It was 6 months ago to this day that we announced it: The Chromebook is effectively a new Android tablet.
At a time, we realize, such a commercial sounded somewhat unhinged (so to speak). How could a Chromebook presumably take over a purpose of a Android tablet? It doesn’t run Android, for one — and during that point, no models in existence were even loyal “tablets” in a normal slate-and-nothing-more sense.
The tip some folks saw along with me, though, was that conjunction of those distinctions indeed mattered. We’re entering a post-OS era, and a unsentimental disproportion between a Chrome OS device that runs Android apps and an Android device that runs Android apps is growing reduction poignant by a week. And as for a earthy form, anyone who had used a automobile Chromebook — a product like a Asus Chromebook Flip, whose hinge allows a shade to pivot behind and form a flattened-out inscription — knew accurately what we was removing at.
As we pronounced to a clever thinkers who questioned my end then: All things in time. A correct substructure has to be determined before an ecosystem can open adult around it. Diversity in hardware will fundamentally follow.
And here we are, 6 months after — with both a slate-only Chrome OS tablet and now a wholly detachable all-in-one Chromebook on us.
This evolution, however, indeed dates behind serve than a small 6 months — both in terms of program and in terms of a new hardware we’re now seeing. Ready for an “aha!” moment?
The automobile Chromebook connection
We’ve talked copiousness about a evolution of Chrome OS and a ongoing alignment with Android over a years — and so many of a platform-oriented notions we once discussed in fanciful terms are now personification out as realities in front of us. On a hardware front, though, there’s something generally engaging about one of a new tablet-like inclination announced in new days.
I’m articulate about a HP Chromebook x2 that was quietly unveiled at a start of a week. It’s a sincerely high-end complement that comes with a detachable keyboard — so only like with a Chromebook Flip or a top-of-the-line Google Pixelbook, we can use it as a unchanging laptop with a desktop-caliber browser, or we can use it as a inscription with full Android app support alongside all a unchanging benefits of Chrome OS. Unlike those other devices, of course, a Chromebook x2’s shade wholly separates from a keyboard instead of remaining trustworthy and swiveling behind (which could be a pro or a con, depending on your workflow and preferences).
That’s all intriguing adequate on a own, though what unequivocally struck me about this device is a tie to a product that entered a universe with a bit of a sigh dual and a half years ago. Yes, my dear compadres: I’m referring to Google’s Pixel C.
This tie is about some-more than only surface-level similarities, though: It’s about a prophesy Google had for computing behind in 2015 — a prophesy it wasn’t utterly prepared to govern afterwards though one that’s really most entrance to life today.
The Pixel C, we see, was expected never meant to run Android. Ample justification suggests Google creatively dictated a device to run some form of Chrome OS — though a company’s efforts to optimize Chrome OS for a hold interface were still obsolete then, and a pierce to make Android apps work on Chromebooks was barely even an experiment.
By all counts, Google wanted to emanate a automobile device that blended together a best of Android and Chrome OS. The swell only wasn’t there yet. And so Google eventually sole a Pixel C as a automobile Android inscription — a hardware-software matchup that never felt wholly natural.
The HP Chromebook x2 seems to be accurately what Google wanted to emanate with a Pixel C, had it not been a integrate years forward of a time. It’s a automobile device that runs Chrome OS and provides all of a productivity and confidence advantages while also providing a worthy touch-based inscription experience, finish with a full Android app catalog. It’s what a Pixel C could have been, should have been, and arguably was meant to have been.
Of course, in a grand intrigue of things, a Chromebook x2 is though a singular product — roughly positively a initial of many detachable Chromebook inclination that’ll open adult in a months ahead. The grander stress is reduction about a device itself and some-more about what it represents: a commencement of yet another new phase in Google’s Chrome OS enlargement and a accomplishment of a technological anticipation Google has prolonged sought to achieve.
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