Google To Sell Touchscreen Chromebooks This Year

By Jimmie Geddes email: j.geddes@mobilenapps.com | Feb 21, 2013 10:59 AM EST

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Google never likes to be late to a party and the latest report is that Google will launch Chromebooks with touchscreens later this year.

Google wants to cover all its bases in the mobile world in 2013. It currently has a few smartphones, tablets and Chromebooks in its lineup, and later this year will launch a new Chromebook with a touchscreen. All this appears that Google wants to have enough products to sell in the stores it will also launch this year.

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According to the Wall Street Journal, Google will launch its new touchscreen Chromebooks later this year and will begin selling them in its Play Store and through a partnership it has with BestBuy for its Chrome OS devices. Google might be able to undercut Microsoft and its partners by selling a relatively inexpensive alternative to the Windows 8 touchscreen laptop experience, in a less expensive package all powered by Chrome OS.

Google currently sells two Chromebook models through the Google Play Store: What makes Chromebooks attractive to consumers is their low prices. Acer's Chromebooks sell for $199 and Samsung's Chromebook sells for $249. Samsung and Acer are rumored to be building the touchscreen-enabled Chromebooks as they are both manufacturers of Google's current Chromebook line, and they also know how to build touchscreen Windows 8 laptops. If Google can offer a touchscreen Chromebook at a relatively less expensive price than current Windows 8 versions, it might see some success.

The touchscreen laptop concept hasn't really been proven to be a lucrative market yet, but that's not going to stop Google from entering it. Apple has long been rumored to be building touchscreen Macs, although Steve Jobs believed there wasn't a market for those types of devices and said back in 2010:

"We've done tons of user testing on this, and it turns out it doesn't work. Touch surfaces don't want to be vertical. It gives great demo but after a short period of time, you start to fatigue and after an extended period of time, your arm wants to fall off. it doesn't work, it's ergonomically terrible. Touch surfaces want to be horizontal, hence pads. So this is how we're going to use multitouch on our Mac products because this (he points at someone touch laptop screen) doesn't work."

It will be interesting to see if this new trend of adding touchscreens to laptops takes off, and now that Google is getting into the business, don't be surprised to see Apple do it as well.

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