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article imageGoogle wants ideas for a hypothetical 'Chromebook Pro'

By James Walker     Jun 27, 2016 in Technology
Google is reportedly asking people their thoughts on a "Chromebook Pro" device. The product does not currently exist in Google's line-up, suggesting the company is working on a new premium laptop or tablet running its own Chrome OS.
VentureBeat reports that Google has been asking users of its Opinion Rewards app for Android to give their thoughts on a "Chromebook Pro." Opinion Rewards is a free survey app that gives people rewards in exchange for a few minutes of their time.
Reddit user jellofort said a survey question asked what the "Chromebook Pro" would like and who would want to use it. It also requested comments on the differences between a regular Chromebook laptop and a Chromebook Pro, indicating Google is doing market research ahead of developing the device.
While not conclusive, the survey question suggests Google is actively working on or considering building a powerful Chromebook positioned at the premium end of the market. The "Pro" in the name suggests Google is going after Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 and Apple's iPad Pro with the unreleased product, targeting professional customers seeking productivity on the go.
Without any further details, it is only possible to speculate on what a "Chromebook Pro" could entail. Google could choose to make the device tablet-focused with a kickstand, like the Surface, or create a convertible laptop that folds into a tablet. Regardless of the design, the device would almost certainly include powerful hardware to distinguish it from other Chromebooks.
Chromebooks don’t currently have a significant presence in the premium productivity-oriented sector. The Chromebook Pixel features powerful hardware but isn't really in the same league as the Surface, iPad Pro and rivals like the Dell XPS and HP Spectre.
Chrome OS is evolving though and now could be a good time to release something designed to appeal to customers of Windows and Mac-based devices. A future update will make it possible to use Android apps on Chrome OS, greatly expanding the number of available apps and opening the door to more focused and productive experiences than pure web apps from the Chrome Store allow.
Since launch, Google's cloud-powered Chrome OS has found favour with the education sector and laptop users on a budget. The low cost, small form factor and long battery life of many Chromebooks makes them ideal for students and mobile workers. The lack of complex apps can restrict their usability though, an issue which Android apps may go some way towards fixing.
Assuming the Chromebook Pro takes the same approach as its obvious rivals, it will be a costly product hovering around the $1,000 mark. People may not be willing to make such a large investment into a platform that is still relatively obscure, unless the device is unique enough to distinguish itself from the crowd.
More about Google, Chromebook, chrome os, chromebook pro, Surface
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