It seems Acer has been impressed by its sales of Chromebooks, even though they haven’t done a whole lot of promotion for it, and they want to launch a new one in the second half of this year. Asus hasn’t entered the Chromebook market yet, but they are working on launching one in a few months, too.
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It seems that one of the reason these companies seem even more interested in Chromebooks, besides the fact that they want a serious alternative to Microsoft’s Windows, and not to depend on them so much, is because Google wants to start a much more aggressive Chromebook promotional campaign this year.
It’s been obvious since the launch of Google’s own Chromebook Pixel, that Google is very serious about Chrome OS, otherwise they wouldn’t be making their own high-end Chromebook. But now they want to help raise the whole market for every manufacturer involved, including Acer, Asus, Samsung, HP and Lenovo.
Hopefully some of these manufacturers will learn from Samsung, which so far has had by far the most successful Chromebook, which was based on a Cortex A15 CPU, and start using ARM chips, too. Samsung would obviously continue with the Exynos 5 Octa (perhaps at 2 Ghz) for their next-gen Chromebook. Asus and Acer could go with Tegra 4 while Lenovo and HP could use Qualcomm’s S800 processor. That would be very interesting competition between affordable Chromebooks for $200-$300 prices.
It never made any sense for Acer and HP to use Celeron processors, which are much less energy efficient than those ARM chips. That’s a problem not just for battery life, but also for heat and noise. There’s also no reason why these OEM’s would go with x86 chips, when Chrome OS, being a broswer-based OS, is platform agnostic, so it’s not like it depends on legacy software, like Windows does. It’s very likely those ARM chips are significantly cheaper, too, and if the OEM’s plan to use the ARM ones instead, but at the same price, that just means more profit for them.
Google is apparently working with these manufacturers on Androidbooks, too, which should be interesting to see.
Google is also cooperating with players including Samsung, Asustek, HP and Acer for Androidbooks. The sources believe that through the cooperation over both Chromebooks and Androidbooks, it will heap strong pressure on Microsoft, forcing the software giant to take a more cautious approach when making strategies for licensing fees or entering the hardware business.
I hope they do not release them with Android in its current form. They need to wait until Android 5.0, which will hopefully look a lot better on a PC. Android in its current form is simply not optimized for notebook use. It needs multi-window support, and much better mouse support. Android also needs at least some “tablet optimized apps” to look good on the Androidbooks, because the phone apps will not.
If all of that is fixed, “Androidbooks” may very well become a thing, too, just like Chromebooks, or perhaps even more popular than that.