In its continued quest for relevance amid a sea of Ultrabooks and the ghosts of netbooks, Google's Chromebook may getting a touchscreen upgrade by the end of the year. So says news and rumor site DigiTimes, which is getting its information from a Chinese language financial newspaper published in Taiwan (Commercial Times). Details are sparse, but here's what we know so far.
According to the paper, Google is gearing up to launch a 12.85-inch Chromebook with touchscreen display. Compal Electronics is responsible for OEM production and Wintek is supplying the touch panels. Components have already begun shipping.
Touch computing is heavily trending these days, thanks to tablets, smartphones, and even Windows 8. But does it make sense on a Chromebook? We may soon find out. There's also the issue of price. Samsung in October launched a $249 Chromebook model, followed by Acer releasing a $199 model a month later. Earlier models were widely considered to be too expensive for what they bring (or don't bring) to the table, so there's a fine line Google must walk if it's to implement pricier components of nebulous value.