Google branded touchscreen Chromebook due 2012 tip insiders

Google is reportedly planning a Chromebook of its own, pushing out a Google-branded touchscreen notebook to follow its Nexus-brand smartphones and tablets. The Chrome OS laptop would be made by Compal, according to the China Times, with the finished product apparently set to ship by the end of 2012.

Two new Chrome OS laptops have debuted in recent weeks, with Acer chasing the budget end of the market with its $199 A7, while Samsung's Series 3 is only a little more expensive at $249. Although both running Google's operating system, the two models take different approaches to the underlying hardware: the A7 sticks to Intel's Atom chip, whereas the Series 3 uses a more frugal ARM-based processor for longer runtimes.

It's unclear which footsteps Google might follow in with its own machine, with no hardware specifics revealed. Given the company has experience already with ARM chips in the Nexus range, however, and the more impressive battery life such processors generally allow, that would perhaps seem the more likely choice.

Google has apparently ordered around 20m units of the new, unnamed Chromebook, which it's suggested may be a more tentative move so as to gauge interest in the platform. Alternatively, it could be to seed units with developers, as Google did initially with the Atom-based Cr-48.

[via DigiTimes]