back to article Google reveals nonexistent Chrome tablet

Google has unveiled a series of image and video mock-ups of a tablet PC based on its Chrome OS, the still-gestating operating system centered around its Chrome web browser. Mountain View uncloaked its tablet "concept UI" early last week - two days before Steve Jobs announced Apple's long-awaited tablet, the unfortunately named …


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  1. David Kelly 2

    Jobs's prescience?

    Perhaps Jobs knew about this before his recent verbal indiscretion? :-)

  2. zanto

    no thanks!


    "While its primary focus is netbooks, Chrome OS could eventually scale to a wide variety of devices," reads Google's form factor UI post. "Each would have vastly different input methods, available screen space, and processing power."


    i'll settle for a regular linux distro like Fedora or Debian on my desktop/netbook/laptop

    1. JeffShortland
      Thumb Down

      On that note:

      How about an OS which is not as closed, and limited as Google's Chrome?

      I mean, apple may be a kettle to this pot, but at least you can download third party apps.

      A google tablet will be Google's machine, running Google's OS, backing up Google's data (formerly YOUR data) to Google's servers, running Google's apps with Google's adds. no third party necessary (or allowed).

      Yah, I'll take anything that allows me some local and remote controll over my files, kthxbye.

      1. blod

        And yet... You'll use it.

        Google will publish the ultimate bundle, the one Ubuntu wants to be but never quite gets there.

        They'll supply you with everything you need from the very first boot up - a word processor, an email client, music service, voip, navigation, everything you could ever want from a mobile device. All you need to do is be online. Hell, with connectivity costs dropping each year, will it shock anyone if Google starts providing wireless internet connection anywhere for free?

        Google's complex business plan is incredibly simple: If you're not online, Google can't make money off of you. PERIOD. All their services are geared towards getting you connected.

        People will overlook the small matter of their own privacy to enjoy this advantage of simplicity, as they have done with countless other Google services (or as they have done with Apple products, though there the tradeoff was between simplicity and low cost). And Chrome OS will be a smash hit both at the checkout counters, and in Google's quarterly reports.

        There should be an Eric Schmidt with horns icon...

        1. nobby


          re: "will it shock anyone if Google starts providing wireless internet connection anywhere for free?"

          oh my how i laughed.

        2. The BigYin

          The idea...

          ...of making it even easier for Google to track and index every aspect of my like gives me the screaming shits.

          When will governments have a look at what Google is doing?

          Oh, wait; the governments are. That's where they are getting their ideas from!

        3. Cameron Colley

          You're forgetting something.

          I can take my EEEPC, for example, and install Ubuntu, Mandriva, Fedora, Debian, whatever... on it then install Chrome and have all that and the ability to run local apps -- which are likely to run faster.

          If I'm Asus, or Dell, or whoever... I can just install my favourite Linux for Dummies distro then Google Chrome (or Chromium if I want to be careful about patents) and do everything a Chrome only device can do.

          Having a Chrome OS device is one step up from an IE only device and one step down from Windows mobile.

      2. g e


        My HTC Magic is a Google-branded phone and I can install software packages from wherever I please, not restricted to Android Store. No reason to think the Netbook/GPad/etc would be any different.

        1. Quxy

          Chrome != Android

          Yes, the gPad would be more interesting if it were running Android rather than Chrome. But Google has said that they have no intention of allowing third-party apps on devices running Chrome.

        2. J 3

          Re: Ummmm

          Could it be because Android is one thing and ChromeOS (or whatever it's actually called) is a very different one? RTFA: ChromeOS is supposed to only run a web browser and *nothing* else.

  3. Flybert

    I can see where this might lead

    The future of full featured laptops > netbooks will be multi-touch screen .. no lid / cover

    that is all

    1. Bear Features

      touch screen

      I wouldn't want a touch screen on a laptop.

      1. Steen Hive
        Thumb Up

        Neither would I.

        But I got gifted a Panasonic Toughbook recently and used it while out sailing. The touchscreen was surprisingly usable and pleasant. Not just for nav, either - but it was nice to have the keyboard for a backup too.

  4. Dom 1


    If Apple (in the future) bring out an iSpot, would Google bring out the gSpot?

    I'll get me coat.........

    1. Disco-Legend-Zeke

      They Should Save the Name...

      ...gSpot for their chain of cybercafes.

      Attention Google: Where is my Water Heater.

    2. alwarming

      Re: Err...

      LOL!!! :)

  5. Tony Paulazzo

    No Title!

    >For touch screens, we provide much larger tab and toolbar targets than on standard chrome. This UI takes up more screen space, but is ideal for portrait devices, and can be autohidden to have full-screen<

    Good idea, shame MS didn't think of that for Win7's awesome touch stuff. Balmer, fingers are fatter than onscreen cursors.

  6. Majid

    I am waiting for the day....

    That Apple comes up with a device it will call I-Spot.

