Previous indications that Google would release a new version of its Chromebook with a touch screen, known as the Chromebook Pixel, are now coming to light. On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the search engine giant is gearing up to launch a self-branded touch screen laptop running its Chrome operating system. This news also follows recent rumors suggesting Google will open its own brick and mortar retail locations in the near future.
The rumored Chromebook Pixel, however, was allegedly leaked online earlier this month via YouTube channel Slinky.me, which is run by a former Google software engineer. Reports suggested that it will come with a full touch screen display with a 2560 x 1700 pixel resolution, and the video also boasted that Google will pack 4 million pixels into the screen.
The report says that Google plans to start selling these laptops later this year, but did not specify a launch window. Additionally, The Wall Street Journal’s sources did not mention any manufacturers that could be involved in the project or how much the device may cost.
Google’s current Chrome OS uses a desktop style interface based on the Chrome Web browser, which means the company would have to tweak the OS a bit to prepare it for a new touch-enabled device.
Acer and Samsung are among those producing Google’s current line of Chromebooks--HP also announced the $329 Pavilion Chromebook--and the Journal reported that 100,000 of these laptops were sold in the final quarter of 2012. Google touts its Chromebook as a sleek and inexpensive alternative to the traditional laptop or tablet, giving users the opportunity to back up all their data on the Internet so that it can be accessed from any device.
Although the Chrome OS is designed for Internet-based work, newer versions of the software also support offline functionality. Users can view documents and spreadsheets offline, as well as access their email. Of course, emails won’t send or receive without a connection, but Chromebook users can still compose new messages and view their existing ones.
Check out the concept video below to get an idea of what we may see in Google’s next-generation Chromebook.