Google says it will keep the focus of Chrome OS on notebooks for now. Sundar Pichai, senior vice president for Chrome, made the comment at a news conference during the Computex Taipei 2011 in response to a question on whether the OS would also be available for tablet PCs.
Last month, we learned that Google was building a tablet version of Chrome OS. The company confirmed that it was targeting different form factors, but said that the initial release is still aimed at notebooks. This slightly clashes with Google's mobile OS strategy outlined six months ago, when the company specifically said that Android is for touch, Chrome OS is for keyboards.
Pichai also said the company had no current plans to merge Chrome OS with Android. Many believe that the company should just focus on Android, especially given that the latest version for tablets, Android 3.1 (codenamed Honeycomb), has added input support from mice, joysticks, and gamepads. Why not just extend that to keyboards and go from there?
Earlier this month, Google unveiled Chromebook and Chromebox devices. The first Chromebooks, slated for June, will be made by Acer and Samsung.
Acer's version will cost $350 with an 11.6-inch display, a dual-core Intel Atom processor, integrated dual-band Wi-Fi and optional 3G, an HD webcam with a noise cancelling microphone, two USB 2.0 ports, a 4-in-1 card reader, and one HDMI output. The 2.95lb device will reportedly offer up to six hours of continuous usage.
Samsung intends to charge a little more for its Chromebook with pricing set at $430 for Wi-Fi only and $499 for integrated 3G connectivity. That gets you a larger 12.1-inch display along with 8.5 hours of battery life, and those upgrades push the total weight to 3.26lbs. It also trades the HDMI port for Mini-VGA.