We got a brief glimpse of the HP SlateBook back in April. We were a bit confused as to why the consumer PC giant would cram Android into a form factor almost exclusively dominated by Windows and OS X machines. Now the 14-inch, Android-powered laptop is official, and we're no less puzzled. HP made the announcement today, though the laptop won't go on sale until July 20th in the US.
Asus has lately become the king of anime-style transforming electronics, with their Transformer tablet line and Padfone devices. It looks like Google is paying attention, at least when it comes to conceptual hardware. US patent 8,649,821, granted to Google in February of this year, describes a laptop with a built-in and detachable cell phone, with the two working in tandem for various functions. While Android and Chromebooks aren't specifically mentioned in the patent documentation, it's easy to assume they were on the engineers' minds, since it was filed in September of 2012.
When people think of laptops, Android isn't the first operating system that comes to mind, but the number of options continue to grow. The Asus Transformer series showed that a tablet and a keyboard packaged together nicely could prove to be more appealing than a netbook, and the more recent HP Slatebook x2 managed to feel more like a laptop and less like a tablet. Now Lenovo is ready to do its competitors one better by debuting an Android laptop that is more than a tablet packaged with a nice keyboard dock - the Lenovo A10, a convertible 10.1-inch laptop running Android 4.2.
Part of the reason I was drawn to the Chromebook Pixel is that it's essentially a thin client for accessing the same content I interact with using my phones and tablets. Having to move and maintain files between separate machines is a chore I no longer wish to deal with, so I'm happy to see that this issue may soon be a thing of the past. Today at IFA, Acer demoed its Extend prototype, a laptop-dock that could enable you to use a smartphone as a your primary computer.
Yeah, we know – it doesn't run Android, and really, it has nothing to do with Android. But it is a Google product, so by default it's at least tangentially related - call it Android's cousin. It's also Google's statement that ChromeOS is important, that it's not just some side project. It's saying that we should all pay attention. That ChromeOS is the real deal, and the Chromebook Pixel is the best experience that ChromeOS has to offer.
Yesterday, Google did what Google does best: announce a first version of something that is completely ridiculous, very few people care about, most folks mocked, and that will ultimately end up forgotten in the annals of internet history. No offense, Goog. Some later products are spectacular, but let's be real. Very rarely does Google get it right on the first try.
However, the Chromebook Pixel is still a huge deal and the savvy analyst should take notice, because things just changed in a big way.
Google just launched a $1,300 laptop. That's a pretty big deal. In fact, it's a pretty huge deal. In double fact, if our team wasn't about to get on a podcast (see you at 8PM EST!) I'd be sharing all manner of reasons why that's a monumental deal. Unfortunately for you, that will have to wait until tomorrow. For now, we can only talk about the device itself. So, what is it?
I use stuff. A lot of stuff. That's what being a tech blogger is all about, right? Using technology to talk about technology. Well, David and Cameron have already pulled back the curtain to show you how they make the magic happen. Now it's my turn!
There is no other way to describe my desktop than "my desktop." This is my workhorse and the centerpiece of my digital life.
Oh, Intel. First, you have a partner release a Gingerbread Intel-powered phone a solid 8 months after Android 4.0 has been out. Now, you demo a brand-new wireless charging system using an Intel Ultrabook and a Samsung Fascinate (for our foreign readers, this is a US-only Galaxy S variant). Check out the video from TheVerge, below:
Not only are they using a truly ancient Android phone to demo this new technology, they've actually made it uglier, too, with an odd "hump" of sorts maligning the left-hand-side of the device.
Update: Turns out the teasers were about an ASUS Windows 8/Android device after all, and even Bluestacks got tricked into thinking the "big transformation" teasers were about them. You can find more info about this device, called Transformer AiO, here.
Remember a few days ago when ASUS got everyone's hopes up with teaser videos that began excited rumor-churn about a possible dual-booting Android/Windows 8 tablet? Well, it turns out that the videos in question were meant to tease a new partnership ASUS has formed with BlueStacks, creators of the renowned BlueStacks App Player (which we reviewed back in March).