Google Planning Nexus Chromebook for 1Q13

China Times reports that Google is producing its own self-branded touchscreen-equipped Nexus Chromebook for a possible 1Q13 release.

Unnamed sources report that Google placed the Nexus orders with Compal and Wintek rather than with a 3rd-party manufacturer as seen with previous Chromebook releases (Asus, Samsung, etc). The internal components will begin shipping to Compal and Wintek this month who will build the unannounced Nexus device (Google doesn't have the facilities), a sign that Google's Nexus Chromebook could go into production before the ball drops on New Year's Eve.

A Chromebook is a netbook/laptop that uses Google's Chrome OS. What makes it unique is that it's reliant on the internet, offering tablet-like storage capacities and pushing most of the data storage into Google's cloud. This feature may be the platform's biggest setback given that consumers are still accustomed to locally-stored files and applications.

One example of a Chomebook would be the 12.1-inch Samsung XE500C21-H04US, costing around $380. Serving as one of the pricier models, it comes packed with an Intel Atom N570 processor, 2 GB of DDR3 memory, a 16 GB mSATA SSD, an Intel GMA 3150 GPU, and a built-in 1.3MP HD webcam. It also has two USB 2.0 ports and 802.11 a/b/g/n connectivity.

With a Nexus Chromebook going into production at Compal and Wintek by the end of the year, there's a possibility that the device will make its debut at CES 2013 in January followed by a full-blown retail release in 1Q13. The Chromebook will benefit from optical lamination which merges the touch sensor and cover glass into one unit, thus reducing the thickness of the display.

That said, will this touch-based capability jack up the price of Google's Nexus Chromebook, or will the search engine giant eat the costs in the name of pushing the platform out to the buying consumer? As it stands now, Chromebooks sold on the market currently start at $199, making the bottom-of-the-line model cheaper than a Nexus 7 tablet.

What the new Chromebook needs is a hinge that allows the screen to fold back, creating a tablet-like form factor and a cheaper competitor to Microsoft's Surface RT tablet. Regardless, its arrival in 1Q13 seems ideal given that Windows 8-based hardware is pricier, Apple's own 7-inch tablet starts at $329, and consumers recovering from holiday spending may be looking for something portable and not so expensive.

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback           

  • Cryio
    Honestly, honestly how many Chromebooks were sold? What, 100-300k?
  • evan1715
    chromebook just needs to stop.
  • guess who
    chromebook just needs to stop

    Sure. Fanboys do not want to give the consumers what they want.
  • skidawgz
    Don't be ridiculous. How many G1 phones do you think were sold? While the Chromebook has very glaring thoughts, I still applaud the innovation.
  • skidawgz
    ^ glaring faults**
  • samwelaye
    heres how to make chromebooks better: make it run android instead of ONLY A BROWSER.
  • gary12_03
    Kevin Parrish: Your article has two errors.
    1- Chromebooks start at $199, which is not cheaper than the $199 Nexus 7 as you claim:
    2- the link you provided for a 12.1" Samsung Chromebook is dead.
    I'm posting only a few hours after this article was published, so these two glaring errors should have been checked.

    Samwelaye - Chromebooks don't run on Chrome browser; they run on Chrome OS, which is based on Linux just like Android was. Do your research before making ignorant statements. Maybe try one out at a Best Buy and see how blazing fast they are.
  • assasin32
    Actually try the Chrome OS or Chromium OS before bashing it. From playing with it for a few hours I can tell you this, it is a straight up OS to turn low end hardware into an "Get into internet" type of device, which incorporates security and ease of use. And the hardware used is generally minimal and the basic of what you need to use the internet at a satisfactory speed.

    This is more of something you use as a secondary device not a primary computer. Think of it as more of an alternative to a tablet but more focus on typing/web browsing than straight media consumption.

    What this is not is a gaming PC, full fledged PC that can run your programs on, or anything of that nature. This is basically just a striped down computer that will only do one thing Web Browsing anything else it does half ass if your lucky if it does it at all.

    And with that being said as strange as it sound I plan to pick up one of these chromebooks because for it many faults it still does what it is designed to do exceptionally well at the price point. And truth be told as a student who is planning to just use this to take notes and internet 99% of the time and will just remote access my home computer if I need any real work done this provides superior hardware for the price. And in the case of the low end parts and my use for this I'd rather run the Chrome OS over windows, as it just seems like a more stripped down OS that doesn't require as many resources.
  • I actually bought the Samsung Series 3 Chromebook(AKA the $249 ARM one) and I can say it's well worth the money. It won't replace my main computer, no, but it does everything I use my desktop for except for three things:

    1) Gaming
    2) Burning discs
    3) Programming/web development

    Practically everything else I need a computer for, it does. It has Google Docs(i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint). It can run 1080p YouTube videos seamlessly. It has Flash support, so I have no problem browsing the web. And there's an extension that can handle some of the less complex Java applets. It has a built in Remote Desktop service(via a Chrome extension, comes pre-installed). It has a webcam and camera app. Not to mention this thing is FAST. Boots in about eight seconds. Resumes in less than a second and a half. Did I mention it comes with a 100GB of Google Drive storage for two years? It doesn't have any moving parts, and is absolutely silent. And the battery lasts about seven hours. It's amazing.

    It doesn't do two things, though:
    Music streaming services don't run too well(Pandora/Play Music) if you're doing other things. Better to use your phone for it.
    Netflix support isn't there yet. It's been promised for Soon(TM).

    With phone tethering, the whole argument about it being useless without the internet is a bit of a moot point. There's offline Google Docs regardless.

    Highly recommend it to anyone wanting a cheap laptop.