Google's Chromebooks have been all the rage this year with almost every manufacturer trying to jump on the Chromebook train and push out their offerings. As such, the market was booming and Chromebooks sale helped to stem the tide (a little) on what seems to be a slow dying industry, laptops. That said, Chromebooks are only the answer to half the problem. They are at a much reduced cost which is represented by the lack of offline use and incompatibility with a number of Window based programs and as such do fill the 'cost' bracket. However, they have not really filled the 'portable bracket'. Of course, you can buy a smaller 11 inch Chromebook, but it is still a Chromebook and still much bulkier than a tablet.
Well, this year that all might change. A new rumor doing the rounds this morning suggests that Google are only months away from launching their new 2-in-1 style Chromebooks. If you are yet to hear about these, then this is where the market really could see a change. In short and in the tradition of 2-in-1's which bridge the gap between laptops and tablets, Google's 2-in1's will bridge the gap between Chromebooks and tablets. Likewise, bridge the gap between Chrome OS and Android. These new offerings will be capable of being used in the traditional Chromebook fashion and as such running on Chrome OS. However, that is when a keyboard is attached. Once the keyboard is dismounted, the 2-in-1 essentially becomes a tablet, in both the traditional sense and also in the software sense. The 2-in-1 will be able to then run natively on Android, just like your smartphone or traditional tablet. The best of both worlds in your hands.
In terms of the current availability rumor, no firm details are given beyond the notion that Google are reported (source link below) to be finishing the development of these devices by the end of the first quarter. To you and me, that's about March. Of course, how long afterwards we should expect to see (and be able to buy) them is anyone's guess. Although, we do have Google's I/O event coming up in May. So that would probably be a good bet.