  7. Chris Thomas Alpha

    guys guys guys! think a little bit

    if google brings out a tablet like that, which supports multitouch, etc, etc, etc, runs chromeos, etc, etc.

    how long before it gets jailbroken? it's all hardware that linux supports, just wait or write yourself a linux distro that installs directly on it, bingo, you got your own linux ipad.

    except linux is shit at doing lots of things, so probably better of staying with the chromeos :D hwhahahahahah, you guys are so easy!

    no seriously, I mean, running linux, sounds great, but at the end, what are you gonna do with a tablet like that? remembering that to fully take advantage of a touch screen, you need a custom written system that exploits the capabilities to the max.

    if all you're gonna get is xorg/metacity/gnome desktop, as it stands right now, it's not going to be an amazing experience, multitouch gnome apps? oh wait, you'll need MPX in order to even get off the ground, right?

    so whilst you all can cirtclejerk yourselves over running linux on it, nobody will find it impressive, cause they'll see all the problems you guys routinely ignore.

    burn baby burn, disco inferno!!!!

    1. Marky W

      Dude, seriously....

      ....that was waaay to obvious. Even though you're right.

  8. Poor Coco

    A name suggestion....

    Since Apple has the trademark lock-in on i.*, and Google is planning an iPad-like on-the-spot-wherever-you-may-be device, perhaps they should call it the gSpot?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Less evil

    A g-pad would be inherently less evil than an i-pad.

    Though I still prefer to be able to install my own software without an "app-store" (though they can be convenient), keep my data on my own computer, where it'll be less prone to data mining. Something like the windows mobile without the nitpicky interface would be more my style. Strange to think of all these mobile OS'es the Micro$oft one is the "free"est. Download a .cab, install anywhere. Connect via USB, peruse all content, transfer whatever you want. I only wish there was a viable Linuxish alternative. Maemo looks very promising but it's too early to tell. Not enough mindshare so far.

    I realize there is no real privacy and anonimity any more. But if I bought and paid for it, it is mine to do as I see fit. I want the minimal freedom to use as much and as little of the cloud as I see fit.

    So far neither the chubby/sexy ipad nor the nebulous g-pad does the trick. Moving along..

    (Disclaimer: I do have a machine running Ubuntu, and routinely use OS/X. My pick is Windows 7. I admire the iphone, but use a semi-kludgey WinMob).

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    is a mouse mat.

    I want one!

  11. uhuznaa


    If I see this right, this is just an OS running a multi-tabbed browser full-screen.

    I'll take the iPad then. It can also run a browser full-screen and then a lot of local apps, too. Maybe not at the same time, but better than not at all, no?

  12. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Quelle surprise?!

    Really such a surprise given the fact that any company in the hardware game is currently knocking-up plans to put out a tablet! They all want to get on the muppet-bandwagon, fanbois will buy anything, so if dopey, more-money-than-sense fanbois buy the gadget of the moment, then surely there is a market for the more financially challenged gadget collectors to buy a similar gadget.

    I wish some people would rememeber that these companies don't make gadgets to improve humanity's evolution, they do it for cash, pure and simple. If that means jumping on someone else's bandwagon, so be it!

  13. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    Ooooooooooooold idea

    "Chrome OS is essentially a Linux-based operating system that runs a single local application: Google's browser."

    AFAIK, the whole reason MS went to war over Netscape was Andreessen's statement that "everything happens in the browser". That's what? 10-20 years ago?

    GPad as a name won't work in the UK anyway, at least not in Kings College.

    They won't be able to find it, har har..

  14. James O'Brien

    Hey all we over looked a very serious point here....

    How long until Apple sue^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W^W I mean the Chinese company Shenzhen Great Loong Brother and its CEO Wu Xiaolong sue Google for infringing on their product?

    Gotta love the Chinese.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great news for people with paralysed, tiny hands

    judging by that video they've posted. Either that or it's so big it has stunned the user into digital immobility

  16. ForthIsNotDead

    If it doesn't exist...

    ...then, by definition, it can't be found.

    Thusly, I would suggest a much better name will be GSpot.

    I know, I know, I'll get my coat :-)

  17. Mage Silver badge

    Utter fail

    The ipad is a really an Apple Controlled Browser appliance. Not a Tablet. I'd never buy it preferring something *I* have control over (Win7, WinCE, Symbian, Linux, Maemo, XP etc..)

    ChromeOS should not be called an OS really. It's a more basic version of iPad controlled by a Monopolist.

  18. Dale 3

    Larger buttons

    There generally isn't a need for buttons much larger than normal on a touchscreen. My iPod is pretty good at guessing what I meant when I tap a tiny little link on a web page with one of my great big grubby fingers. Apple got it right there and other manufacturers should licence the technology if necessary. Then all that is necessary is for the software to have a suitable way of dealing with the occasions it guesses wrong, such as a robust Cancel/Back/Undo mechanism, and there shouldn't be any problem.

  19. Dale 3

    No Lid

    The main problem I have with both the iPad and the Google vapourPad is the exposed screen with no covering. If laptops do go this way in the future, losing the keyboard and therefore losing the need to have a lid then I would be worried about scratching the screen all the time. I really like the Microsoft concept, having two screens which fold shut like a laptop and open out into a dual-monitor arrangement. If you need a keyboard, it can be done on one of the screens in software, otherwise you have a dual screen arrangement with multitouch on both.

