Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome, said in an interview that faster Chromebooks are on the way. This is good news for those who wanted to invest in a Chromebook, but were turned off by the underwhelmingly sluggish performance. Google is aware of the issue, and is looking forward to user feedback after they've sampled the second-generation device.
"We remain very excited about Chromebooks," he told CNET. "We got a lot of positive feedback, and we are really looking forward to the next generation of Chromebooks. We will improve on the dimensions of speed, simplicity, and security."
He added that because Google updates Chrome every six weeks, Chromebook performance is much better now than it was when they first arrived on the market. But speed freaks likely need to shy away, as Chromebooks will still be designed with low power consumption, long battery life, and low prices in mind. Basic online social needs will be met, but Chromebooks aren't meant for gaming or editing hi-res photos.
In the interview, CNET's Stephen Shankland said that the current Chromebook is simply underpowered for his overall needs.
"Google Docs documents grind open," he told Pichai. "Scrolling can be an excruciatingly laggy affair. My son, trying to play the Flash-based Crush the Castle 2 game, cried out in exasperation when trying to construct his medieval defenses. Keyboard repeat rates aren't adjustable to let me set them fast enough with only a brief delay before kicking in. When I have more than 15 or 20 tabs open, it seems that old tabs must be reloaded from the server when I switch back to them."
If this is true for all Chromebook models on the market, then Google will indeed need to work on increasing the performance of Chrome OS if it plans for the platform to stay afloat during the tablet and ultrabook craze. Maybe this second-generation is what Thursday's Android 5.0 "Jelly Bean" report was referring to, a speedier version of Chrome OS that will work alongside Windows 8 in a dual-OS marriage.