For those looking to pick up a wallet-friendly tablet this holiday season, Verizon may have just the thing for you. Rumours around the Web indicate that HTC, Google and Verizon are set to launch a Chrome OS tablet this Black Friday, which falls on November 26.
Some specifications of the tablet are already available. The HTC Chrome tablet, as the name suggests, will run on Google’s Chrome OS rather than the popular Android platform. Download Squad reports that the Chrome OS tablet is likely to be powered by a NVidia Tegra 2 processor and will feature a 1280×720 multitouch capacitive display. For comparison, the Apple iPad has a resolution of 1024 x 768. The HTC-manufactured tablet will have 2GB of RAM and 32GB, or more, of SSD storage.
Other technical specifications of the HTC Chrome OS tablet include a built-in webcam, a GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and 3G networking. The tablet is poised to give competition to Apple’s iPad, which has so far gone unrivalled except for maybe the Dell Streak. You can be sure that as Black Friday nears, speculation is going to reach fever pitch with every gadget blog trying to score a leaked photo or two, or even a hands-on demo. Google themselves are known to hand over free products to their employees to create a buzz in the market, like they did with the Nexus One smartphone. At this point, there is no other Chrome OS manufacturer we know about. The other interesting tablet on the horizon is the Android-based Samsung Galaxy Tab, which is likely to be out this fall.
As far as prices go, the HTC Chrome OS tablet will be available at highly subsidized rates in combination with Verizon’s data contract. No-contract prices are expected to be similar to that of the Apple iPad.
Early demo video of Google Chrome OS running on a netbook
Going by the rumours, the Verizon-HTC-Google team plans to keep ample stock of the Chrome OS tablet during the holiday season to capitalize on Apple iPad’s so-called inventory issues. Holiday shoppers are likely to give in to instant gratification and pocket the Chrome OS tablet rather than wait for an iPad. It also make sense for the trio to launch the Chrome tablet during the holidays before the focus shifts to the iPad 2, which is slated for a release early next year.
What remains to be seen is whether the HTC Chrome OS tablet can turn the tables on the iPad based on pricing alone or will it have other treats to offer lure consumers away from the Apple tablet. Android OS has been growing by leaps and bounds, and Google recently said that the 200,000 Android devices are activated daily worldwide.
Google has not confirmed whether any Chrome-based tablet is part of its future plans. There has been no official news from HTC or Verizon either. So the Chrome OS tablet still remains a figment of our geeky imagination at best.