built for those with small hands. Midgets, small children, and perhaps rodents will be able to use it. But not manhands.

    Draw your own conclusions. I think that googlers are looking for people who have small hands, like women. Then the googlers will have a source of information on available women with which they can actually take on a date. It's quite an ingenious plan.

  • sad, sad, demo? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by farble1670 (803356) on Tuesday February 02, 2010 @03:29PM (#30999848)

    i have swallowed the google pill for sure, but that demo just makes me sad. for goodness sake, there are already companies with *real* android tablets and many of them were demoed at CES. why did google feel the need to put together shoddy youtube video showing a fake tablet running a mocked up OS?

    why don't they just spend a few more dollars to make people aware of the awesome android tablets that are already announced? for example, the vega tablet,
    http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/11/vega-tablet-beats-apple-and-crunchpad/ [wired.com]

    and the MSI tablet,
    http://phandroid.com/2010/01/29/msi-android-tablet-harmony/ [phandroid.com]

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