Chromebooks have been able to run Android apps for about a year now, but it’s been hit and miss. Not all Chromebooks have touchscreens, and even the ones with touchscreens aren’t necessarily optimized for use as an Android device as well. Samsung and Google seem determined to change that with the newly announced Chromebook Plus and Chromebook Pro.
These look an awful lot like most touchscreen Chromebooks these days. There’s an Intel processor for the Pro and an ARM for the Plus, and the screen can be flipped 360 degrees so you can use it as a laptop, tablet, or in tent mode. However, unlike the prior iterations of Chromedroid/Androbooks, Samsung and Google collaborated and added extra gyroscopes and other sensors, so these computers will actually function like true Android devices (meaning you can play games that require the device to move).
It’s hard to read too much into two devices, especially when only one of them is priced (the Chromebook Plus will be $449). But it does seem like Google is trying to hedge against the potential failure of Android tablets by rolling ChromeOS and Android together like conjoined twins. It’s a smart idea, and if they keep them under $500 they’ll make Chromebooks a threat to Microsoft and Apple on a few levels; as laptops as well as competitors to the Surface Pro/iPad Pro lines.
If you’re in the market for a new Chromebook, or if you’re looking to lighten your laptop/tablet load, take a look at the new Chromebook Plus…it might just be the perfect fit!