    1. uhuznaa

      @Dale 3:

      I think a case like that from Apple makes sense here, especially when you can also use it as a stand.

      Apart from that: I've been using an iPod touch (1G) for more than two years now, with no case or any protection at all, and the screen is like new. I daily throw it into pockets or bags without even thinking of it and the glass is just fine, there's not a single scratch. I suppose it may be different with plastic screens, though.

      I know that such a tiny device like the touch may be a bit different from a real (larger) tablet but it surely has managed to just vaporise most reservations I might have had back then. About the only things I kept missing were a larger screen and a bit more speed. What I surely was NOT missing is doing everything with web apps in a browser (*shudder*).

  20. John Sanders

    No sir...

    I´m not buying any xPad as long as it is not open so I can do what I please with it.

    The rest of the world can do as they please, heck from my part people can buy and iRope and do as they please...

    In my case as long as the penguin boots on 'me hardware' I´m happy.

  21. DrunkenMessiah

    ChromeOS is a no go

    I would not buy a tablet using ChromeOS. I really don't like the idea of "cloud" computing and all my data being stored on remote servers that I have no control over. I guess I wouldn't really have anything too interesting on a tablet but that's not the point.

    An Android tablet I could get on board with.

  22. Shadowslayer19


    What about Flash? I don't know about you, but I would love to play crayon physics in that thing. That could really help out the flash game industry.

  23. carup008

    And so it begins.....

    In the end, there shall only be one......

  24. James 5


    and the GSpot. The GSpot will be the point on the screen where you place your finger to make things happen.

    Or it could be called the GooPad to go with its GUI interface - geddit !

    OH well, I'll go fetch my coat...

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Its not chrome

    Its matt black. Chrome is reflective

  26. Sean Hunter

    Lacking in ambition

    Given that the thing doesn't have to actually exist, its surprising that they didn't make it more awesome.

    My nonexistent hardware can:

    1)wake me up in the morning with coffee and hot buttered toast

    2)make me more attractive

    3)Lay gold eggs

  27. MinionZero

    This concept design reeks of "spoiler" style tactics.

    @"Mountain View uncloaked its tablet "concept UI" early last week - two days before Steve Jobs announced Apple's long-awaited tablet, the unfortunately named iPad."

    Amazing what artists can knock up in Photoshop when their boss is on their backs asking for a quick concept product design, to usurp media attention away from a competitor product. After all, iPad's have their own OS tied into Apple and so not tied into Google's Chrome OS. Not good news for Google, so Google invent their own concept product design for now, then release an actual product some time later. (That concept UI artwork looks like it could be created by an artist in 10 to 20 minutes (if that) with Photoshop and a 3d render of their choice etc..).

    I've actually been in companies that have played this game, the boss hears a competitor is about to release product news and hey presto the artists have a concept artwork drawn up in double quick time, ready to beat the competitor to the media attention.

    (I believe in the media industry, when they play this kind of game against each other, they call it spoiler tactics).

    Its a very underhanded tactic, but sadly its a fairly common stunt in business. (So much for “do no harm” ;)

    (What gets me about the “do no harm” double talk lie is that they say it in the hope we will then trust them and not see them as just another ruthless company, which they are, just like many other large companies, because within their ranks of thousands of staff they have ruthless people just like most big companies. Some of these ruthless people have no problem playing underhanded games and lying whenever it suits their goals).

  28. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Star Trek had concept devices like this in the 1980s

    It's easy to make if you can fake the video. In fact, Star Trek had solid state storage in the 1960s, although the hot-swappable devices that Mr Spock used to generate fake orders to take the Enterprise to Talos IV were larger than modern USB and apparently only held a few seconds audio each.

    They also had a matter transporter.

    Stargate SG-1 had normal people using Tablet PCs. How's that for science fiction! ;-) (I use a Tablet PC. But I am not normal.)

    Aren't concept model computers usually carved in wood and painted? Well done Google for bypassing the "material object, at least" step of developing and showing your new product. Now that 3D displays are common, we can probably expect to see many more devices at electronics shows that we can't actually touch - unless the demonstrator also provides haptic gloves. But that would be severely icky. Maybe with disposable glove linings...

    1. uhuznaa

      Mockups to impress, products to sell

      Not the same, really. MS did something very similar with their Courier video. It surely looked impressive (much more than that Google thing actually) but when you looked closer it clearly was MADE to impress and nothing else. It was full of gestures and hidden features nobody would find without studying a manual, every gesture was doing something different in every app and it totally relied on perfect handwriting recognition all over the place.

      Making things look great in a video is not the same as making things that are great to use. When I saw that video I instantly knew that MS is lightyears away from actually delivering anything in this realm. I don't know about Google. Making a tablet that runs an OS that runs nothing but a browser is easy but to make it do something useful may be not so easy.

  29. Kludge

    Competition is a Good Thing

    As a relatively new convert to Macs I can say it would be nice to some real competition for Apple. Why wouldn't you want more than one company that actually cares about the user experience?

    I do agree a mock up is kind of pointless. I really like that Apple doesn't, usually, talk about products till they actually launch. No vapor-ware there.

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