Tuesday , 17 July 2018
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HP’s detachable Chromebook and the ghost of Google’s past

It was six months ago to this day that I declared it: The Chromebook is effectively the new Android tablet.

At the time, I realize, such a proclamation sounded slightly unhinged (so to speak). How could a Chromebook possibly take over the role of the Android tablet? It doesn’t run Android, for one — and at that point, no models in existence were even true “tablets” in the traditional slate-and-nothing-more sense.

The secret some folks saw along with me, though, was that neither of those distinctions actually mattered. We’re entering a post-OS era, and the practical difference between a Chrome OS device that runs Android apps and an Android device that runs Android apps is growing less significant by the week. And as for the physical form, anyone who had used a convertible Chromebook — a product like the Asus Chromebook Flip, whose hinge allows the screen to swivel back and form a flattened-out tablet — knew exactly what I was getting at.

As I said to the careful thinkers who questioned my conclusion then: All things in time. A proper foundation has to be established before an ecosystem can spring up around it. Diversity in hardware will inevitably follow.

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