Google tried to change the way we think about computing when it launched its Chromebook platform. These devices are the result of a three-way between a laptop, netbook, and the almighty cloud, the end result of which is an 11.6-inch or 12.1-inch notebook with just enough lower end components to scrape by living in the cloud. The next generation of Chromebooks, however, will be better spec'd for improved performance, among other things.
Today's limited selection of Chromebooks feature an Intel Atom N570 processor clocked at 1.66GHz, 2GB of DDR3 memory, 16GB solid state drive, Intel GMA 3150 graphics, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 1.3MP webcam, and various other odds and ends. And what about Chromebooks of tomorrow? With Ultrabooks all the rage, does Google even care about the platform anymore?
"We remain very excited about Chromebooks," Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome, told CNet in an interview. "We got a lot of positive feedback, and we are really looking forward to the next generation of Chromebooks. We will improve on the dimensions of speed, simplicity, and security."
He didn't go on to offer any specifics, but one possibility is that the next generation of Chromebooks could follow the same upgrade path as netbooks by incorporating Intel's Cedar Trail platform. It's an upgrade path that would allow Google and its partners (Acer and Samsung) to maintain the same or similar price points, but offer improved performance, along with other promised upgrades (simplicity and security) that could be delivered through continued tweaking of the Chrome OS.